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Robot Machining Developments

19 Apr 2012

Using Industrial robot technology to carry out machining, could save 30% in comparison to machine tools, while offering greater workshop flexibility. The principle is for a rotating cutting tool to be held in a spindle at a fixed location, while a robot moves the component over the tool. For large components, the work piece is held stationary while the cutting tool is moved over it by the robot.

Currently, robots lack the positioning accuracy of machine tools, and they are prone to disturbances from process forces. Also, robots do not have adequate software for programming and simulation, so the correct machining process cannot be ensured throughout production.

A group of 14 European companies from 8 countries, co-ordinated by the UK's Delcam, are collaborating in a project called COMET, to overcome these problems. Started in September 2010, the 30-month project is well into the second year of its efforts to develop technologies that will achieve an absolute machining accuracy of 50 microns from a robot based machining system. For more details on its progress, follow this link.