Benefits of Automating Trimming Applications with Robots
Trimming is a common material removal process that is used to shape or divide workpieces. It is often necessary to prepare parts for further manufacturing steps, making it a key process for a production. Poor trimming can greatly affect the overall quality of a product which is why it is critical to ensure the process is executed accurately with every cycle. Many manufacturers have automated trimming processes with the FANUC M-20ia and other industrial robots. Robotic automation optimizes the application by providing the following benefits:
- • Clean Cuts - Robotic trimming will produce higher quality cuts that are smooth and uniform. Articulated robots provide steady control of cutting tools, preventing errors and defects. They are programmed to follow application paths without deviation. Humans lack the precision and steady hands to consistently produce clean, high-quality cuts. With robotic trimming little to no post part processing is needed to clean up parts.
- • Reduce Scrap - The accuracy of robotic trimming prevents errors that often lead to scrapped parts and material waste. With the Yaskawa MH50 there are fewer errors to correct which prevents rework and the use of excess materials. Scrap rates become lower and material usage becomes more consistent, allowing manufacturers to plan and budget more accurately.
- • Consistency - Trimming applications will become more consistent overall with the ABB 4600-20 and other robot manipulators. Six axis robots operate with high repeatability allowing them to perform the same steps and yield the same results with every workpiece. Cut quality, cycle times, material usage, costs, and labor all become consistent with robotic trimming.
- • Conservation of Consumables - Since trimming robots are incredibly consistent, consumable usage will be conserved. Human workers are inconsistent with trimming causing blades and other trimming consumables to be used more frequently.
- • Environmentally Friendly - Robotic trimming is also better for the environment as it can help lower the environmental impact of manufacturers. With fewer errors, less material becomes scrap which reduces the materials that end up in landfills. Some trimming methods produce no dust or fumes. In addition, many of today’s industrial robot arms are energy efficient.
- • Safer for Workers - Automating trimming with manufacturing robot arms creates a better and safer work environment for workers. Workers are no longer exposed to sharp or heavy tooling. Lacerations and musculoskeletal injuries from operating trimming equipment are avoided. Preventing worker accidents and injuries eliminates manufacturing disruptions, delays, and labor shortages, keeping productions running smoothly.
- • Faster Cycles - The consistency, speed, and accuracy of factory robots will result in faster cycle times. With the FANUC M-10ia/8L more parts can be trimmed than with human workers, increasing throughput. Higher productivity rates can be achieved with robotic trimming allowing manufacturers to keep up with high demand. The faster parts are manufactured, the fewer the costs that will be incurred.
- • Flexibility - Trimming robots provide more flexibility to manufacturing. Design and part changes can easily be accommodated through programming. Multiple design configurations can be programmed and completed with robotic manipulators. Robots can also be integrated with tool changers allowing for multiple processes to be automated by a single robot. Manufacturing capabilities become nearly limitless with robotic automation.