The robotic machine system, RAP can be designed for precision polishing of curved surfaces and/or free-form shapes (3D), which are represented in the manifold of different parts.
The workpiece is fixed and positioned in a clamping station which could be an indexing and angle-adjusted table, while the polishing tool is fixed to the robot arm and directed to the targeted surface of the workpiece. The workpiece can be a tool for metal forming or injection molding but is also applicable for other types of workpieces. The workpiece can be of tool steel, tungsten carbide, or other materials which may be subject to individual confirmation.
Process programming of the RAP machine for 3D polishing of curved and free-form surfaces is based on a CAD file (STEP), and then subject to CAM programming and robot compiling before setting the specific polishing process parameters: Robot feed speed, speed of the polishing tool, contact force to the workpiece, contact angle of the polishing tool to the surface of the workpiece, and number of polishing passes of each defined segment of the workpiece subject for precision polishing.
The robot polishing process can be programmed with classic oscillating tools, rotating spindle tools, and simple, stationary polishing sticks but STRECON has also developed a new type of oscillating polishing tool with a “nodding, ball-shaped” polishing head.
3D surface polishing can be performed by different stones, brass, acrylics, wood as well as compound materials and felt combined with oil and/or diamond paste. In short, the robotic polishing process can be compared with manual polishing.
As recognized with manual polishing, the incoming surface quality of the workpiece has an impact on the polishing process and time required. When optimizing the interface and dependency of the pre-machining process of the workpiece with robot polishing, a surface finish of Ra 0,01-0,02 µm and Rz less than 0,1 µm is achievable in a consistent and repetitive manner, and principally irrespective of the machine operator and production batch.
Further information about RAP can be found under the technology section here.
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