Combining Collaborative Robots with Optical Metrology – Alicona Cobots

Alicona Cobots integrate a collaborative 6-axis robot and a powerful optical 3D measurement sensor.

Alicona Cobots integrate a collaborative 6-axis robot and a powerful optical 3D measurement sensor to offer high-resolution measurements that can be traced and repeated even in production.

They need no previous knowledge of metrology and make programming, handling and executing measurement series easy. This is made possible by intuitive hand-guided controls for the teach-in of measurement series, automatic measurement assessment and a no-enclosures safety concept. Therefore, Cobots are suitable for validating the surface state and dimensional accuracy of work pieces in current production environments.

The following real-world examples show the benefits and capabilities of two new Alicona Cobots. The DiscCobot is used to automatically verify the edges of turbine discs and the extremely flexible ToolCobot enables users to measure large tools directly in the machine tool.

The DiscCobot is used to automatically verify the edges of turbine discs and the extremely flexible ToolCobot enables users to measure large tools directly in the machine tool.

DiscCobot: Avoiding Sharp Edges on Turbine Disks

The DiscCobot is used for the quality assurance of turbine discs that weigh up to 120 kg. In particular, the Cobot is employed in the standardized evaluation of edge breaks. By verifying minimal radii, it prevents sharp edges that can, in the worst case, compromise aircraft safety. Operating and programming the Cobot is intuitive and easy.

With its attached measuring sensor, the robot arm is easily and conveniently controlled by the operator to attain the desired surface position. Two handles with an integrated joystick are mounted on the sensor, enabling the robot arm to move easily. A smartphone app shows the live view for manual, precise positioning and measurement. Using connected automation software, any series of measurements can be defined at a number of positions, which the operator subsequently starts with the push of a button. Control and measurement are completely automated, and upon completion the worker gets a measurement report with OK or Not OK details.

The DiscCobot is used for the quality assurance of turbine discs that weigh up to 120 kg.

ToolCobot: Measuring Tools Directly in the Tool Machine

The ToolCobot is designed for measuring large tools. It is an innovative addition to Alicona’s series of optical edge measuring devices. It is used in the quality assurance of drills, millers etc. with shanks of up to 1 m in length. Furthermore, broaching and hobs tools are measured. The ToolCobot features a HSK interface for easy tool fitting and can be modified horizontally and vertically due to its flexible axes, guaranteeing ergonomic operation.

The system is also mounted on wheels for extra mobility, meaning the Cobot can easily be moved anywhere. The need to re-clamp components or workpieces from the tool machine, to measure them, is no longer required as the ToolCobot inspects them directly in the machine. This way, defects and tolerance deviations are spotted at an early stage rather than during the final step of the production process, thus preventing defective components from being manufactured.

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This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Alicona Imaging GmbH.

For more information on this source, please visit Alicona Imaging GmbH.

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