Benefits of Sanding Robots
Robotic sanding involves using industrial robots to automatically execute the process of smoothing part surfaces. Robots used to automate sanding applications are integrated with sanding end-effectors, for instance sanding pads or belts. The exact tooling selected depends upon the part and the finish to be achieved. The ABB 2600 and FANUC Lr Mate 200id are two handling robots that are ideal for sanding applications.
Sanding robots are programmed to follow the exact application path. This allows them to replicate the process with every part. Six axis robots ensure consistent, smooth, and high-quality finishes. Automating sanding applications with robot manipulators will optimize the process while providing several benefits.
One of the main benefits of industrial robot arms is their speed. The Yaskawa MH6 can sand parts at much faster rates than human workers. With sanding robots there are no delays in between parts. Factory robots are programmed to go from part to part without breaks in between. Robotic sanding also speeds up the changeover process of abrasive material. Abrasives can be changed in less than 30 seconds with sanding robots. Overall robotic sanding can save manufacturers around 30% of production time. Faster sanding means higher productivity rates.
Another benefit of sanding robots is they can expand manufacturing capabilities. robotic manipulators can work with a variety of part sizes, shapes, and materials. They can sand simple or complex parts. With manufacturing robot arms there are very few limitations. They can complete sanding applications around the clock, allowing for greater uptimes. In addition, sanding robots can increase productivity, allowing manufacturers to keep up with periods of high demand. Sanding robots can also be used to automate other tasks as well including polishing and buffing.
Sanding robots also allow for the control of the application parameters including pressure and speed. Sanding robots are equipped with sensor systems that allow them to regulate contact pressure with parts. These sensors ensure robots maintain consistent pressure while sanding. Controlling parameters such as speed and pressure is not feasible with manual sanding which is why part finishes are inconsistent from one another.
Sensor technology along with the programmed, controlled movements of the FANUC M-10ia and other sanding robots significantly improves part quality. With the accuracy and repeatability of robots, part surfaces are flawless and uniform across all parts. Sanding robots eliminate the biggest hinderance to quality, human error. Removing human involvement from sanding applications prevents inconsistencies and mistakes that can decrease quality.
The elimination of errors and the consistent operation of sanding robots will reduce material waste. Fewer mistakes to correct means less rework and material usage. Even the use of abrasive materials is reduced and made consistent with sanding robots due to their ability to regulate contact pressure. Abrasive materials can last up to 50% longer with sanding robots.
Lastly and most importantly, sanding robots can significantly lower production costs. Implementing robotic automation reduces the manual labor needed and therefore lowers labor costs. The reduction in material waste and conservation of consumables reduces material costs. Lower production costs will allow companies to expand their profit potential and remain competitive.