ARTICLE ON ROBOTIC TECHNOLOGY IN WOODWORKING

ARTICLE ON ROBOTIC TECHNOLOGY IN WOODWORKING

In addition to their use in the industry, robots are starting to enter our daily lives, especially in developed countries. Although the technology has been developed a long time ago, it is noteworthy that the use of robots is relatively low. One of the main reasons for this is the cost of owning a robot, it would not be wrong to say that the other one is that it is difficult to operate efficiently. Therefore, the use of robots in industry has been somewhat limited until 15-20 years ago. In recent years, it is seen that the use of robots is increasing rapidly every year. Because today, a robot has become very financially accessible. However, qualified personnel are still needed to operate this.

Robots commissioning work is generally done in our country through the implementer (integrator) companies. These companies procure a robot (almost all foreign) that is suitable for the needs of the enterprises from the manufacturer and usually installs, installs and delivers them in operation with the personnel they have. Commissioning usually takes days, sometimes weeks. Because it is not a simple task to equip and program a robot according to the job. Once commissioning is complete, the operator of the robot performs simple tasks such as starting and stopping and entering the basic parameters and uses the robot efficiently. In the future, if the same robot is used for a different job or sometimes for the same job, but it is intended to be used in a different way, the operator is called again and carries out the re-adjustment and / or programming of the robot for a fee. As such, the boundaries of the field in which robots are used in industry are largely determined by works where the same task is repeated continuously and for a long time. Naturally, this has also identified the sectors (automotive, food, packaging, etc.) where robots are predominantly used today.

However, there is more space available for robot use. One of these is the woodworking sector. With the exception of some exceptions, robots are used today in the woodworking industry only in a small number of large enterprises. However, more and more companies are able to buy robots in terms of financial power, and they really need the use of robots in their business. We see that the element that prevents most of these enterprises from using robots is the difficulties encountered in employing personnel who will use the robot. Because, unlike what is experienced in large enterprises, the robot needs to be adjusted and programmed according to the new job, since the variety of jobs that the robot will perform and the number of jobs are less. As in other sectors, it is not reasonable to get support from implementing companies due to the costs. However, to ensure continuity in quality, to meet the standard, to reduce labor costs and to minimize errors using robots is a solution that brightens the eyes of many business owners.

Then the need is clear. It is necessary to eliminate the “so who will run this robot now?” question and concern of the owners and / or managers. A more user-friendly, more easily programmable and adjustable robot is a powerful candidate to enter the door of any business of this type. At this point, robots that can learn (also known as self-learning or teach-in) come into play. As a result of R & D activities in recent years, AS METAL Ağaç Makineleri Sanayi, such a user-friendly robot to produce the full extent of one is the first to have succeeded in Turkey, 22-26 October 2016 between the stand in Tuyap Woodworking Machinery Exhibition (Hall 2, 221 -A) will exhibit.

The most significant difference of this robot is that it can be programmed by standard methods and it can be learned from the operator. For example, consider painting a table or chair that will take hours to program. The operator first paints the part by holding the spray gun on the end of the robot. In the meantime, the robot moves in harmony with the operator to learn the work to be done in a few minutes. In doing so, it does not use an auxiliary pneumatic component, as it is the case in most other companies, but it does this at a lower cost by simply controlling the axis motors in a more technological way. After the learning process is completed, the robot performs this work alone by using the movements it has placed in its memory. There are essentially two modes of robot. One is learning mode and the other is operating mode. The robot’s brain intelligently knows what to do and controls the axes accordingly. Thus, it can work in cooperation with people. This eliminates the need for a complex program and allows the robot to be prepared and operated very quickly by any operator using the learning method for different tasks. This method can be easily applied not only for dyeing but also for sanding, polishing, cleaning, handling, holding-releasing, inverting.

Such a robot can be used for many purposes with various attachments to be attached to the end. In particular, the “part insertion apparatus“, a patented product of BOSSO, a partner of AS METAL, automatically locates the gauges when inserting the workpiece into a machine, such as machining centers, and ensures an error-free insertion. This apparatus can be connected and adapted to a robot of the appropriate size from any robot manufacturer (see FIG. As Metal Robot Kol @YouTube). Thus, the robots already in the hands of the enterprises can easily be brought to the loading and unloading parts in any machining center.

One of the common misconceptions of business owners and / or managers who do not have experience in the use of robots is that they think that a human being can do the job in about the same time. Yes, a person can place one part in the machining center at the same time as a robot. But before that person reaches the twentieth piece, his performance declines and he’s already behind the robot. Ultimately, it is known that a robot can double a person’s work in two to three, or even four, by location, during normal working hours. Add to that the extra working hours of the robot and the difference is huge. With these and other similar methods that make robots user-friendly and easier to operate, many sectors, such as the woodworking machinery sector, will be warm to robotic use and one step closer to one of the inevitable requirements of the future.

Dr. Serkan NECİPOĞLU
Mechanical  Engineer

AS METAL AĞAÇ MAKİNALARI SANAYİ

This article was published in “Ağaç Makineleri” journals.

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