Surface finishing and
At Nordbo Robotics we develop technology platforms and products that target surface finishing processes including quality inspection for finishing check and area identification. These process application areas are closely linked and are least automized compared to handling, welding, assembly, etc.
The main reason for this lack of automation is that processing tasks such as grinding, polishing, deburring, painting have an extremely high complexity, which makes them difficult and costly to automate, especially for SMCs high mix and low volume production.
Surface finishing is a broad range of global industrial processes that alter the surface of a manufactured item to achieve a certain property. Today, processes such as grinding, polishing, deburring, painting, etc. across different materials (metal, plastic, composite, concrete) and markets segments (automotive, 3C, construction, energy) are still largely covered by human workers. These are complicated crafts that require extensive process know-how and experience. Many businesses in different industries are facing a shortage of qualified craftsmen who can consistently produce high quality goods.
If we take grinding application as an example, the average effective grinding time for a manual worker is typically 40%, which is 3.2 hours of an 8-hour working day. Also, the output consistency typically drops up to 50% after 2 hours of continuous work.
The inconsistent output leads to an overproduction to compensate the bad parts, and a high scrape/waste rate. All this sums up to large amounts of wasted resources caused by overproduction itself and waste disposal as well.
The extensive safety requirements can be difficult to meet by some companies (protection equipment, ventilation setup)
Companies worldwide are struggling to find skilled labor to handle post-processing tasks
Faulty manual processing can lead to a high number of scrapped parts if tolerances are not met; inconsistent use of abrasives lead to abrasive scraps)
The poor ergonomic related to post-processing can cause serious long-term injuries
Meeting tolerances and achieving a high uniformity is difficult by manual processing
Low repeatability due to manual processing increases the time spend on quality control
Existing solutions are huge and require weeks of planning to setup.
PRICE AND SIZE
The extensive setups are expensive and often require a huge amount of space.
RELYING ON 3D FILES
3D files used to create programs does rarely match part tolerances causing faulty processing.
Programming and reprogramming of these setups require in-depth knowledge or external support.
HIGH VOLUME, LOW VARIETY
Existing solutions are made for mass production and require extensive work to handle new parts.
The difficulties of changing the setup make these solutions unfit for high mix/low volume manufacturing.