Robotics continues to take on dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks to relieve employees for other tasks. Aerobotix and FerRobotics GmbH yesterday said they have jointly created an automated sander to reduce human involvement in hazardous tasks in response to industry demand.
The companies claimed that they designed the first Class II, Division 1 (C2D1) end-of-arm tool (EOAT) sander. It is based on FerRobotics' Active Orbital Kit (AOK) with patented Active Compliant Technology and can improve efficiency and safety, they said.
Aerobotix works to make aerospace jobs safer
Each year, tens of millions of workers globally are afflicted with silicosis, an incurable lung disease caused by crystalline silica dust inhalation, leading to thousands of deaths, according to the International Labour Organization. Many jobs in the aerospace and defense industries involve combustible, dangerous dust created by sanding.
The invention of a force-compliant C2D1-rated automated sander, with integral dust collection, virtually eliminates the risk of exposure and occupationally acquired respiratory infections, said Aerobotix and FerRobotics.
“Aerobotix remains committed to improving safety in the aerospace and defense industries,” said Josh Tuttle, business development manager at Aerobotix. “As such, we’re proud to partner with FerRobotics on this important tool to help save lives and reduce lung disease in the workplace.”
Huntsville, Alabama-based Aerobotix specializes in the creation of automation for the production of high-value, high-precision components, aircraft, and vehicles. The company has more than 130 robotic systems installed in the U.S. and abroad.
FerRobotics helps address combustion risk
In addition to putting human workers at risk of serious respiratory illness, C2D1 worksites produce combustible dust in the air that can be quickly ignited by an equipment malfunction or the improper use of rated equipment. In a C2D1 environment, combustible dust of an electrically conductive nature might also be present, or dust might be emitted into the air continuously, intermittently or periodically.
“Because combustible dusts have resulted in injuries, as they can be easily ignited by a spark, it’s been an area of huge concern in industrial, construction and fabrication workplaces,” said Ronald Naderer, FerRobotics founder and CEO. “Now, with this specially developed orbital sander, we finally have the right equipment to keep humans safely away from these hazardous environments while enabling teams to also avoid monotonous and time-consuming tasks.”
“It is a revolution in the force-controlled tooling market. It is the world's first AI-conditioned, active force-compliant tool – a true game changer that enables customers to implement state-of-the-art, guaranteed plug-and-play processes,” he added. “Creating this first C2D1 EOAT sander of its kind with Aerobotix is a proud achievement for FerRobotics.”
Linz, Austria-based FerRobotics develops and distributes sensitive elements for robotic surfacing and finishing end effectors. The company said its EOAT can equip an industrial robot or collaborative robot with contact intelligence and real force control.
The company said its Active Compliant Technology gives robots a sense of feeling, ensuring more efficient, finer, and more valuable production results. FerRobotics said its products are ready for applications such as robotic grinding, sanding, polishing, brushing, satin finishing, deburring, or taping.