November 28 – 29, 2018
3M Innovation Center
St. Paul, Minnesota
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About the Conference

The RIA Robotic Grinding and Finishing Conference, presented by 3M, is the premier event in North America for learning best practices, key parameters for success, implementation techniques, tooling, and more for your robotic grinding and finishing processes. Join us in St Paul for exciting sessions that will help you successfully implement or improve your robotic grinding and finishing system!

For a preview of what you will learn

 

Questions? Contact Bob Doyle at bdoyle@a3automate.org.

  RIA Robotic Grinding and Finishing Conference
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Why Attend

Attending the Robotic Grinding and Finishing Conference will equip you with the knowledge you need to successfully implement your next robotic grinding or finishing system:

  • Get a comprehensive look at the factors, technologies and processes that yield success in robotic grinding and finishing
  • Meet a range of robotic grinding & finishing experts in one place, covering abrasives, system integration, and equipment
  • Discover real-world implementation stories
  • Attend in-depth sessions on key technologies, best practices and example processes
  • Learn how to optimize existing cells
  • Tour 3M’s exclusive Customer Innovation Center, a playground for engineers
  • Address your project questions in small group consultation in 3M’s robot lab
  • Discover the best tools and equipment at the tabletop exhibits
  • Network with experts in the industry
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Interested in Becoming an Exhibitor?

Become an Exhibitor

Who Should Attend

  • Engineering Managers and Directors
  • Advanced Manufacturing Personnel
  • Process engineers
  • Robot Application Engineers/Techs
  • Designers
  • And other manufacturing automation professionals
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Exclusive Opportunity to Tour 3M's Customer Innovation Center and Robot Lab

All attendees will be able to tour 3M's Innovation Center, a playground for engineers!

After the Innovation Center tour, attendees will also have the opportunity to visit 3M's CAM Center, home to 1 of the company's robotics labs to discuss project questions in an operational setting.

Due to the sensitive nature of innovation discussions at the 3M CAM Center, 3M reserves the right to restrict participation in this portion of the tour of abrasive manufacturer representatives who attend the conference.

3M's Customer Innovation Center and Robot Lab

Agenda

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Registration

1:00 PM – 1:20 PM

Welcome & Opening Remarks
Jim Bauman, 3M
Joe Gemma, KUKA and Chair of the Robotic Industries Association

Jim Bauman

Jim Bauman

3M

Welcome!

Joe Gemma

Joe Gemma

KUKA Division Industries

Robotic Grinding & Finishing

1:20 PM – 1:50 PM

Panel Discussion: The Value of Automating Your Robotic Grinding & Finishing Applications
Bob Doyle, RIA (Moderator)
Andrew Cook, Applied Robotics
Charles Gales, Weldon Solutions

Bob Doyle

Bob Doyle (Moderator)

Robotic Industries Association

Andrew Cook

Andrew Cook

Applied Robotics

Using industrial robots for grinding, deburring, deflashing, and finishing parts is a fast-growing practice. Both robots and now - cobots offer clear advantages to doing these processes manually. Andrew Cook, Product Manager for Applied Robotics of Glenville NY, will discuss this growing trend and demystify how to determine the ROI of automating these processes. He will also show you what to look into when considering implementing robotic finishing, and how your specific application can benefit. Some of the additional topics he will address are when to automate, how to choose the right grinding tools, and whether it is better for the robot to manage the part or to manage the tool. Andrew will even inspire you by presenting video footage of various application examples to illustrate how robotic finishing is used in many sectors and how it could be substantially advantageous for your company.

Charles C. Gales, P.E.

Charles C. Gales, P.E.

Weldon Solutions

Robots are used throughout industry to tend a wide range of manufacturing processes. Many workcells can become more efficient by incorporating secondary operations, such as material removal. Whether before or after the primary process, a secondary operation can add functionality or reduce overall costs. This presentation will explain the value of adding material removal as a secondary operation. Case studies will be presented that demonstrate improved quality or reduced labor and handling. Lessons learned on the shop floor will be an important take-away for attendees. The use of photos and videos will allow the audience to understand clearly the benefits of incorporating robotic material removal as a secondary operation.

1:50 PM – 2:20 PM

From Concept to Design: How to Optimally Design a Robot Cell
Thomas Koch, SHL Automation

Thomas Koch

Thomas Koch

SHL Automation Inc.

Process chain for processing Aluminium structural parts.

2:20 PM – 3:10 PM

Force Control & Compliance: An Intensive Tour
Max Falcone, PushCorp
Dan Merritt, ATI Industrial Automation
Ronald Naderer, FerRobotics

Maximiliano Falcone

Maximiliano Falcone

PushCorp Inc.

There are many elements that must be assembled in an automated material removal project for it to be successful. Of paramount importance is the compliant force control element. Today there are many different forms of compliant force control available, but how does one choose between the various options? This session focuses on the difference between passive and active compliant force control and share a real world example of a recent material removal project successfully using active force compliance here in North America.

Dan Merritt

Dan Merritt

ATI Industrial Automation

In addition to choosing the right equipment, a vital element of any successful robotic grinding, sanding, or finishing application is the control of the contact forces. Poorly-controlled process forces lead to inconsistent quality and frequent rework. Human operators instinctively use their own sense of touch to apply constant force while accounting for part variations. For robots, among many methods, forces can be controlled passively using pneumatic devices, or actively with feedback from multi-axis force and torque sensors. This session focuses on examples of passive force control as well as active force feedback implemented to monitor and control robot motion for successful grinding and finishing. Learn about the possibilities, review the components of a successful application, and discuss how complementary technologies give robots a sense of touch in grinding and finishing applications.

Ronald Naderer

Ronald Naderer

FerRobotics Inc.

Robotized processing is important for sanding, grinding, polishing, deburring, etc. since a consistent contact force is crucial for the final product quality. However, human workers are not able to perform such a consistent contact force over longer time. Furthermore, experts for these 3D jobs (dirty, dangerous and demining full) are increasingly hard to find. Consequently, all industries (automotive, aerospace and general industry) tend to automate their surface finishing sequences. Key criteria for a reproducible, uniform surface finish is to control the process and therefore the process force. Previous approaches have been either force control or physical compliance. The state of the art approach combines the benefits of both principles and results in an active compliant force control. An autonomous sensitive compliant force control not only allows to controlling the forces but also compensate a certain range of positioning tolerance. Through this physical compliance the contact force can be controlled very fast. It has a further impact on the usability. Within a self-adapting stroke, the robot paths may be programmed rather inaccurately. Robotics applications based on active compliant force control deliver a consistent high-quality production, high process security and a faster return on investment. Best practice cases are e.g. paint sanding, paint repair applications or in the automotive industry the roof ditch grinding on the BIW.

3:10 PM – 3:30 PM

Break

3:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Material Removal - The Need for Robot Accuracy
Virgil Wilson, FANUC America

Virgil Wilson

Virgil Wilson

FANUC America

One of the leading technical barriers for mass acceptance of robots for material removal applications is creating the robot path in an accurate, efficient and timely manner. Over the years several methods have been developed for creating robot paths, such as offline programming, manual teach and lead through teach. Offline programing provides the most versatile and efficient solution available for robotic path creation on the market today. Offline programming provides advantages and benefits for both the integrator and the end user. Integrators are finding that hiring robotic technicians is becoming more and more of a challenge and are looking for ways to better utilize a robot technicians time. Simplifying path creation with offline path creation reduces the time a robot technician spends creating paths lowering the overall cost of integration. Offline programming allows the end user the flexibility to add new parts to the system or make modifications to existing parts without taking the robot offline to create the robot path. Creating robot paths offline is not new and has been available for several years. Which leads one to ask, why offline programming creation hasn’t been more widely accepted for material removal applications. There are still many material removal systems being taught using the very time consuming approach of manual teach which could have used offline programing. The single biggest challenge for offline programing is robot accuracy, the ability to create a path offline and simply download it to the robot and run the program without user intervention is not only the goal but is possible. Creating offline paths for robots presents unique challenges, but with the right tools and understanding these challenges can be mitigated. I will be discussing the root causes of robot and system inaccuracy, the solutions to resolve them, when to and when not to use them. My goals is to provide you with the knowledge and understanding that will allow you to confidently know when and how to use offline programing with great success.

4:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Robotic Sanding and Polishing Using a Collaborative Robot
Dominic Sinibaldi, York Exponential

Dominic Sinibaldi

Dominic Sinibaldi

York Exponential

From a 3D part model to robot pathing and inclusion of force feedback correction, our engineers were able to lessen robot programming efforts on a new part. The designed system utilizes a newly released computer guidance software to match part profile and force sensing technology to ensure effective and consistent coverage through both the sanding and polishing of finished thermoformed medical device parts. Our innovative system allows for parts to be introduced into first-part testing the next day! The project, we will share, used a Universal Robot to guide an off-the-shelf hand sander and buffing wheel through the 3-stage finishing process of 6 different thermoformed polymer parts. Curved radiuses, insets, cut-outs, and five different surface planes per part were easily handled through the same robot guidance setup protocol. The project was for a rental robot system to handle up to 90% of the work on each part; leaving blemish touch up and quality checks to the operator. The system will be re-trained and deployed on a new family of parts when the contract changes. We are excited to share how we used standard available software and hardware to create this work process to handle high part variability.

4:30 PM – 5:15 PM

Panel Discussion: DIY Integration – Automating Your Abrasives Process In-House
Scott Barnett, 3M (Moderator)
Brandon Berth, Kohler
Matt Morrison, Marshalltown
Scott Harms, MetalQuest

Scott Barnett

Scott Barnett (Moderator)

3M

Brandon Berth

Brandon Berth

Kohler Co.

In this session, we will be talking about Automating inside your own factory versus going to an outside vendor for your automation needs.

Matthew C Morrison

Matthew C Morrison

Marshalltown Company

At Marshalltown Company, we believe that we know our process better than anyone else does. For this reason, and due to the unique and challenging conditions of some of our operations, we chose to automate many of our forging and heat treatment processes in-house. Once these automation projects were complete, we felt that we had the resources to take on a large robotic grinding and polishing system for one of our forged tool lines. This system defines the final dimensions of our forged parts and gives a cosmetic finish that sets our product apart from competitors. Within this panel discussion, I will go over some of the challenges that we encountered while automating our finishing process and how we overcame them.

Scott Harms

Scott Harms

MetalQuest Unlimited, Inc.

Embracing robotics can be an intimating concept, however it doesn't have to be. Within this presentation, I hope to provide an overview of our in-house automation department, discuss some of the ways we developed it, and provide a few issues we ran into along the way.

5:15 PM – 7:30 PM

Networking Reception with Heavy Appetizers and Drinks in the Tabletop Exhibits Area

Thursday, November 29, 2018
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

Breakfast and Registration

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM

The First Step: Taking Grinding & Finishing Automation to SMEs
Simon Whitton and Pat Duda, KUKA

Simon WhittonPat Duda

Simon Whitton

KUKA

Pat Duda

KUKA

While the automation of grinding and finishing processes are nothing new, the benefits derived from them have largely been relegated to mass manufacturers. With larger volumes of parts to produce and fewer process change requirements, these organizations have the time and resources to develop procedures and incorporate the equipment they need to optimize production and quality once manufacturing ensues. Manufacturers with smaller volumes of work, however, require more frequent changes, limiting the amount of time they can devote to up front activities and the changeovers, themselves. While automation offers great potential to help these organizations realize efficiency and quality gains, few of them have the time and resources with programming skills needed to move quickly between batches of work. These challenges are augmented by the fact that there are a limited number of integrators on the market who possess both the equipment and process experience required to support the automation of grinding and finishing processes. This session will center on how grinding and finishing process experts can come together with robotic automation providers to make grinding and finishing automation accessible to small and mid-sized manufacturers. Starting with the merits of flexible, pre-configured solutions, the presenters will describe how this marriage of separate disciplines can be used to enable inexperienced integrators to provide additional support for end-users and help them realize improved efficiencies and ROI that is, now, only available to larger manufacturers. The presentation will include the different requirements of functional and cosmetic grinding and finishing, identifying the relationship between equipment and process. The speakers will share some of the challenges they have faced and lessons learned automating grinding and finishing processes, providing actional advice for attendees to take back to their companies.

8:30 AM – 8:50 AM

Advancements in Robotic Aerospace Deburring & Polishing Technology
Fritz Carlson, Acme Manufacturing Company

Fritz Carlson

Fritz Carlson

Acme Manufacturing Company

This presentation will share and provide current and future flexible robotic automation alternatives for several deburring, grinding and polishing applications for aerospace engine components. Some of the features will include adaptive polishing technology, feasibility of incorporating vision and in process part measurement instruments and utilization of compliance devices. These systems will demonstrate the usage of many new and different consumable media tools such as brushes, hard tools, engineered abrasive belts, cut-off wheels, nylon wheels and buffs.

8:50 AM – 9:10 AM

Automated Sanding and Scrubbing for Finishing
Steven Becroft and Gordon Arnold, Encore Automation

Steven Becroft

Steven Becroft

Encore Automation

Gordon Arnold

Gordon Arnold

Encore Automation

This presentation will cover some of the automated processes for sanding and scrubbing, and their benefits for finish quality, including surface preparation, appearance improvement, and defect inspection and elimination. Finish Surface Preparation is achieved by sanding and washing the surfaces using robotically carried sanding/buffing tooling and chemical sprays. Appearance Improvement is achieved by sanding or buffing the finish substrate or prime or topcoat layers. Defect elimination is achieved by sensing the surface for defects, categorizing them, and providing detailed information for follow-on systems that achieve defect elimination by sanding and buffing the defects. Descriptions of the systems and processes to achieve these benefits are reviewed, and videos of each of the processes in lab and production settings are shown. Tooling and System Components such as compliant sanding and buffing tooling, inspection sensors, and sanding media changers are described in detail, and shown in photos and videos.

9:10 AM – 9:30 AM

Case Study: Post Weld Grinding & Buffing
Cody Larson, MESH Automation

Cody Larson

Cody Larson

MESH Automation

This will be a review of two case studies on post weld grinding and buffing. The first case study will cover a grinding and buffing cell integrated into a fully automated manufacturing line, manufacturing parts from sheet metal. A four-foot by eight-foot piece of sheet metal enters the manufacturing line and is then laser cut, formed, laser welded, CMT welded, stud welded and finally, ground and buffed prior to entering the paint line. This project involved very aggressive cycle times and parametric robot programming because parts are not made in a batch processing manner. The grinding and buffing cell was constructed with 4 robots, each with a servo spindle, pressure compensation and an automatic tool changer. A proof of concept test involving both the robot manufacturer and 3M was completed first and the learnings from this P.O.C. were implemented into the design and construction of the cell. The second case study is a post weld cleanup from parts coming off multiple welding cells. Once again, these parts are made from sheet metal and involved a variety of part sizes. These parts were finished prior to powder coating. This project utilized a pre-engineered modular automation platform, a single robot outfitted with a servo spindle with pressure compensation, an automatic tool changer, a part positioner and rugged, push button change-over fixturing to hold the parts precisely. Once again, a proof of concept was completed, and a variety of grinding media was tested. As in the first case study, the learnings from the P.O.C. were implemented into the design and build of this cell. This speech will review a variety of learnings primarily focused on the grinding and buffing process, but also examine how fixturing (in both the grinding and welding cell) and programming affect grind quality.

9:30 AM – 9:50 AM

Break

9:50 AM – 10:10 AM

Case Study: Robotic Bath Tub Sanding
Ron Potter, Factory Automation Systems

Ron Potter

Ron Potter

Factory Automation Systems

Factory Automation Systems, an Atlanta-based automation and robotics integrator, implemented a robotic bath tub sanding system for a manufacturer of engineered stone bath tubs. The existing process was labor intensive and required numerous operators sanding tubs for a number of hours per tub. Because of the intense manual labor in a tough environment, the company struggled with high turnover and a consistent challenge of filling the sanding positions. The FAS solution includes a pallet conveyor that can queue up to eleven tubs to run through the cell automatically. A FANUC M-710 robot is equipped with a random orbital sander and a FANUC Force Sensor, which maintains a constant force applied to the surface of the tub. The cell includes an automated sand paper changing station. Since the customer makes over (200) high end bath tubs, the FAS application allows the customer to import a 3-D model of a tub into the FANUC ROBOGUIDE software and convert it to the robot path. This cell benefits production and the HR team. The robot cell sands a tub with an increase in productivity of over 80% compared to manual labor. The customer can run the system “lights out” and process up to (11) tubs after hours. And finally, the customer is on a path to eliminate their most difficult labor positions to fill.

10:10 AM – 11:00 AM

Panel: New Innovations & Research in Robotic Grinding & Finishing
Jay Douglass, Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute (Moderator)
Kevin Barry, Lockheed
Matt Robinson, Southwest Research Institute
Prabhakar Pagilla, Texas A&M University

Jay Douglass

Jay Douglass (Moderator)

ARM - Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing

ARM (Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing) is a federally-funded Manufacturing USA initiative. Structured as a public-private partnership, ARM accelerates the advancement of transformative robotic technologies and education to increase U.S. global manufacturing competitiveness. ARM is currently funding projects advancing the capabilities of robotic grinding, sanding and finishing technologies. ARM will present a briefing on some of these ongoing projects with Lockheed Martin, an ARM member, as a co-presenter. Jay Douglass, ARM’s COO, will give an overview of ARM’s establishment; how Grinding, Sanding, and Finishing projects fit into ARM’s overall mission; other ongoing projects; and how to become involved with ARM and the more than 160 organizations already participating.

Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry

ARM - Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing

Kevin Barry is a Senior Engineer at Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories and the Principal Investigator on Lockheed Martin’s ARM Quick Start project: “Robotic Sanding and Finishing.” This project aims to develop a robotic sanding system that is easily reconfigurable and an order of magnitude lower in cost than currently available systems with critical advancements necessary in planning, control, and sensing to integrate such a system. Kevin will provide an overview of this project and discuss the broader needs for robotic sanding and finishing solutions in the Aerospace industry.

Matthew M. Robinson

Matthew M. Robinson

Southwest Research Institute

Will be representing ROS-Industrial and SwRI, on the advanced capability panel, talking about recent advancements in surface treatments, and surface finishing robotic applications, leveraging advanced sensors, and path planning technologies, to enable a new agile frontier in industrial robotics.

Prabhakar Pagilla

Prabhakar Pagilla

Texas A&M University

In this talk, we will discuss some new and advanced tools for automation of surface finishing operations using robots.

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Networking Lunch and 3M Innovation Center Tour
(Divided into two groups)

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Tours of 3M Robot Lab: Capabilities and Consultations
(Tour bus will depart from the Innovation Center)

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Registration

Join us at the Robotic Grinding and Finishing Conference and learn how to best implement your robotic grinding or finishing project. You don’t want to miss this chance to hear experts explain successful tips, tricks, and techniques!

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Robotic Grinding and Finishing Conference
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HOTEL INFORMATION

Hyatt Regency Santa ClaraThe Robotic Grinding and Finishing Conference will be held at the 3M Customer Innovation Center (2326 Minnehaha Ave E, St. Paul, MN 55119). The hotel is about 5 miles from the Innovation Center.

Sheraton Woodbury
676 Bielenberg Drive
Woodbury, MN 55125

Room Block Rate: $139/night + taxes
Room rate cut-off: Wednesday, November 14th

Booking Link:
https://www.marriott.com/event-reservations/reservation-link.mi?id=1541698938514&key=GRP&app=resvlink

Or call 651-209-3287 and ask for the Robotic Grinding and Finishing Conference special rate.

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Who's Speaking

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SPEAKERS
Andrew Cook Andrew Cook
Product Manager - Grippers
Applied Robotics
Bob Doyle Bob Doyle
Vice President - RIA and A3 Mexico
Robotic Industries Association
Brandon Berth Brandon Berth
Project Analyst
Kohler Co.
Charles C. Gales, P.E. Charles C. Gales, P.E.
Manager of Automation Sales
Weldon Solutions
Cody Larson Cody Larson
Account Manager, Weld Process Engineer
MESH Automation
Dan Merritt Dan Merritt
Material Removal Product Manager
ATI Industrial Automation
Dominic Sinibaldi Dominic Sinibaldi
COO
York Exponential
G. A. G. A. "Fritz" Carlson III
President & CEO
Acme Manufacturing Company
Gordon Arnold Gordon Arnold
Business Development Manager
Encore Automation
Jay Douglass Jay Douglass
COO
ARM - Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing
Joe Gemma Joe Gemma
CEO
KUKA Division Industries
Kevin Barry
Program Manager
Lockheed Martin
Matthew C Morrison Matthew C Morrison
Senior Design Engineer
Marshalltown Company
Matthew M. Robinson Matthew M. Robinson
Program Manager ROS-Industrial Americas
Southwest Research Institute
Maximiliano Falcone Maximiliano Falcone
Business Development Manager
PushCorp Inc.
Pat Duda Pat Duda
Senior Sales Application Engineer
KUKA
Prabhakar Pagilla Prabhakar Pagilla
Professor
Texas A&M University
Ron Potter
Director of Robotics Technology
Factory Automation Systems
Ronald Naderer Ronald Naderer
CEO
FerRobotics Inc.
Scott Barnett Scott Barnett
Lab Manager
3M
Scott Harms Scott Harms
President
MetalQuest Unlimited, Inc.
Simon Whitton Simon Whitton
Regional Division Manager, North America
KUKA
Steven Becroft Steven Becroft
President
Encore Automation
Thomas Koch Thomas Koch
Executive Vice President Sales
SHL Automation Inc.
Virgil Wilson Virgil Wilson
Staff Engineer Material Removal
FANUC America