Treatment of targeted surface areas on high-value components
Topic of the month
In today’s manufacturing environment the quality standards for deburring, edge radiusing, surface grinding, surface smoothing and polishing of precision components is extremely high.
Of course, a competitive market demands that these standards be met at the lowest possible costs. This balancing act between high quality and low costs can be easily achieved with Rösler’s innovative surf finishing technology.
The Surf-Finisher is equipped with 2 robots working in tandem © Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH
The utilization of robots allows for fully automatic handling without the work pieces ever touching each other. Surf finishing technology also allows for all-around treatment of the work pieces as well as the targeted finishing of specific work piece areas.
In many high-tech industrial sectors like automotive, aerospace, medical engineering, equipment manufacturing and the tooling industry, the surface finish of complex precision components must meet stringent quality specifications, be it for deburring, surface smoothness or luster. To date such ambitious results could only be achieved through costly and unreliable manual treatment, with relatively high reject rates or expensive automation concepts.
However, both approaches are lacking in cost efficiency and competitiveness. The Rösler Surf Finishing system, which can be run in dry or wet mode, offers the perfect solution for these demanding applications, while offering the significant advantage that throughout the entire process the work pieces never touch each other.
Robot ensures effective work piece handling
Derived from the proven drag finishing concept, this new and innovative mass finishing system uses one or multiple 6-axis buckling-arm robot(s) for handling the work pieces. Equipped with a custom designed gripper the robot picks up one or several work piece(s) from the staging area and dips it (them) into a rotating processing bowl filled with a grinding media which is specially selected for this finishing application.
During the process the robot guides the gripper through the media with pre-programmed movements. It can immerse the work pieces at different angles, while at the same time rotating them or keeping them stationary. Depending on the finishing task, this total freedom of movement allows the work pieces to “surf” through the processing bowl exposing either the complete surface or only specific surface areas to the media.
This allows for the selective finishing of targeted work piece sections. Depending on the dimensions of the processing bowl and the work piece size, the Surf-Finisher can be equipped with up to three robots.
The intensive finishing process guarantees short cycle times
During the deburring, edge radiusing or surface grinding process the processing bowl rotates at a pre-programmed speed of up to 80 RPM. The bowl rotation, combined with the robotic movement, creates an exceptionally high pressure between work pieces and grinding medium. This produces perfect and absolutely repeatable finishing results in comparatively low cycle times. After completion of the process the robot guides the finished work piece(s) past a rinse cleaning station before placing them in a defined position onto the next staging area.
Many applications - from intensive deburring to high gloss polishing
The possibility to store different treatment programs in the control panel makes surf finishing technology highly flexible. The combination of different processing media and processing modes (dry or wet), along with the rotational speed of the processing bowl, the movement of the robots and the immersion angle, allows for a broad spectrum of applications. These applications range from aggressive deburring and edge radiusing, to intensive surface grinding and high gloss polishing, with surface readings as low as Ra = 0.04 µm (1.6 micro inches) – all while occurring in a fully automatic process and on specific, targeted surface areas.
Customer-specific designs perfectly integrated into manufacturing lines
Supplied with different processing bowl dimensions, the Surf-Finisher can be easily adapted to practically any customer requirements. For example, the processing bowl with a diameter of 1,800 mm (6 feet) offers sufficient space to process relatively large work pieces, like turbine components. While running in wet mode, the Surf-Finisher is equipped with an automatic compound and water dosing unit. Various systems for cleaning and recycling of the process water are also available.
Moreover, peripheral equipment like external transport systems and/or a rinse cleaning station can be easily incorporated. Through clearly defined interfaces the Surf-Finisher can be integrated into fully automated manufacturing lines without any difficulties. Characterized by its high process flexibility, wide range of applications and fully automatic operation with absolutely repeatable finishing results, Rösler Surf-Finishing Technology fulfills the most stringent surface quality requirements for precision components with a high degree of process stability and cost efficiency.
Editing: Frank Lindner
Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH, as a complete provider, is the market leader for the manufacture of vibratory finishing and blasting plants, varnishing and preserving systems, and procedures and technology for rational surface finishing (deburring, descaling, desanding, polishing, grinding...) of metals and other materials.
In addition to the German plants in Untermerzbach / Memmelsdorf and Bad Staffelstein / Hausen, also subsidiaries in Great Britain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Rumania, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, India, China and the USA belong to the Rösler – Group.