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Aerobotix partners with FerRobotics to develop ‘first-of-its-kind’ end-of-arm-tool automated sander for flammable dust

Aerobotix and FerRobotics, two robotics companies based in the US and Austria respectively, have partnered to create what they say is the first Class II, Division 1 (C2D1) End of Arm Tool (EOAT) automated sander.

Meeting industry demand for a hazardous-environment solution that will achieve time and cost efficiencies, and enable much safer work environments, this special orbital sander – based on the industry-proven Active Orbital Kit (AOK) with patented Active Compliant Technology – lessens human involvement in hazardous tasks.

Each year, according to the International Labour Organization, tens of millions of workers globally are afflicted with silicosis, an incurable lung disease caused by crystalline silica dust inhalation, leading to thousands of deaths.

Many jobs in the aerospace and defense industries involve combustible, dangerous dust created by sanding. The invention of a force-compliant C2D1-rated automated sander, with integral dust collection, virtually eliminates the risk of occupationally acquired respiratory infections.

Josh Tuttle, business development manager at Aerobotix, says: “Aerobotix remains committed to improving safety in the aerospace and defense industries.

“As such, we’re proud to partner with FerRobotics on this important tool to help save lives and reduce lung disease in the workplace. The robotic orbital sander eliminates the need for human involvement in the sanding process and limits exposure to the hazardous substances created from sanding.”

In addition to putting human workers at risk of serious respiratory illness, C2D1 worksites produce combustible dust in the air that can be quickly ignited by an equipment malfunction or the improper use of rated equipment.

In a C2D1 environment, combustible dust of an electrically conductive nature might also be present, or dust might be emitted into the air continuously, intermittently or periodically.

Ronald Naderer, FerRobotics founder and CEO, says: “Because combustible dusts have resulted in injuries, as they can be easily ignited by a spark, it’s been an area of huge concern in industrial, construction and fabrication workplaces.

“Now, with this specially developed orbital sander, we finally have the right equipment to keep humans safely away from these hazardous environments while enabling teams to also avoid monotonous and time-consuming tasks. It is a revolution in the force-controlled tooling market.

“It is the world’s first AI-conditioned, active force-compliant tool – a true game changer that enables customers to implement state-of-the-art guaranteed plug-and-play processes. Creating this first C2D1 EOAT sander of its kind with Aerobotix is a proud achievement for FerRobotics.”

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