In many robotic manufacturing processes, there is a need for some form of material removal operation, whether that is grinding, sanding, deburring, or polishing.
‘Robotic technology has relatively low risk,’ says Koos Smit, industrial automation expert at Vertex Automation in Pretoria.
Metals and Energy are coming in at record high prices if looked upon from a historic perspective. To ease off the sting, manufacturers are looking for new ways to keep the energy and material expenses controllable, without having to increase the prices of their products. Material removal is one of the areas that can greatly contribute to cost-cuts and result in increased overall efficiency.
Material removal consists of tasks such as grinding, polishing, buffing, de-flashing, drilling, etc., all that is too difficult to perform manually with the same accuracy. In addition, several ergonomic risks also come attached, something which is not present with a robotic option. The robots used for such purposes can easily be split into five different segments, the largest of which is cutting & trimming.
When a material removal robot is being designed, one needs to ensure that path performance is kept in mind, otherwise the efficiency can take a hit. For instance, when holes are cut into a plastic or metal part, it must be ensured that a certain standard for accuracy is followed. Similarly, having a repeatable robot is necessary when a cast part is de-flashed and so is knowing that the flash can vary depending on the part.
Flexibility and Efficiency
The flexibility of robotics is quite commendable in material removal processes as they allow the addition of other procedures and processes as well. Material removal can be combined with processes such as injection, molding, die casting, deburring applications, and so on. Similarly, when the robot is polishing, additions can be made such as carrying the part for washing, palletising, etc. By combining different processes within a single workspace, a lot of precious time and resources can be saved.
With the help of an accurate, repeatable, and efficient robot, fewer mistakes are made, resulting in lesser scrap, ultimately resulting in the production process becoming more profitable.
Robotic Material Removal Benefits
- One of the biggest attractions of robotic material removal is superior repeatability when compared with a human performing the same task. This results in lower quality-related costs, like scrap, rework, complaints, and more consistent products.
- Another advantage is reduced expenditure on consumables — removing the human factor means tools wear at a lower and more predictable rate.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) costs also fall, as there’s less need for protective eyewear and earmuffs.
- Also, on the health and safety front, trimming and deburring are often responsible for repetitive strain injuries, (including “vibration white finger”) so automation reduces that risk.
However, for many manufacturers, the biggest single benefit from using robots for cutting, trimming, and machining is the ability to overcome a skills shortage. These jobs often have a high turnover, yet it takes time to develop the necessary skills. For companies who want to keep growing, robotic material removal is the way to go.
Choose Vertex Automation for Your Robotic Material Removal Needs
Vertex Automation provides our customers with a single-source solution for all their robotic material removal needs, for shorter lead times and reduced operating costs. We work with customers across many industries, including telecommunications, military and defense, construction, agriculture, hospitality, media, and more.
Using robots for routine tasks enables you to speed up your production cycle, ensuring products are shipped and delivered to your customers at a fraction of the time it would take you with a non-robotic process.
We also provide exceptional customer service to offer solutions for all your business needs.
For more information about our services or to request a quote, contact us today.