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Abrasive Surface Finishing (Grinding, Polishing, Sanding) with Motoman GP Series Robots
In many companies, sanding and polishing is a tough manual job, and people often do not get the idea to automate their polishing process. Workers have to wear protective safety clothing and are exposed to chemicals all the day - robots withstand all these challenges easily.
Many polishing automation jobs are pretty straight forward and simple to automate - with the right reliable Motoman Robot providing the requested stability, speed and IP protection.
Before starting the grinding process, workpiece position can be calibrated by tactile or Machine Vision Sensors.
Robotic Workcell Concepts for Grinding/Polishing
Loading/Unloading a Grinding Machine with Motoman Robots
In case you are using a stationary grinding or polishing machine, robots can handle and load/unload parts to the machine. This is a classical Machine Tending use case, see more in our "Machine Tending" application section.
Motoman Robots handling the Grinding/Polishing Tool
Another option is to let the robot handle the finishing/polishing tool and follow the part surface, applying a defined force to the workpiece. This is typically a good idea for larger workpieces where you want to exploit the reach of a robot. During a Polishing application, Motoman Robots provide high pose stability and differentiated motion.
Mostly a good job for our GP35L, GP50 or GP180 robot models. Polishing applications for larger parts, like car or aircraft bodies, are using larger and/or longer reach robots from our GP-Series - e.g. reworking a weld seam on a car roof with a GP180-120.
Recently, collaborative installations for finishing/polishing with the HC10/HC20 came up, with the advantage to realize fenceless installations and simple programming by hand-guiding. A good idea if you want to automate existing installations originally dedicated for manual work.
Motoman Robots handling the Workpiece to stationary Spindles or Belts
The most common kind of robotic grinding/polishing workcells is to let the robot bring workpieces directly to a stationary grinding or polishing spindles or belts, and let the robot move along a specified path. Those grinding/polishing workcells are a good idea if you have a wider variety of larger workpieces, to be processed in batches, or workpieces requiring several grinding/polishing steps in a sequence.
Polishing Applications with Cobots (HC Series)
For occasional finishing and polishing jobs, collaborative installations for finishing/polishing with the HC10/HC20 may be interesting, with the advantage to realize fenceless installations enabling you to automate workspaces which have been originally made for manual work (Brownfield). Simple hand-guiding is beneficial for frequent part changes and/or small batch sized. In combination with force sensors, they achieve consistent force applied on the polishing surface. Due to their rigid industrial design, their metal body with high IP67 classification, the HC10DT-IP67 and HC20DT are ideal candidates for those jobs.
Brushing Applications with Motoman Robots
Robots hndling Grinding or Polishing Brushes is a classical Automotive application for car bodies and finishing welding seams on the car roof.