As a change of pace I thought I would share an installation that started this week.
Often when I am asked about polishing I find that there are some basics that folks are not aware of. As with all things every one will have their own way and I am no different. Some people will spend 5 years polishing pipe and find a way that works great due to the volume and time they invest. I tend to touch all manner of items so my experience tends to be more varied. I do not offer this as the carved in stone rule but rather the results of that varied experience over many years and parts.
I often get the question of what can you automate. So I will give a few examples here of things you can as well as a few basic tips.
Here we will look at an application where fabricated sinks, counters and other trim parts were finished with a robotic cell. The parts were long term items the company produces where a reduction in labor and an increase in volume were needed. Both were had with a single robot with a tool changer. The ability to grind the weld then shift to blending the finish are one of the reasons robots work so well. It is not a matter of one aspect getting addressed but rather the entire process.
When you start to look into automation be it a finishing application, welding or any number of other processes labor tends to be at the top of the list. There are some things you should keep in mind as you go through the process.
In some cases it comes down to "I don't know where to start" and that is what I want to touch on just a bit. Every case will have its own unique aspects but in a general sense the steps are much the same.
I had a few good questions sent to me on the last entry so I am going to give a bit of detail on one application to better show the process.
I thought I would share some more of the questions I get and the answers to them. Keeping in mind each application is different some of the general ideas are universal. I welcome your questions so please feel free to ask any you have no matter how simple or complex.
A question I get often is robot vs CNC for finishing work. While there is not a clear yes or no type answer there are a few points that can help to guide the person faced with the question.
Many times we all make assumptions based on our own knowledge. This can be a very deep conversation that gets into human nature and any number of other points. But I am noting that just because you know something is no indication others do. With that thought in mind I want to go back to the basics to help every one have a good foundation to build from.