One of the sticking points you will likely run into is how do you know what you need? Finishing is what we know so we are going to stay on that branch of machines here. Many of the general concepts will apply to all manner of machine but finishing is the topic here.
The stroke sander is one of the machines that some may not have ever even seen before. Then there are some that will have seen one in the past but were not sure what it was for. Lets dip into what a stroke sander is and what its for. I will just touch the high points to give a general feel for the machine. Never hesitate to ask questions as its the best way to learn more.
As is the case in every market and business costs are key. Doing more with less or getting as much as possible from the resources you have are always important things to look at. When manufacturing is the market in question it can mean many things. So lets look at some of them.
There are many reasons to look into automation. The list of reasons can be endless but I want to touch on a few of the more common. My goal is to answer some of the questions many have but do not know who to ask or have faith they will get honest answers. These are just some of the more common ones and by no means a full list. If you have your own questions as always please feel free to ask and I am happy to answer.
Just about every market can find benefit in process automation. From labor reduction to improving the total time in production there is value in the automation. For some it is the need to improve part to part consistency or just the basic improvement in the over all finished product.
From detailed sanding tasks to simple weld removal robotics have a place in finishing. We will take a look at an enclosure application and touch on some of the main points that the company was looking for and how we got there. As always I respect the privacy of the people I work with and to that I will not share more than the company involved approved. So I can not show the final system in detail but can give a good idea of it in general.
I received so many really good questions I thought it may be helpful to share some with the answer to help others that may be faced with the same questions or problems. I am going to try and not go too deep and keep it easy to understand. Be aware the dynamics of each situation and the parts will be different. Keep sending me those questions as I enjoy good questions.
Working with an extrusion is one of the things that seems easy but the devil is in the details. Its a product where the final finish can make or break its acceptance. In some cases it can be as difficult or more than mirror polishing. As you tend to see the grain finish through the top coating on an extrusion the margin for error is much smaller. If the finish is not even or straight it will at minimum mean rework or possibly rejection. When you apply the grain you have to be careful not to over round any profile and go just the right depth with the grain. Too shallow and the top coat fills it in and it vanishes, but too deep and coating ends up thin in places and the grain is too pronounced. With the cost and headaches involved with top coating extrusions rework and rejection need to be avoided.