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Robotic sanding for composite materials

News International-French

25 Feb 2016

JEC World 2016 - An inescapable step in composite parts manufacturing, sanding is still a tedious, manual operation with erratic quality.

In order to automate this process, Europe Technologies and its subsidiary GEBE2 have developed a sanding robot combining:
• A smart effector able to reproduce a handheld gesture with similar precision and sensitivity;
• Specific programming methods;
• Automated management of sanding consumables.

Sanding process automation is based on the use of an effector specially developed for the purpose of combining the random orbital function with sanding paper and contact effort management. Dust collection is also ensured.

The effector is available as a compact version for small parts with a complex layout and as a multi-headed version for optimised productivity on large parts.

Programming can involve toolpath programming via a computer-aided manufacturing process.

For low-curved parts, the company offers a semi-automated programming system: the robot generates its own path from 4 positions learned on the complex surface. This simplified programming method allows quick handling for the operator.

In both cases, the integration of the effector to the robot ensures the normality of the sanding machine in relation to the surface of the part in addition to appropriate contact between the sanding paper and the part.

This patent-pending process has already satisfied several major end-customers and OEMs in the aeronautics, automotive and health fields.

More information:
Booth: Hall 6 / B70