Polishing with Speed and Consistency – Motoman Robots


Polishing is a finishing process that is performed after material removal processes to even out the surface of the part or product. Manufacturers are switching to automated polishing robots, like those available through Motoman Robotics, to improve the polishing process. Motoman has developed a line of robots that are able to perform the polishing process with the speed and consistency to keep manufacturers competitive in the constantly changing marketplace.

While human workers are able to polish parts, the rapidly changing requirements and needs of the metal finishing industry is not served well by manual applications. According to an article in the International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, the ratio of the finishing process time to the whole process time is increased, as well as having an increase in the demand for surface quality. This renders manual polishing almost obsolete, especially in companies that run higher volumes. Robotic polishing, like the applications performed by Motoman robots, has a higher level of flexibility and a lower cost overall.

Motoman robotic polisher delivers consistent polishing over the entire part, leaving the part with a gleaming, even finish, which improves the overall aesthetic of the part. With a Motoman robot polishing system, speed is also consistent, and more parts can be polished successfully in a day, without having to sacrifice their quality. This allows manufacturers to finish part orders more quickly and expand their business over time. Also, manufacturers are able to combine up to four robots in a workcell, two manipulating parts and two polishing parts, for ultimate flexibility and speed.

Engineers have performed studies to prove the effectiveness of robotic polishing vs CNC polishing, and they chose a Motoman polishing robot to perform the study. The Motoman SV3 robot was used during the study, along with an XRC controller. With the CAD design and a trajectory generator, the Motoman SV3 polishing robot was able to perform an effective polishing application without the need for a complicated teaching process, making it more user-friendly, another benefit for customers.

Also, polishing and finishing applications can frequently have smaller parts, which can be hard to handle. Motoman has a wide variety of polishing end-of-arm tooling that can polish anything from a large car work piece to the smallest of work pieces for the electronics industry. Motoman also offers a MotoGrind robot grinding and polishing turnkey system that allows for more consistent polishing of parts that have complicated shapes. This system incorporates a laser scanner and specialized Motoman software into the application process to get an even polish on the more complex parts.

Many Motoman polishing robots can also be used for grinding and other material removal processes. In the video above, a Motoman grinding and polishing robot is mounted on a linear servo track to move it the length of the part, and the system is equipped with an automatic tool changer so the robot can swap out grinding tooling for polishing tooling, another way to improve the flexibility of your system.

Motoman recommends the MH series of robots for polishing applications, because of their high level of performance and durability. This fast moving series of robots, which features the MH215 and MH50, are built with high-durability drive units and high moment and inertia ratings, which allow them to glide smoothly through their application.

Are you interested in learning more about Motoman polishing robots or not sure what type of polishing applicator or tooling is right for your product or robot?  The RobotWorx staff will work with you to help  select the right robot system, tooling or applicator for your project.

For more information, contact RobotWorx today online or at 740-251-4312.

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