Acrylic Sanding Cobot

System Supplier/Integrator โ€“ SP Elements

 

Our client is a well respected acrylics company that produces products for lighting, awards, displays and mementos, which require sanding as part of their manufacturing process. Traditionally this was carried out manually by staff using handheld devices, a laborious job which could potentially cause RSI due to vibration.

Our client is a forward-thinking innovative business who was looking for a way of improving this process, having never used robots before they were astounded by the results.

The Challenge

As part of their preparation process, our client is required to sand their product to remove machining marks. Before the installation of the cobot, employees used handheld tools to carry out the task. Although a highly skilled job, there was potential for variations to occur due to wear in grits, varying forces applied and also the chance of RSI. The main challenge was therefore to remove all these issues utilising a cobot.

The requirements of the machine were as follows:

  • A simple to program system, with automatic grit change

 

  • A system that could easily move to other manufacturing areas

 

  • A system that could reach over a 1300mm envelope to allow for multiple parts to be set up

 

  • A system that could provide force feedback to ensure consistent sanding

The Solution

The client requested an on-site visit to demonstrate the cobot and to see how it would work with their sanding process. A variety of acrylic products were selected by the client for the purpose of the demonstration.

Within a short space of time our engineer had the cobot out of the box and set up on the clientโ€™s workbench, after attaching the OnRobot sanding tool our engineer walked the client through the process of programming the cobot to carry out the sanding process. This was of course a demonstration, and the programme would need to be tweaked once the cobot was in place, however this gave the client an overview of what the cobot could potentially do.

The client was so happy with the demonstration they went on to purchase a Universal Robots UR5e cobot and the OnRobot sanding kit.

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