Own development model for Integrated Management of Technological Innovation.


Advanced robotics for accurate grinding of complex metal parts


The finishing of metal workpieces is traditionally a manual process, but fortunately in recent years robots have taken over many of these operations. The location of workpieces by means of laser and vision systems, controllers and conformity and force actuators, and machine learning or learning by demonstration have paved the way for robots to carry out grinding operations. Currently robots grind workpieces with simple shapes, items that do not have significant curvatures and do not require long grinding times or do not have to meet strict geometrical tolerances. Workpieces that do meet these requirements, we refer to as complex parts.

Currently, robots do not carry out grinding operations on complex workpieces, as there are two main limitations that prevent this:

1) The CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) software for robotic grinding simulation does not accurately represent the grinding process.

2) Long grinding operations are seriously affected by the wear of the abrasive, which creates geometrical quality problems on the workpiece as the material is not removed uniformly.



The objective of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of a robotic system capable of grinding complex metal parts for the aerospace sector. The ARGRIND system will include the following technical characteristics:

- Scalable industrial robot with its necessary grinding tools.
- Process control system for ensuring uniform grinding of the entire workpiece.
- Simulation software for quick programming of paths on new workpieces.
- Single interface for the complete management of the grinding process.
- Productivity increase with the automatic and safe change of abrasives.
- Continuous monitoring of the robot and of the process for production traceability.

The main goal of this project is to carry out accurate and successful grinding of a complex metal workpiece with a robotic system. It will also resolve needs of the metal workpiece manufacturing industry:

- It will convert a tedious and repetitive task like grinding to a robotic system.
- The programming time for each new workpiece will be minimised.
- Installation costs will be reduced.
- The process will be automated for increased competitiveness.
- Production will be improved through the collection and analysis of data from the robot and the process.



The consortium will develop and validate a robotic system for the accurate grinding of complex metal workpieces. This robot will include a controller for ensuring uniform stock removal over the entire workpiece and compensate tool wear for accurate grinding. It will also include software for surface finish simulation in order to reduce the programming time of new paths, thus guaranteeing a good finish.

The ARGRIND system will provide increased productivity with automatic collision-free tool change, continuous monitoring of the robot and the process for production traceability, bringing more analysis possibilities for production improvement.


IDEKO, ALDAKIN and MODULEWORKS participating in the ARGRIND project.





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