Find out how gear manufacturer Katsa Oy was able to achieve consistent quality in its finishing and deburring processes. Article by Renishaw.
Gear and gearbox manufacturer Katsa Oy designs and manufactures power transmission components and supplies special gear units tailored to customer’s demands. Deburring gears manually using grinding wheels can be a variable process, resulting in inconsistent finishes across parts in the same batch. Machine-shop operators have to be very skilled to achieve a quality and consistent finish, but even then, variability from one operator to another is unavoidable.
In addition, manual deburring is a dirty and hazardous job, which few operators at Katsa wanted to undertake. As a consequence, finishing and deburring operations became a bottleneck in the company’s manufacturing process, with a knock-on effect often causing significant delays.
Thinking of automating the gear deburring process, Katsa approached Flexmill Oy, the global renowned for design and build robotised cell, to build an automated cell to finish-machine and deburr gears ranging in size from 50 mm to 1.5 m diameter.
The bespoke, turnkey cell incorporates an ABB robot, a Renishaw RMP60 probe and a twin pallet system which allows one gear to be machined whilst another is loaded.
To ensure all excess material on the machined gears is removed automatically by the deburring process, the Flexmill software requires the exact geometrical parameters of the gears and the gear teeth. Some of these parameters are known and available for each of the many different gears made by Katsa.
Those parameters that are not known can be measured using the Renishaw RMP60 probe with radio signal transmission. The ABB robot uses the probe for locating parts during set-up, with the resulting positional data used by the control software to generate a complete, automated deburring cycle—with no manual programming required. Once machined, the RMP60 probe is used post-process to confirm finished dimensions.
Flexmill Cell Featuring ABB Robot and Renishaw RMP60 Probe
The RMP60’s proven kinematic resistive probe mechanism, combined with its unique frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) radio transmission ideally suited to this application. This means that communication between the probe and its receiver remains stable even if, for example, ‘line-of-sight’ is lost or if another radio source enters the environment.
Operating in the 2.4 GHz waveband, the RMP60 machine probe is compliant with radio regulations in all major industrial markets. It offers a variety of activation options, an adjustable trigger force and measurement repeatability of ±1 μm 2σ.
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