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Case Study

Robotic Deburring Case Study

A manufacturer of industrial power generation systems asked KC Robotics to take over the development and integration of a robotic deburring system for large steel, stainless steel, and high nickel alloy machined castings. The customer’s engineering group was struggling to maintain the required performance with their current process.

Project Challenges

  • Develop a tooling strategy to secure and locate a large catalogue of parts ranging in sizes from: 200mm to 1200mm in diameter, 350mm to 1,500mm long, weighing around 350kg.
  • Utilize the Yaskawa MH50 robot DX200 controller and as much of the customer’s original system as possible to reduce costs.
  • Design and build an automation deburring process and tooling with compliance that can accommodate the large parts and various machined shapes and surfaces without altering the geometry of any machined shape or surface.
  • Integrate a bar code scanner to identify parts and serial numbers to call up the appropriate program and report the stage and location of a specific part to the company ERP.
  • Provide an effective Offline Programming solution so the customer can quickly develop and deploy new parts and programs.

KC Robotics Solution

  • Integrate a servo turntable positioner to the customer supplied robot
  • Designed and built a cell controls package that interfaced the robot, spindle and other functionality of the system and reported the status of the specific parts being run to the customer ERP.
    •  A user friendly HMI, allowed the operator to control and monitor the system.
    • Barcode scanner to input part data, such as part number and serial number into the system for program selection and reporting.
  • Developed a process utilizing carbide impregnated bristled brushes of various sizes and shapes to deburr the machined surfaces and features without changing their geometry.
    • The brushes also gave us enough compliance to account for many part variations withing part families.
  • Worked with KC Robotics partner PushCorp.  to supply an appropriate high torque low RPM servo spindle for the end of arm tooling.
    • Integrated an EOAT mounted CMOS laser measurement sensor to probe the part and determine the actual rotational position (Clocking) and its concentricity on the turntable positioner.   
    • Provide automatic tool rack for the various media sizes and shapes used.
  • Design the cell for safe and easy part reloading.
  • Developed all the part programs required for the launch on Robotmaster offline programming software
  • Provided the customer with a seat of Robotmaster and provided training on the software.
  • Provide customer with full documentation package and engineering models needed for offline programming.
  • A large precision 3-jaw chuck was installed on the positioner for part holding

Results

  • KC Robotics developed, built and tested the system in our West Chester, Ohio facility.
  • After jointly validating and testing the system, the customer was pleasantly surprised that the system and process had more capability than they expected.
  • Cycle time for the robotic deburring system was significantly less than what they anticipated when developing their business case.
  • The new deburring process provided flexibility that allowed the customer to significantly expand the types of parts they could deburr on the system, beyond their expectations.
  • The robotic system allowed the customer to reallocate three full time machinists from deburring these parts to other places in production where their skill could be utilized more effectively.