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Collaborative Robots in Polishing Application


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Polishing is the process of refining surfaces until they are smooth. The activity of polishing, buffing and even sanding is very tough since it requires delicate and specific touch. To get the desired results the application tends to be repetitive and demands consistency hence becoming tedious when done manually.

However, collaborative robots from Universal robots have made polishing much easier while ensuring quality results. The design of the cobots enables them to have a force control as part of their programming feature; this flexible solution allows automatic adjustment of the cobots’ position with the aim of achieving the desired force.

Below is a perfect case of how a company uses the collaborative robots from Universal Robots to conduct their polishing applications.

Polishing In Paradigm Electronics

Paradigm electronics is a Canadian manufacturing company that specializes in the making of high performance loud speakers and subwoofers. With a high demand for their products especially the ‘Midnight Cherry’ finish on a line of new speakers, the manufacturer was in need of skilled labor. In order to achieve the finish, multiple layers of lacquer are applied and between each layered application, one has to sand and buff repeatedly.

Unfortunately, the available labor was not enough even after the company had a one robotic cell with Cartesian type of robot that required safety guarding to protect the workers. Due to the safety precautions, the robot did not allow close interactions with the employees at all which was an inconvenience since the buffing application requires a keen observation and collaboration by the operator.  

To solve the problem, Paradigm acquired collaborative robots, which makes it possible for the workers and the cobot to work together in the same workspace. This allows the humans to check the progress and quality of the work done by the robot before the final polishing. The operator programs the robot to work with a specific force to achieve the desired results.

The collaborative robot proved to be the most suitable robot for the polishing application. It enabled the company increase its production by 50 percent by eliminating the bottlenecks, meeting the labor demand and at the same time improving the factory’s work environment. They are also considering acquiring other collaborative robots to help in paint spraying process in making of the speakers.

Benefits of Using Cobots in Polishing Applications

The use of cobots has great advantages, while Paradigm may have benefited in increasing their production output, there are other benefits when using the cobots to conduct polishing, buffing and sanding tasks. They include,

  • Easy to use and program

As seen in the case of Paradigm, the cobots are easy to set up and use. Workers can easily program them to conduct the required task and once done with the task, they can redeploy them to other workstations.

  • Safe and collaborative

Unlike the traditional robot such as the Cartesian robot cell previously used by paradigm electronics, cobots do not require complicated safety measure such as fencing them on the contrary they work alongside the human workers hence the name collaborative. Workers can then be able to monitor the quality of work output from the robots. It also helps in relieving the workers of the unfavorable and tiresome tasks involved in buffing and sanding.

  • Short payback period

Since the collaborative robots from Universal Robots are quite affordable, do not require specialized personnel to operate and  are labor intensive; they tend to minimize the companies expenses in production activities hence making them have a high return on investment (R.O.I) by having a short payback period. That is why it was possible for Paradigm to increase the production output by 50%, which also translated to an increase in their income.

Conclusion

It is evident that Universal Robots has provided a lasting solution to ensure polishing tasks are easier and faster while achieving the quality results required. To learn more on how you can benefit from cobots use even for small and mid-sized companies, visit this link https://www.universal-robots.com/ to get started.