March 22, 2023
Around the world, companies are increasing their use of robots. According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the global average for industrial robots per 10,000 manufacturing workers has grown from 66 in 2015 to 126 in 2021. Robotics is a rapidly advancing field that promises significant improvement in cost-savings and performance in the next decade. Robotic sandblasting is one such industry that has experienced significant impact from robotics utilisation.
Robotic Sandblasting, also known as abrasive blasting, is a surface treatment process that sprays abrasive particles under high pressure against a surface. It leverages the abrasive nature of different blasting media to smooth, shape or clean a surface. This is commonly used in the manufacturing industry for cleaning metal parts, removing rust and paint, etching glass and creating textures on surfaces.
Sandblasting has traditionally been done manually, which may be time-consuming, inconsistent, and dangerous for the individuals involved. Robotics has since made the process much more streamlined and efficient for many manufacturing companies. Robots could perform hazardous tasks with better efficiency and accuracy as compared to workers. In the case of abrasive blasting, dangerous toxins and particulate matter as a result of the procedure may lead to serious respiratory illnesses and even lung cancer in the long run. Robots could protect the workers against the hazardous environment by reducing their exposure and potential health issues arising from it.
While manual sandblasting may be effective, cutting-edge robotic solutions provide greater accuracy and efficiency. Robotic arms are programmed to perform the sandblasting process according to the specific requirements set by the programmer for the particular workpiece. Precise control over the sandblasting parameters such as speed, angle, and intensity of the abrasive particles could all be fine-tuned to the requirements of the project.
As sandblasting robots can produce consistent and repeatable results, robot sandblasted surfaces tend to be of higher quality finishes. When considering manual sandblasting, variations in quality and faults are inherent because humans are not capable of doing the same activities repeatedly with the same consistency and accuracy. Furthermore, the use of robotics allows for precise control over the sandblasting parameters which lower the risk of damaging the workpiece and guarantees uniformity each and every time.
Robotic systems could operate continuously without breaks for extended periods of time. This optimises current sandblasting processes, leading to higher output and reduced lead times. Coupled with industrial robot programming automation softwares, whereby companies can program sandblasting robots via the scan and plan method, the efficiency of deployment and path planning in robotics improves exponentially. This further improves overall sandblasting setup and process productivity, generating higher outputs and resulting in higher return on investment.
The use of robotics has revolutionised the sandblasting industry. As the industry evolves, there is a greater need to optimise cost savings and invest in opportunities for greater productivity, precision and safety.
Optimise sandblasting technologies with our partner robots brands and our proprietary scan and plan technology. At Augmentus, robot motion planning is made easier through a graphical interface on an iPad reducing robot programming downtime by more than 90%.
Schedule a demo with our automation expert today to find out more on how we can improve your ROI and optimise your sandblasting processes!
IFR International Federation of Robotics. (n.d.). Robot density nearly doubled globally. IFR International Federation of Robotics. Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://ifr.org/ifr-press-releases/news/robot-density-nearly-doubled-globally
Newton, E. (n.d.). 5 benefits of robotic abrasive blasting. 5 Benefits of Robotic Abrasive Blasting. Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://blog.isa.org/5-benefits-of-robotic-abrasive-blasting
Robotics and the future of production and work. RSS. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://itif.org/publications/2019/10/15/robotics-and-future-production-and-work/
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