There are five broad categories of material removal robots. The first category of robot manipulators remove materials around the mould’s perimeter by cutting and trimming the ages. The second category of parts removal machines is robots used for surface finishing and polishing operations by removing rough edges and smoothing the surfaces of the finishing parts.
The third category consists of robots that are used for plastic edge finishing. These robots are used to remove rough edges around the mould. The fourth group of robots strip and clean the mould by removing the superficial coat of specific parts of a mould. This allows the mould to have another coat reapplied on it.
The five categories of part removal involve milling operations. These milling machine robots create specific shapes out of moulds made of particular materials. This group of robots is the latest type of robotics and is used in myriad ways.
What is Robotic Milling?
Robotic milling is the process by which a milling robot cuts material away from a mould or prototype to form a desired predefined structure. Milling cut materials according to defined movements and exact cuts required to produce parts of the highest quality.
The automated robot machine milling system has a flexible design to precisely remove materials. This system can be adjusted to cater for specific material removal from any object of any size. You can change the end-of-arm-tooling and robot programming to fit the piece of work you’ve got.
The work cells for robot milling are designed to multiple fixtures that assist in securing more parts and increasing production rates. UR can help you choose the right milling robot for your company, depending on your line of work.
UR also offers you refurbished milling robots that go through an intense repair process and all system repackaging. It also assists you to tailor a milling work cell with suitable floor space, safety features, and application capabilities.
UR Milling Machine Robots
We recommend UR GP Series robots for material removal application because these robots provide you with an outstanding balance between flexibility and reach. This is particularly so because if you have large workpieces or workpieces that extend the motion range, you want to select a robot with greater flexibility than a model with a long stiff arm.
5-Axis-Milling machines controlled by CNC are stiff enough to process tough steel parts. However, they are unsuitable for softer materials like aluminium, best processed by kinematic 6-axis-structure industrial robots. These 6-axis-structure milling machine robots work well on materials like sand moulds, handrails, ladders, polystyrene and plastics such as orthopedic products and 3-D shaping of industrial products.
The UR robot portfolio enables you to find the right robot arm length for the task you need to complete. For instance, if you are doing a job that needs stability, it’s best to go for a robot with a short arm length. On the other hand, if you are doing tasks that involve large workpieces, you could go for robot arrangements mounted on the ceiling to have maximum reach on a table.
When selecting a milling machine robot, it’s also good to check whether it can move the workpiece in front of a stationary shaft. Suppose you work in heavy-duty environments like permanent exposure to aggressive cooling of liquids or sanding dust. In that case, it is best to go for the URIP65/67 protection or the GP-ACC-Series for special anti-corrosive coatings.
UR Machine Milling Robots
UR machine milling robots offer you both milling and turning functions in one machine. This multitasking feature helps users to minimize the chances of error when clamping and multiple setups in general. The UR milling robot with a 500mm table can support workpieces that weigh about 350 kilograms and 500 kilograms in milling. It also has a maximum speed of up to 1,500 rpm.
The UR milling robot with an 800mm table can support workpieces weighing 1200 kilograms in milling and 850 kilograms in turning. The turning speed of this machine can reach up to a maximum of 1000 rpm.
The UR milling robot is utilized in a wide range of industries. For example, it satisfies the demands of the defence, aerospace and energy industries by producing cylindrical applications and complicated parts. With the UR g6 Machine milling robots, you can expect around-the-clock automated production and next to zero unexpected downtime.
Advantages of Milling Machine Robots
Universal Robots has a range of robotic solutions for all kinds of material removal, including cutting, grinding, polishing, finishing, deburring and milling. In particular, UR offers you the balance of rigidity, flexibility, and sensitivity of 6-axis milling robots which overcome numerous unpredicted external forces, dust, vibration, chips and other geometry variations to give you a masterpiece.
Some of the advantages of milling machine robots include:
- Producing complex and high-quality geometrics
- Increasing the production scale of CNC type fabrication and sculpting
- Flexible cutting and tooling automated robot milling system that caters to specific methods of material removal.
- UR milling machine robots can process various materials such as carbon fibre, alloys, foams, and plastics. It can also work through hard and softwood timber and complex substances such as stone and concrete.
- The milling robots’ programming can be adjusted to fit any object and shape, and size.
- You can also choose the right end-of-arm-tooling to suit any job.
- Milling machine robots also increase flexibility through 6 and 7 axis milling, increased size, and cost of objects that can be machined compared to CNC of equivalent size.
The Difference Between CNC Milling Machines and Milling Robots
There are four essential quality and performance differences between milling robots and CNC milling machines. They include:
- Workspace- Milling robots have a larger workspace compared to CNC machines.
- Programming- The CNC machines use the G-Code program while milling robots are programmed using the manufacturer’s programming language. Nonetheless, the programs used to run robots can be generated using other programming methods such as G-Code through a robot postprocessor.
- Accuracy- CNC machines have higher accuracy compared to Robots.
- Stiffness- CNC machines are rigid in all axes. Although the rigidity of milling robots is variant depending on the type of robot, it is way less than the CNC machines.
So, should you buy a CNC machine or a milling machine robot? This can be a tough choice for you when you are deciding between the two. However, you can eliminate your dilemma by trying both UR applications and identifying the one that best fits your production needs.