Casting variation and the inability to program robots easily offline have prevented many foundries from automating, but there are now user-friendly solutions to these problems.
Dealing with Casting Variation — As castings increase in size, so does the dimensional variation among castings. The requirement to remove a gate or riser to a dimension closer than that variation has made using robotics very difficult.
Offline Programming with a Digitizer — Another milestone is the development of robot path generation using a digitizer arm. This does not require a solid model, nor does it require the actual robot cell to program a new casting. It’s a development that helps foundries to justify automated casting finishing because the robot cell can remain in production, cleaning another previously programmed casting, while a new casting is programmed at the programmer’s workbench.
To read the complete report, subscribe to the Foundry Management & Technology free digital edition.