Robotics Case Studies
Flexible Router Trimming
by Susan Tutag
Robotic Industries Association
A blow molder company based in South Carolina looked to expand theirt rimming capacity as well as improve the trimming accuracy of their finished products. In addition, this blow molder wanted to reduce injuries relatedto trimming while increasing productivity and reducing labor and capitalequipment costs.
Robotic Production Technology (RPT) has designed and developed RoboTrim, acomplete line of router systems. The system that RPT recommended was theRoboTrim II Enclosure. RoboTrim systems operate with our own applicationspecific software, which increase trimming accuracy and handles multiplepart styles. One of the typical challenges faced by blow molders is thenecessity to have dedicated trimming systems for each part style that theymanufacture, an expensive cost in capital equipment that is then thrown awaywhen that specific part style is done. This system offers the flexibilityand advantage to be reused for future projects. The cost-effective holdingfixtures can be easily changed for future part styles. Retooling andreprogramming the RoboTrim II Enclosure offers a significant cost savingover dedicated trimming equipment.
RPT designed, manufactured, built and installed a self-contained roboticrouter system, which was built on a common base. The common baseincorporated the cutting table, robot, and the sheet metal enclosure. Thisallowed the customer to realize many benefits. First, the fork pocketsallowed the system to be easily and quickly installed which allowed thesystem to be ready for operation within a very short time. Secondly, thesheet metal enclosure and guards provided safety and sound abatement fromthe router trimming process. The sliding door (where the operator loads andunloads) is also made out of sheet metal, providing protection for theoperator and surrounding personnel from the debris, chips and the breakageof a bit. The unique solution provided by RPT provided ease of maintenanceand cleaning. The debris and chips were contained within in the system anda vacuum extractor removed the debris and chips. Then the debris isrecycled for future use with virgin material, which provides a cost savingin material. In addition, the safety clutch was eliminated and the FANUCRobotics new Collision Guard was used which protects all axis of motion from