Robotic Material Removal

When done by hand, material removal can suffer from inconsistency, and pose an ergonomic risk to operators.  Buffing, grinding, polishing, deburring, de-flashing, sandingMaterial Removal, and drilling can be efficiently performed by robots to ensure quality and improve health and safety. Here are a few of the process equipment options that Premier Automation uses in automated material removal solutions:

  • Material infeed and outfeed units
  • Belt sanding units
  • Contact wheel units
  • Compound feeders

Role of Automation

Robotic technologies have grown to a level at which providing vision sensors to robots and actuating exact force control is no longer impossible. Tool holders are available through which directions can be provided to loads, and a cleaner edge can be created. All things aside, superior repeatability is a reason enough to shift to robotic material removal as this feature alone can bring down running costs considerably.

As a whole, you’ll have the following to gain with automated material removal:

  • Consistency: robots can be programmed to follow a path that results in greater consistency every time.
  • Throughput: automating material removal would mean robots can carry out multiple tasks on a single subject simultaneously.
  • Repeatability: robots have unparalleled repeatability compared to humans and are free of petty errors.
  • Safety: not all material removal processes involve trimming, some are inherently dangerous such as cleaning on toxic liquids. These can be carried out much more safely by robots.

Example of Sanding Cells:

Premier Automation generated a system arrangement comprised of two Fanuc CRX collaborative robots, each mounted onto a Macron Dynamic RTU (robot transport unit). Both of the robots would service two adjacent part stations by moving back and forth on the RTU. This configuration provided for the ability of the robot to process a part at one station while an operator exchanged parts at the other station. Each part station was comprised of an aluminum extrusion t-slot table.

For the grinding process: each robot was equipped with the Ferrobotics active contact flange, which delivers a constant force against the part, and the Dynabrade 5” angular grinder with an orbital adapter. Robot motion path programs were generated for each face of a part using a combination of hand guidance teaching and Fanuc’s Roboguide simulation software. Process adjustments for grind force, robot speed, and path can all be made through local HMIs.

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