What's new
What's new

Looking for Source for sanding end effector for cobot

serview

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Location
NJ
Hi folks,
Does anyone have sources for good sanders can be used with cobots, or something we could adapt with a bit of add on design and custom mounts is ok too.

I am starting to integrate cobots into our shop, one of the simplest jobs to start with for us is sanding/graining 6ft long Al bar stock. This is a warmup to full machine tending and other automation projects. This is a tedious job and a button push would be nice than a sore back for whoever does this for hours.

We use manual belt sanders and disk sanders now. I am thinking of using our Pierson vacuum table to hold the part down, but need a simple electric or pneumatic air sander. I would like to get both belt and disk and try both The ones I see from the robot end effector companies are expensive, and I think a simple relay output or solenoid valve for on/off is all that is needed. I could get one of the expensive ones, but prefer to use the resources on higher value end effectors and vises for other cobot tasks.

I am thinking this should be a simple thing, but am on the hunt now to buy something off the shelf, or possibly modify a good hand held unit along with 3d printed adapter parts for brackets to mount to the color. We just got a Prusa 3D printer and it is better than I expected.

I have universal UR10e and a Doosan M series cobot.

Any sources for good sanders for this would be appreciated,

Thanks
Steve
 

Milland

Diamond
Joined
Jul 6, 2006
Location
Hillsboro, New Hampshire
Make sure you get a good "sock" or whatever to go over and protect the arm/joints from dust, as well as have a good collector to handle particles. If belt loading becomes an issue a water mister or equivalent may help, or consult with Norton/whoever on grit coatings.
 

Comatose

Titanium
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Location
Akron, OH
With the mirka, or with something else and a little more work, you can sense the current the motor is drawing, and feed that back to the robot if you need to.

All that being said, the mirka head is gonna cost five grand or so, and the cobot another thirty. If the only goal is to sand and grain bar stock, why not just spend the five grand on a little wide belt sander? I have this guy which costs $6700 all up, and will absolutely murder anything you can do with a robot, throughput wise.

 

serview

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Location
NJ
With the mirka, or with something else and a little more work, you can sense the current the motor is drawing, and feed that back to the robot if you need to.

All that being said, the mirka head is gonna cost five grand or so, and the cobot another thirty. If the only goal is to sand and grain bar stock, why not just spend the five grand on a little wide belt sander? I have this guy which costs $6700 all up, and will absolutely murder anything you can do with a robot, throughput wise.

Hi, thanks for the pricing, I agree with your points, I do outsource the sanding sometimes to a local shop with a time-saver like what you show. I am looking for a sub $1000 sanding attachment for the cobot. I don't wish to tie up floor space or spend the $ on a wide sander as our volume is low but repeats. The wide sanding machine you list is clearly better for speed. I am trying to work the cobot into our shop for a range of tasks, #1 is machine tending and this is being worked on now we are getting vises, grippers, valves, software configuration, etc so we are developing the more sophisticated systems. The sanding is a quick learning task.

I am an integrator with my own cnc shop so developing a range of tasks for the cobot makes sense for us as we sell technology, service and engineered systems to larger local shops and global mfg companies. We specialize in machine vision and are adding robotics to our bag of tricks so we are at the learning phase for cobots. The sanding is just a quick project and if we use a cobot we don't tie up floor space once the job is done as the cobot will move to its next task.

I do appreciate the input and your points are appreciated, I will keep the sander in mind and we might get it when the robots are fully utilized on high value tasks, they were not purchased just for sanding this is just a quick learning project.

Our main focus for the cobot is integration to our fanuc OiMF controlled Doosan dn solutions dnm5700 VMC for machine tending lights out manufacturing, and offering this to local clients as well. I will share info on this in another thread.
Thanks
Steve
 

Strostkovy

Stainless
Joined
Oct 29, 2017
I would be interested in seeing what you are sanding and the desired surface finish, because a robot doesn't seem quite right here. I would expect a conveyer or feed roller setup pushing through abrasive wheels
 

serview

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Location
NJ
Thanks for your input,
In this case
We are sanding Al bar stock 2"x0.375"x6ft as an example for about 50 pcs at a time top and bottom. We do other Al square and flat bar sizes as well.

We like to lightly grain both sides for flat bar, and all sides for sqare before cutting stock to machine
Grit ranges 80 to 120
We were shown to lightly grain before machining this works for us. This puts a light directional grain in the long axis, and we don't have issues doing it manually, we just want to switch the manual belt sander to a robot.
We tumble after machining and then clear anodize
This part only gets machined on the perimeter, so we wish to put a grained surface on top and bottom as this will not get machined in this case.

We have done this for years manually with a hand held belt sander, so I think the robot can do it as well. We could attach the same belt sander to the robot I am looking for a solution similar to this that might be off the shelf and reasonable cost.

We only do this sanding when the mill surface is the final surface, when we machine all surfaces we don't do this,

I will post some pics of the stock before and after sanding and of the finished parts.

Thanks Steve
 

Strostkovy

Stainless
Joined
Oct 29, 2017
For all square and flatbar I'd just run it through a belt sander intended for graining aluminum. Any reputable manufacturer, such as TimeSaver will gladly quote the correct machine for your application. There are also brush type machines depending on the finish you desire.
 

serview

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Location
NJ
HI Strostkovy, I agree your method is better than a cobot for speed an efficientcy
Thanks for the input
We do also brush to finish after machining in the VMC when possible, but we dont have 6 ft travel in our machine

In general, I am looking for ways to use the Cobots in the shop
they are pretty easy to program and I was hoping sanding would be a good thing
I will keep looking at this, and probably have a Timesaver in our future as well
Thanks to everyone who gave input, it seems unanimous for the timesaver type machine, I do want one, just didnt want to spend the $$ and tie up the floor space
but I can do it, I will think more about it, good input everyone THANKS
 

nscele

Aluminum
Joined
May 30, 2007
Location
Australia Qld
Staying with the cobot method, if you cut the stock to the required size before the sanding it means you don't need to be so careful with the subsequent handling.
Do all the cutting and machining operations first so as to use the cobot to handle small pieces against a stationery belt sander .
Also only working on the area that needs sanding.
I can imagine the sanders that handle full lengths or sheets need an infeed and outfeed close to the same size as the stock.
 

Orange Vise

Stainless
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Location
California
I've only seen cobots with random orbit sanders.

Graining requires a belt sander and will "pull" on the cobot, possibly causing it to alarm out (false collision/interference detection) and subsequently damage your workpiece as the sander dwells in one location.

Edit: I spoke too soon:

 
Last edited:

garyhlucas

Stainless
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Location
New Jersey
I'd look at a flap wheel. A flap wheel will provide the same kind of finish as a belt if the feed rate is constant, where the robot might shine. The wheel is compliant so no need for a soft mount to the robot. A brushless motor would be best because of lightweight and speed control. Or if you have a lot shop air use an air motor which is even lighter.
 








 
Top