Robotic deburring tools are robotic end-effectors for removing burrs, flashing, and other unwanted edge properties caused by cutting or machining. They are driven by electric, pneumatic, or hydraulic power and feature a straight, angled, or multiple-position head that accepts standard-sized burrs. There are several basic types of products. Radially-compliant robotic deburring tools have a rigid outer housing and internal motor/spindle assembly that mounts on a pivot bearing. Pistons in a chamber near the front of the housing supply a constant flow of air pressure to a rotating shaft. While spinning at high speeds, a rotary cutting burr or file rides on a cushion of air that provides a reliable field of compliance while maintaining a constant force. This field of compliance is exerted radially, providing a high degree of stiffness in the path direction and a low degree of stiffness in the contact direction. Often, a floating head is used to compensate for variances in robot path or part position. Axially-compliant robotic deburring tools are also available. These devices exert a constant axial force on a deburring head mounted to a free flying piston (FFP). The movement of these high-torque tools compensates for changes in part tolerances, part misalignment, and robot path variation.
Selecting Robotic Deburring Tools
Selecting robotic deburring tools requires an analysis of performance specifications, mounting styles, cutting burrs, and product applications. Performance specifications include operating speed, idle speed, torque, power, and Z-axis compliance. Idle speed and operating speed are usually measured in revolutions per minute (rpm). Torque is typically measured in inch-pounds (in-lbs) or feet-pounds (ft-lbs). Power is often measured in horsepower (hp). Z-axis is expressed in inches (in). Products that are specified in metric units such as millimeters (mm) are also available. In terms of mounting styles, some robotic deburring tools are designed to fit robotic wrists or tool holders on CNC machines. Others mount on benches, assembly lines, or overhead gantries. Cutting burrs are usually made of tungsten carbine, plated with polycrystalline diamond (PCD), or coated with carbon boron nitride (CBN). Some robotic deburring tools are used to remove unwanted edge properties from crankshafts, aluminum bumpers, steel steering knuckles, or titanium jet engine parts. Others are used to debur forged steel brake keys or plastic parts.