Modern Machine Shop

JUL 2018

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MODERN MACHINE SHOP 99 BETTER PRODUCTION Automated Inspection Processes simulate and generate the inspection program. The algorithms can be fully or partially auto- mated, meaning they generate the tool path according to certain parameters that can be mod- ified by the operator or robot programmer. With custom, fully automated algorithms, robots can be programmed in just a few seconds, says RoboDK CEO Albert Nubiola. The NASA Advanced Com- posites Project uses an algorithm that creates a tool path for the robot to follow on the surface of the fuselage, avoiding windows and holes. The software's API also enables users to create programs off line and simulate them before download- ing them to the robot. "Off line programming of the robot is very useful when you need to do the planning work prior to moving the robotic system to a hangar or other location," says NASA Analytical Mechanics Associate Joshua Brown. He adds that the simulation func- tion is also helpful, as it can be used to check for problems like axis limits and collisions, which are a potential problem when using multiple cobots. "It's been fairly simple to bring multiple robots into a station and get them working together virtually before having the real metal f lying around," Mr. Brown says. Once the program is created and simulated, it can be downloaded to the robot, so inspection can begin without additional setup. The system is in the early stages of development, and Mr. Brown says the goal is to get the framework for the inspection system in place and work out some of the details. Currently, the cobots must be moved man- ually to different areas around the fuselage and then recali- brated before performing a scan based on the surface in that area. The next phase of devel- opment involves mounting the cobots on a linear stage that will extend the reach of the system to roughly 3 meters. That linear stage also could be mounted on another linear stage or pair of linear stages to extend the system's reach in another axis or plane. This system has the potential to save time and money, as it enables a single operator to oversee the inspection process. Programming and simu- lation ensure efficiency, because the robots move on the most practical and comprehensive paths around the aircraft. Simulation can also prevent potentially costly problems. In addition, the cobots have a safety system that monitors when to switch into a reduced-safety mode and stops oper- ation when it comes into contact with a person. T E L : +1-888-976-6789 FAX : +1-909-993-5378 Mail : YAMA SEIKI USA, Inc Booth 339476

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