Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

OnRobot launches robotic sanding system

OnRobot has launched OnRobot Sander, an all-electric random orbital sander for automated finishing applications, including sanding and polishing.

Traditional sanding automation solutions often require a background in robotics to implement and maintain. With the launch of OnRobot Sander, manufacturers now have access to a complete out-of-the-box sanding tool that’s easy to use with all major collaborative and lightweight industrial robots.

The complete Sander package incorporates everything OnRobot customers need to get their sanding application started quickly and easily: a plug-and-play sanding tool, a variety of standard sanding and polishing pads, easy-to-use programming software, an optional force/ torque sensor and a Grit Changer that enables automated switching between different sanding grits without operator intervention.

Taking usability a step further

Programming simple surface finishing applications on Sander is easy thanks to the intuitive built-in software. But OnRobot takes usability a step further with the addition of a “Save Position” button on the tool that allows users to set waypoints manually without using the robot’s teach pendant.

The Sander software comes with different path planning options – handguide, shape and points, and allows users to adjust rotation speed, optimising cycle time and consistency.

Enrico Krog Iversen, CEO of OnRobot: “OnRobot is committed to providing small and medium-size businesses with affordable, application-centered solutions that are easy to set up and maintain.

“OnRobot Sander is a versatile sanding tool that provides all the features and benefits our customers expect of automated sanding technology, but without all the hassle and cost traditionally associated with automated sanding tools.”

OnRobot Sander supports flat, curved and uneven part geometries and comes with replaceable standard pads that can be used on a wide range of materials. Adding a force / torque sensor enables the sander to adapt to surface variations or part misalignment, while improving consistency and quality and reducing scrap rate.

All of the advanced features of the OnRobot Sander are supported on Universal Robots cobots, but the tool is easily integrated with any major robot brand.

Significant cost savings compared to pneumatic sanders

Sander is a lightweight (1.2 kg (2.64lb), with pad] solution that combines the power of its brushless electric motor power (up to 10,000 RPM) with operating costs as little as 5 percent of that of pneumatic sanding systems.

Traditional pneumatic sanding machines use external air compressors, which are very expensive and prone to leaks. Meanwhile, Sander’s brushless electric motor is durable and reliable with a lifespan equal to or greater than that of competing pneumatic systems.

“OnRobot is committed to democratising automation, product by product and application by application, by making ready-to-go solutions available to companies that are completely new to automation. We take the cost and complexity associated with automation away, leaving our customers with the all-important functionality they need to get the work done,” explains Iversen.

Sander provides safer work environment

Sanding is often dirty and dangerous work that carries a range of potential health risks for workers, from the debilitating ‘white-finger syndrome’ caused by high vibration hand tools to lung damage caused by particulate matter.

OnRobot Sander eliminates these risks and uses 3M clean sandpaper discs, which allow more dust to be extracted, thereby ensuring a safer environment for workers compared to competing systems.

“At OnRobot we’re seeing increased interest from companies that are completely new to robotics but are looking for ways to supplement existing labour through automation. These companies are looking for simple, user-friendly solutions, like OnRobot Sander, that can be easily deployed on a wide variety of tasks within each application domain,” says the OnRobot CEO.

Robotic finishing market to grow across Asia

In 2016, the global robotic cutting, deburring and finishing (CDF) market was valued at about $500 million. This is expected to reach $1.3 billion by 2024, with CDF robots predicted to grow at a CAGR of 20 percent between 2017 and 2024, accounting for more than 50,000 units.

Asia sees high demand, with CDF applications in various industries such as automotive, metals, electronics, chemicals, plastics, furniture and wood. Rising need for precision, quality output and speedier production is expected to increase the region’s adoption rate.

James Taylor, general manager, APAC at OnRobot, said: “The OnRobot Sander furthers our drive for continuous innovation, expanding the possibility of robotic automation. It also cements our commitment to help local manufacturers embrace robotic automation easily, while enjoying quicker returns through our growing range of no-fuss, application-centred automation solutions.”

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