GRINDBOT: Robotic Solution for Accurate Grinding of Complex Metal Parts

Funded Project

This research and development project is funded under the Eurostars funding program by the German funding agency (funding code E!115077 GRINDBOT) and managed by the project executing organization Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR). The author is responsible for the content of this publication

https://www.eurekanetwork.org/eurostars-select-country/

Overview

uring the manufacturing of metal parts for sectors as diverse as aerospace, wind-power, nuclear, automotive and naval it is required to perform the grinding of certain surfaces of complex parts, which are the parts that have significant curvatures, high quantity of material to be removed or strict geometry tolerance requirements. There is a large market opportunity for a system that can produce a robotized grinding solution by tackling its current limiting factors.

Parts from operations such as casting, welding or additive manufacturing are regularly ground with abrasive tools to clear imperfections, provide regular surfaces or bring them into final tolerances. This has been performed manually by skilled operators using manual tools, but it is a tedious and physically demanding operation generating fatigue and frustration. Robots have taken over many grinding operations on simple parts, but robots are not yet capable of successfully grinding complex parts with significant curvatures where the tool partially loses contact with the surface or extended grinding time turns tool wear into a significant issue. The goal of GRINDBOT project is to develop a robotic tun-key solution for the grinding of complex metal parts that includes:

1) A robotic system performing a fully controlled grinding process in terms of material removal and verification of final part thickness for zero-defect manufacturing.

2) Grinding process simulation software including automatic trajectory generation and optimization to minimize set-up time, maximizing robot performance.

Highlights

  • Automation of grinding processing with abrasive belt
  • Control of contact conditions
  • Development of a CAM module for grinding machining integrated into a PLM system
  • Automated tool wear characterisation
  • Realtime control and measurement of material removal rate by ultrasonic technology

Benefits

  • Substitution of manual work steps
  • Process reproducibility and repeatability
  • Material removal simulation

Project Timeline

Project Start -May 2021

Project End - April 2024

Partners

The project is being conducted together with the following partners:

ModuleWorks GmbH brings the necessary path algorithms as well as the real-time adaptation of the tool guidance into the project. ModuleWorks GmbH was already able to implement important preliminary work for the automation of grinding processing by means of grinding belts in the project “ArGrind”, which will be further developed in this project

Aldakin Automation S.L. brings the necessary technological know-how to the project and provides its production environment and the robot prototype for the validation of the results. Aldakin’s participation guarantees an end-customer oriented project management.

Contact

Dipl.-Inform. Christoph Zymla

AixPath GmbH Henricistraße 50 52072 Aachen

+49 241 9978 3352

research@aixpath.com

christoph-zymla