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NEW PRODUCT NEWS

Turnkey Solution for CFRP Machining from Staubli

Stäubli Robotics

Because of their low weight and highly specific properties, carbon-fiber composites are the material of choice for an increasing number of applications in the automotive and aerospace industries. The innovative RX170 hsm machining robot from Stäubli offers a powerful turnkey solution for processing CFRP to be used in conjunction with industry-specific software packages
 
The advent of lightweight materials in new application fields requires appropriate processing methods that guarantee a high level of efficiency and productivity as well as precision and reproducibility. The processing of fiber composites is, however, governed by a unique set of factors. It is particularly difficult to arrange for the milling of oversize components with conventional machines.
 
The advent of lightweight materials in new application fields requires appropriate processing methods that guarantee a high level of efficiency and productivity as well as precision and reproducibility. The processing of Turnkey Aolution for CFRP Machining from Staublifiber composites is, however, governed by a unique set of factors. It is particularly difficult to arrange for the milling of oversize components with conventional machines.
 
“Customers who process CFRP need fast and accurate but also easy-to-use and flexible machinery that can cover a large work area,” says Manfred Hübschmann, Managing Director of Stäubli Robotics Germany. “The RX170 hsm is the obvious first choice. With this special robot, we are writing a new chapter in the precision machining of composite materials.”
 
Knowledge-intensive in-house-development
 
A great deal of expert knowledge has gone into the new machine which has been developed on the basis of the RX170 precision robot. For this particular application, Stäubli engineers designed and built a new upper arm and a special wrist on which the sixth axis is replaced by a milling spindle. The entire power supply and the spindle cooling/lubrication system are located inside the arm. This has two advantages: firstly, it is a solution that saves space; and secondly, it is fully shielded from external damage, thereby ensuring maximum reliability.
 
The robot offers new freedom and flexibility in a manufacturing environment. Thanks to its highly respectable range of 1,835 millimeters, large pieces can be easily machined. If even this is not far enough, the range can be extended to suit the job with the use of a traversing axis so that parts of several meters in length can be conveniently worked on. The performance of the RX170 hsm is also perfect for the processing of fiber composites. Its repeatability is ± 0.04 mm, which is well within standard CFRP processing requirements.
 
Convenient CAD/CAM softwaresolutions
 
One further plus point – this robot does not require expensive downtime for changing tools or parts. Generally, multiple workstations are grouped around the robot. This enables the various stations to be worked and loaded in sequence, while the Robotmaster CAD/CAM works away in the background, and programming can even take place offline.

The program supplied by UniCam Software GmbH has proven to be extremely sophisticated and user friendly. Robotmaster generates the robot trajectories in Stäubli-specific code directly from the relevant CAD data for the workpiece. The option of offline programming saves a significant amount of time and effort. Other advantages: Robotmaster optimizes machining strategies, simulates the generated robot paths, provides for collision avoidance and generates highly efficient trajectories that cannot otherwise be achieved with manual teaching.
 
Another persuasive argument in favor of this solution – Robotmaster is fully compatible with the Stäubli Robotics Suite, with CS8 control technology and with the Stäubli VAL3 programming language. Using VALhsm, the operator can perform all robot functions with greater ease than ever before. Operation is effected directly via the menus displayed on the screen of the handheld control. CAD/CAM software can be dispensed with for more straightforward cutting paths or for the drilling of holes. The VALhsm user interface enables the operator to “teach” trajectories or drilling positions directly from the handheld programmer. Programs created with Robotmaster can be readily recalled and managed after transmission on the handheld device. The numerous predefined functions make working with the robot significantly easier. However, even advanced robot users will be impressed by the performance of the software package.
 
The multiple inherent advantages open up completely new uses in the machining of fiber composites, whether in the processing of lightweight components in the aerospace industry, in applications for the automotive industry or in the processing of parts for wind turbines. “The robot has proven its worth recently in a number of different applications,” says Manfred Hübschmann. “Customers are very positive about the RX170 hsm because it often exceeds their highest expectations. There is currently no reasonably priced alternative to our series production system for machining CFRP.”

For more information please contact:
Sonja Koban
Head of Marketing
Phone: +49 (0)921 88 32 12
 

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