Robotic cleaning of castings is currently limited to large series of parts with small burrs. The costs for fixtures and clamping and for online programming of the robot largely exceed the potential savings of using robots for small series. Less expensive fixtures only add to the positioning uncertainties by which the use of online programmed robots becomes prohibitive.
The paper presents a robotic deburring system for small series of heavy-duty castings with large burrs and risers. Strategies are presented to cope with large burrs and with the allowed large position uncertainty of the casting. CAD data of the nominal castings is used to program the robot offline, resulting in reduced programming time. Active force control is used for burr detection and for coping with uncertainties in the casting position. The test set-up consists of an offline-programmed, hydraulic, force-controlled robot and an example of the cleaning of a gray iron casting of a heavy-duty crank case for a truck is presented.