Robotics & Automation News

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Mirka launches project to develop robotic surface finish solution for industrial customers

Surface finishing technology company Mirka has launched what it says is the world’s first patent pending Automated Industrial Programme to develop robotic orbital sanding systems.

The initiative is being launched globally by Mirka in April 2020, and is spearheaded by the Mirka Airos.

The aim is to build an “innovative, electric Automated Industrial Random Orbital Sander”, which integrates with manufacturers’ robotic systems to carry out intensive, high work load sanding, where precision and minimal maintenance is critical.

Mirka says the launch of its Automated Industrial Programme marks years of development in partnership with major vehicle manufacturers in the automotive and transport industries.

They requested the abrasive specialist’s assistance in evolving its technology to provide a more advanced electric sanding head that is optimised for robots being used in a variety of applications such as the manufacture of vehicles and tier 1 components and is currently being piloted by a range of industry sectors.​

The Mirka Automated Industrial Programme comprises the hardware and consumables required to provide a robotic solution for customers, including the Airos dedicated sanding head and a wide range of abrasives, enhanced by 75 years of Mirka’s technical knowledge, research and development and experience in the abrasives industry.

Mats Bystedt, portfolio manager at Mirka, says: “We are seeing the increasing usage of robots for improving cost-effective production.

“Our advanced Automated Industrial Programme can be integrated into the two different categories of robot – from the simple to programme and growing cobot collaborative robot to the more industrial robot models – and installed very easily, without requiring special tooling, to provide total control over the RPM and steering, which is not possible with the pneumatic tools usually used leading to ‘over sanding’ in sensitive areas.

“Our solution ensures measurement and precision are paramount, providing consistent quality and process optimisation.”

Bystedt adds: “Airos is the only specially designed, most compact, lightweight sanding head available on the market that can cater for virtually all robotic systems.

“The pilot customers we have developed this programme with have also said that it requires far less maintenance and replacement parts than previous products they were using.

“They are also impressed with the way the Mirka team integrates into the whole process in the factory, from the very early stages of the project setting up the parameters, to problem solving and final fine tuning of the sanding process.”

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