Minimizing the Melt - Robot Plastic Deburring


No material is excluded from the possibility of burrs, but plastics give deburring tools a run for their money.  Plastics present quite a challenge when deburring because of chip re-welding. The high temperatures associated with deburring can promote the removed chip to melt and weld itself to the cutter or work piece if the cutter is dull or if the spindle speeds and/or feeds are not correct. Therefore, the feed rate of a deburring tool will usually be higher when deburring plastics to minimize this phenomenon.

Plastics also have a tendency to shrink as they cool after they have been blow molded.  As the plastic is shrinking and cooling, cuts might have to be made in the part with edges needing to be deburred. Robots could not offer a simple solution to the dilemma of plastic deburring, since they are programmed to cut along a path, not allowing for adjustments due to the shrinking of the material. 

Roboter Technologie devised a solution: a float-mounted unit accommodating various blades, such as straight, concave, and convex cutters. As long as the blade maintains the proper cutting angle and constant pressure, the unit can remove burrs. 

KUKA partnered with Roboter Technologie and offered their KUKA KR 15 robot for the job.  This robot can cut and deburr in a single operation while adjusting to the inevitable shrinkage of the plastic material. As soon as the part is positioned, the robot begins to cut and deburr; the part can be rotated as necessary so the robot can work on every side.  

This system and robot collaboration ensures cost-effectiveness, since time is saved and quality is enhanced. Further, humans no longer have to put themselves at risk or in a high-stress situation. 

RobotWorx is an authorized integrator of KUKA, along with FANUCABBUniversal Robots, and Motoman. If you would like to learn more on how to incorporate a plastic deburring robot, contact us today online or call 740-251-4312.

Get our newsletter | Stay on top of the latest news