De-burr, Grind, Polish, Finish...


By using the flexibility of 6-axis robots it is possible to grind, trim, fettle, polish and even clean almost any part, in any material and achieve an consistent excellent finish. Robot technology allows a large number of different programs and hence parts to be adapted to by one installation.

As with cutting there are two main approaches, either the robot holds the part or the robot holds the tool. It is also possible to have two robots working together for ultimate flexibility: one holding the part, one holding the tool. The starting point of designing a cell of this type is often the manual process it is to replace, although often using a robot will allow the use of new or different technologies. It is easy to use a multi-purpose tool to the end of the robot, for example, in a mobile phone case finishing application an ABB IRB 2400 was fitted with an end effector with two sorts of router, a circular sander and a rotating wire brush, all air powered.

If the part is picked up by the robot precise 3D positioning allows the part to be presented to a grinding wheel for example, with repeatability that ensures that the product is identical time after time. With the heath and safety regulations governing the use of finishing equipment ever tightening and claims for RSI a constant concern a robotic cell can offer a fast ROI (Return On Investment) while guaranteeing a consistent quality finish.

The picture shows a casting being held by an ABB IRB 6400 robot (2.8m reach version). Note the reaming tool in the foreground, this is fixed and the robot is moving the part to it.

The videos below show an ABB IRB 6400 robot cutting, grinding and finishing aluminium parts. The parts here are complicated and require a combination of excellent programming and tooling to get the high quality finish needed: