Automated Polishing for the European Tooling Industry
The poliMATIC research project has received funding from the European Community´s 7th Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) in the call
Robot Polishing As a matter of fact, the finishing of free-formed moulds and dies in combination with the complex interactions of fine machining processes is still only mastered by highly skilled and experienced workers. Up to 10 years of practical training are needed to gain the expertise to manually polish moulds to a defect-free mirror finish. The quality of the surface finish determines the tool life time and the quality of the moulded plastics part.
  • The goal in poliMATIC with respect to robot polishing and based on preliminary investigations is to encapsulate the knowledge, skill and experience of the human worker within an automated solution. The approach consists of a force-controlled polishing spindle and a fully automated CAD/CAM-based task planning and enables the user to process freeform surfaces by a step-wise automated robot fine machining in the same way milling tasks are performed.

  • The main developments in the poliMATIC project are going to be

a force-control module for the polishing spindle,
a CAD/CAM framework enabling the user to plan and control each process step along the fine machining process chain
robust process strategies with appropriate tools.

  • In contrast to laser polishing, where already existing path models from milling can be used, robot polishing of free formed surfaces is a demanding task to tool path generation and process layout. Due to the surface/surface contact between the polishing tool and the mould as well as the contact and process conditions and their effects on the surface, the requirements to tool path computation are of a higher complexity and thus can not be accomplished by usual CAM applications. This is the reason, why a completely new CAD/CAM framework for the robot polishing process will be developed in the poliMATIC project.

  • With a detailed analysis of the parameters influencing the polishing process (e.g. force, infeed, steel grade, hardness) the missing knowledge of the whole polishing process will be eliminated and with this new understanding robust process strategies can be developed.

last update 2011-03-24 © poliMATIC 2010