I get a constant flow of questions and in an effort to spread the info to those who may be curious about the same I am going to share a few more here.
Can you sand and polish in the same machine?
Yes but also no. Its a case more of should you vs can you. Mechanically speaking you 100% can do both in one machine. The issue is one of part quality. The sanding debris created has a strong likelihood of contaminating your polishing causing defects and a reduced finish. If you need part quality your best is to separate the processes.
Robot or CNC?
In a very general sense, robots for sanding and CNC for polishing. There is some crossing of the streams here where the answer can fluctuate but this would be a good general guide.
Can a robot do this part?
I could probably get a robot to make a sandwich as I have seen them make an omelet on demand. That is one of the things that makes robots great, you have so many axis not to mention animated fixtures there is little that is just not possible.
Whats easier to program robot or CNC?
Again in a general sense a CNC is more simple than a robot. The CNC will most likely have fewer axis to deal with making the programming less over all. Robots are nothing to fear and are not near as complex as they once were.
I don't know where to start.
Look around for your problem parts or areas. What are your bottlenecks? Where is your rework coming from? Where is you scrap coming from? Where is the labor drain? Start there.
I am going to include a couple I find important:
Don't go in with blinders on. Look around for other parts that need like processes. Bringing more parts to the new process helps the ROI as well as getting you the most benefit
Ask questions and at every step. Being involved and understanding the process is incredibly valuable. No one is going to know your parts like you do so sharing that knowledge is going to be a great help.
Be aware of your needs vs your wants. The 80/20 rule applies to just about every process. If a solution covers 80% of the work you have then you need to weigh the cost of getting the last 20%. If you do a given part a few times a year it may not be worth the cost to bring it into a machine. The sky is 100% the limit but the ticket to get up to the very top can be expensive.
Keep asking your questions and I will do my best to get you answers. These are just a few of the more common questions and I hope there was something useful. If you have an application or a part that is driving you nuts I am happy to help so please feel free to reach out.