“ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A TRADITIONAL DEBURRING MACHINE”
TODAY I AM GOING TO TELL A STORY,
A TRUE STORY, AN OLD STORY,
A STORY OF SUCCESS.
Paolo had a traditional deburring machine.
He had a machine with a robot that released pieces through the grinding belts and made some operations with a small milling tool (the ones we all call all milling cutter).
He used to wake up early every morning to start his machine. The robot made all the operations it could and Paolo and a colleague performed all the other operations.
When one of the two had to move away for a moment the production fell drastically.
Paul phoned me at that time: “We need to find a solution together, manual work is too much. My margins are reduced year after year”
So we sat together and analysed all his problems and needs.
Paolo needed to make the robot autonomous, he needed to install new machines that did not need skilled labour.
We started looking for a solution. We could buy several standard tools on the market…
BUT THERE WAS
There were no tools on the market that could satisfy our need to make the robot autonomous and independent. This because:
– standard tools are not quite versatile and complete and the tools that are on the market are only useful for milling.
– standard tools are not strong enough. Our machines are made to work in foundry environments and standard tools on the market are small and delicate.
– There is no unit to use these tools. On the market, there are racks to hang the tools. If you have to change the tool for retooling you need to remove one and place another. Retooling also implies hours of programming and with the tools hanging on this rack, the robot while working on a tool collides on the other.
I remember well when we were studying the issue. At one point, during a meeting, I stood up and exclaimed:
“LIKE THIS IT ALL WRONG,
THE SITUATION IS VERY SERIUS!”
Maybe someone can live with these limitations and problems in production but if you want the machines to make you earn you should solve all your problems, and I think this was not happening for you or Paolo.
We started to study a range of specialised and specific tools, building in detail:
- filing machine
- compact belts
- curing belt
- threading machines
BUT THE TOOLS
WERE NOT ENOUGH!
We needed a unit that could mount these tools so we designed what we call REVOLVER TOWER, where the unit allows mounting 4 independent tools on a rotating element. The robot is programmed to turn the turret so that the tool needed for the processing is always in front; while operating, the other tools are not in the way.
BUT THIS SOLUTION WAS
NOT THE RIGHT ONE YET!
We needed a compensation system, where the tools cannot be mounted on a rigid support but must be able to follow the piece. If they are rigid, it is not possible to compensate the differences existing between a particular to be deburred and the other. So with no compensation it is not possible to work accurately and not all pieces are compliant.
So we developed an incomparable compensation system with others and with performance that nobody has been able to equal as of today. Through the robot program, it is possible to set the workforce between the workpiece and tool. You can work in any direction with the tool and always have the same compensation. When the robot does not work with the tool, the compensation system brings it back to the central neutral position.
BUT THIS WAS
We needed a quick-change system. Paul could not throw time away to retool the car, so we equipped the tools with a quick-change system. Each tool engages on the turret through a quick device: with the 180- degree rotation of only one pin, the tool unblocks and relocks with the same rotation in the opposite direction.
Once we found all these solutions, we presented them to Paolo, and with him, we developed all these points by solving many manufacturing problems. Today Paolo has installed several machines in his company, waking up early every morning, but the situation has changed: he does not spend more time working in the robot’s place and his margins have increased considerably.