First steps towards cobotised sanding and deburring

The beginning of 2021 saw the official start of the COBOFIN project, which is focused on the cobotised sanding and deburring of workpieces. Here is our first brief overview of the state of affairs within this project.

The COBOFIN project aims to accelerate the introduction of collaborative robots - as assistants working alongside an experienced operator - for the automated sanding and deburring of small series. This allows companies to make these processes more competitive and pleasant as well as conducive to higher quality.

The project aims at concrete, practical results such as overview publications, pilot set-ups, decision tools, hands-on workshops, training courses, a step-by-step plan and guidelines so that the companies themselves can start using the project results.

Sanding and deburring: looking for your challenges!

In the project, we will use a number of generic cases to assess the technical and economic feasibility of cobotised sanding and deburring. To cover as many aspects as possible, we have already started visiting companies that want to automate sanding and deburring. This stage aims to map out and combine all the challenges in order to determine what the research should focus on. About ten visits have already been planned. 

Do you have any specific challenges in sanding and deburring that you would like to share with us so we could include them in the study? Then don’t hesitate to contact us! 

Mapping-out technological developments in cobots

An experienced sanding and deburring operator often works by intuition. For a cobot to be able to take over some of these steps, this functionality must therefore be added. Force feedback sensors may offer a solution here. We are already busy investigating the latest technological developments in this area. In addition, the market is being explored for the latest generation of cobots. The focus is mainly on cobots with a greater reach and payload, as a cobot will often need this if it is to be able to assist in the post-treatment of workpieces.

Our goal is to make a thorough analysis and use this as a basis for choosing a new investment, which will then be used during the project for the research and development of a demonstrator that can provide inspiration.

Low-level programming

Given the smaller series and the greater variation, sufficient attention must be given to making the cobot simple to program. A number of interesting software applications have recently come on the market (Artiminds, RoboDK, Roxy, Octopuz, etc.) that allow robot programs to be generated with limited effort. Its usability for sanding and deburring is being investigated in the COBOFIN project. The first tests have already started, and in a subsequent update we will give you a deeper (technical) insight into its possibilities. 

Would you like to know more or do you have a question? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts!