Robotic Deburring vs Manual Deburring

FANUC R2000ib 125L R30ia Motoman MA1400 FANUC M710ic 50 Motoman HP6 NX100 FANUC Arcmate 120ic
Deburring is a material removal process that is often necessary in manufacturing. No matter how precise an operation may be many processes often leave behind burrs, fins, edges, and other inconsistencies on metal workpieces. The process to remove such imperfections is called deburring. Parts must be accurately deburred as imperfections can have significant quality, performance, and safety implications. For years deburring has been a manual process but advancements in robotic technology has led to the automation of it with the FANUC M-710ic/50 and other industrial robots. The development of robotic deburring has caused a dilemma for many manufacturers on whether or not to automate it. Below is more information about each deburring method.

Robotic Deburring

Robotic deburring involves integrating industrial robots with material removal tooling and programming them to automatically execute deburring processes. Material removal robots are ideal for deburring automation including the ABB 2600 and the Yaskawa MH24. Robotic deburring is best for large volume operations and parts that are consistent in size or shape. Robotic deburring is also best for operations in which part safety is critical. One such industry in which this is true is the aerospace industry. Parts must be accurately deburred in order to ensure the safety of aerospace components such as plane engines. Other industries that have adopted deburring robots include the automotive, medical, electronics, and consumer goods.

There are several benefits to automating deburring with the FANUC M-20ia and other articulated robots. Robotic deburring is significantly faster than manual deburring which increases throughput and productivity. It also produces better quality that is consistent across all parts with the accuracy and repeatability of robots. Robotic deburring also creates a safer work environment as workers are not exposed to debris, sharp tooling, and repetitive movements.

There are very few drawbacks to robotic deburring. The main issue with robotic deburring is varying part geometries as this can require frequent reprogramming making it difficult to justify the cost of automation.

Manual Deburring

Manual deburring involves relying on human workers to operate deburring tools to remove imperfections from workpieces. Manual deburring has largely been the primary method, however, that is beginning to change as robotic automation has become more advanced and accessible. While manual deburring cannot compete with the advantages of robotic deburring it is still deemed the best method when it comes to low volume or custom parts. With smaller operations or one off orders the cost of robots is hard to justify. Whereas manual deburring is relatively inexpensive to implement and does not involve time to program for each workpiece change. Manual deburring is also best for fragile parts or internal areas of parts.

The main benefits of manual deburring are its low start up cost and the ability to process specific parts. For smaller operations that mainly work with custom orders, manual deburring will be the most cost-effective option.

There are several disadvantages to manual deburring. These include slow cycle times, low productivity, higher errors, inconsistent/poor quality, safety hazards, material waste, and higher costs in the long run.

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