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New level of flexibility for robotic finishing

Posted on 02 Sep 2020 and read 749 times
New level of flexibility for robotic finishingA popular introduction from Bedfordshire-based RARUK Automation last year was the Robotiq Finishing Kit, an-easy-to-integrate solution that allows any Universal Robot to be used for finishing wood, plastics, metals, fibreglass, carbon fibre and solid surfaces.

Now, the latest generation of this kit comes complete with Finishing Copilot software; with a weaving motion and variable trajectory planning, a cobot can adjust its own path, which means a Universal Robot can finish a family of parts without the operator having to adapt the program.

Copilot’s path generator saves hours of programming time, as it allows the user to teach a finishing path on a flat surface from only four variable waypoints that adjust to the part’s size and allow custom weaving movements to be easily added. Indeed, complex finishing trajectories can be programmed by teaching fewer than 10 waypoints.

Finishing Copilot then generates a complete path and applies a consistent force at each cycle, whether it is on a curved or spherical surface, with six or nine waypoints respectively.

The contact offset node uses reference points on the part to validate its position. If there is any change, the Universal Robot program automatically adapts all related parameters.

This latest development will particularly benefit manufacturers whose production methods include finishing, sanding and polishing. The kit also allows operators to use their preferred orbital tool, as it is compatible with around 20 devices from leading brands.

Complementing this application-specific development is the latest Universal Robots PolyScope software release, which includes new features such as Direct Software Update and Constrained Freedrive.

The latter enhances flexibility, making alignment and positioning easier; it also includes improved support for fixed position waypoint program nodes for applications such as sanding.