As previously discussed in our Automation Blog Series, building a robotically assisted process requires evaluating your surface finishing system along with its problems and goals and selecting the right machine and consumables. Automating a mass finishing or shot blasting process also requires selecting the automated hardware that will best achieve your overall goals and provides the most efficiency in terms of time and manual labor.
An experienced partner such as Rosler Metal Finishing can provide insight and advice on the numerous material handling tools specially designed or adapted to mass finishing and shot blasting process improvement.
Work Piece Loading Systems
Including skip loaders, lift and tip loaders, vibratory feed hoppers, and other tools, work piece loading systems are ideal for small- to mid-sized work pieces handled in bulk.
These loading systems can be movable—for example, on rails—to serve several machines. They can also be placed on weighing cells to determine the exact work piece quantity by weight and adjust machine loads accordingly.
Used for loading and intermediate transport, conveyor belts are commonly used for mid-sized to larger work pieces. These belts must be able to withstand moisture and sometimes harsher industrial conditions. They must also be well-sealed to prevent aggressive liquids or abrasive media from destroying their drive systems and bearings.
Part and media conveyors on an inline vibratory machine
Commonly used to transport large, heavy work pieces such as large steel beams and plates, roller conveyors are also utilized for automatic staging of raw parts and backfilling finished parts into part bins.
Increasingly utilized for work piece loading and unloading, robots are also used to manipulate work pieces in a mass finishing or shot blasting machine. In conjunction with robots, special quick-connect couplings and grippers allow for the automatic attachment and release of the work pieces to and from special workstations.
Additional examples of automated material handling equipment include:
- Gantry systems, which can handle very large work pieces.
- Walking beam cross conveyors for staging steel plates and beams in roller conveyor blast systems and preservation lines.
- Backfill systems, which gently return finished parts back into waiting part bins or buffer tables for intermediate storage of the finished work pieces.
With more than 80 years of expertise, Rosler has worldwide experience in finding solutions to challenging surface finishing solutions. Developing automated hardware and integrating robotic solutions is one of our many strengths. Contact us today to learn how we can improve and automate your finishing system.
Our next Automated Blog Series post will discuss environmental considerations of automation. Until then, revisit previous posts in the series, including: