April 11, 2005
Flexible Milling-Robot System Well-Suited For Prototype Production
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Product ideas first start to take on tangible forms with models and prototypes. Production is either performed using time-consuming manual labor with low reproducibility or in a machining center with accordingly high costs. However, neither solution offers the flexibility that is desired in product development. In the particular, the implementation of modifications and variants requires much time and money. The new milling robot by ESCAD Systemtechnik offers interesting business alternatives.
proven themselves through their flexibility in many areas of production. Since the models are available in digital form anyway, it must be possible to somehow program robots using a CAM system so that models and prototypes can be milled flexibly and economically. Our ROBOprot milling-robot system now provides proof that this is possible".
automobile cockpit can be milled out of block without incident. Multiple spanning is not required. Each and every spot on the part can be reached by the robot arm, which can be moved in six axes. The system is constructed modularly of proven standard components -- one aspect that also guarantees clear and low procurement costs compared to machine tools.
In addition to the KR 60 HA robot that has been used up until now, the device can also be equipped with other KUKA robots, since the robot control unit (CAMrob) is the same for all KUKA models. Thus, the most varying device sizes can be implemented.
converted to robot-specific coordinates. And, with six axes, this robot has more to offer than a conventional milling machine. This converted data was then imported into the robot controller using the KUKA postprocessors. hyperMILL in hyperCAD is an optimally coordinated combination of CAD and CAM software. Both 2D and 3D data can be processed with the hyperCAD CAD software so that the processing of 3D CAD data is possible. Add to this a series of direct and standard interfaces to other CAD systems. It is thus possible to import data from different systems and to process it in a high-quality manner -- another factor that also increases flexibility in product development.
cars, machines and boats. In addition to milling and boring, the robot can also be used for drilling, sanding and polishing, trimming and cutting.
presented particular challenges, because the spatial coordinates of the CAM program had to be converted to the robot's own coordinate system using 6 axes - a pretty complex problem, but one that seems to have been solved by the collaborating partners.
Jeffrey Rowe is the editor and publisher of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached here or 408.850.9230.
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-- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.
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