SHOT BLASTING WITH ROBOTS
We believe that our experience within the field of surface treatment mixed with a robots persistency and accuracy is what it takes to become a world leader of robotic solutions within anticorrosion.
Quick facts about robotic shot blasting
- Our turntable solutions can handle parts up to 35 tons
- The robotic shot blasting process can handle nozzle sizes up to 22 mm and blast with up to 12 bars air pressure
- Our robotic solutions blast steel structures of significant sizes due to our unique servo driven 9-axis gantry system
- The robots are well protected with a neoprene suit and safeguarded with compressed air to avoid dust and grit particles
- A simulation of the blasting pattern can be performed to achieve an efficient blasting time
- The lifetime of the neoprene protection suit, when blasting with steel grit, is 6 months +
- The famous Clemco Denmark dual chamber blasting system can blast continously without stops
- The robotic program is open for programming in ABBs RobotStudio software
Our standard robotic solutions for shot blasting
The picture above shows a gantry turn-key solution at a customer producing big steel components for the off shore industry. It is a complete shot blasting solution taylored for this specific customer and was installed in their current premises.
Clemco Denmark assists, supports and takes action from the very beginning of a projeckt till the robot is up and running. For us it is very important that our customers get exactly what they ask for and that the solution works even better than they have hoped for. We experience that excisting customers having installed their first robotic solutions come back to us to expand their production with more robotic solutions for surface treatment.
Shot blasting and abrasive cleaning with robots
Denmark as a country has always been a forerunner of wind energy, and also of steel structures in the industry of wind energy such as wind turbine towers, nacelles and off shore jackets. These areas have been Clemco Denmark's working field for many years, and our main advantage is that we understand the abrasive cleaning process very thoroughly. We have achieved this knowledge from our many projects during the last 70 years. We know when a certain surface roughness and cleanness creates the correct surface preparation for a following zinc/aluminum metallization process. Each process - being shot blasting, metallization or spraypainting - is carried out in a way to achieve the best conditions for the steel structure to go to next coating step.
For what concerns our robotic automation solutions we are feeding our robotic systems with the past 7 decades of knowledge. And that is what makes Clemco Denmark a world leader within robotic solutions for surface treatment in general. We believe that our experience within the field of surface treatment mixed with a robots persistency and accuracy is what it takes to become a world leader of robotic solutions within anticorrosion. For us, programming a robot, is the easy part. What requires knowledge is the shot blasting itself.
When coating clean steel structures with a zinc/aluminum coating you get a cathodic protection on the steel surface which prevents future corrosion. It sounds simple, but it requires an in-depth understanding of the shot blasting process itself, the steel abrasive recycling and cleaning as well as building rigid and long life systems. The manual process of blast cleaning with steel grit cannot just be transferred to a robotic solution. The robotic shot blasting requires a number of special alternations in order to work successfully and to be economically justifiable.
Special alternations required for robotic blast cleaning:
The robot itself must be heavily protected against grit recoil and dust generated from the blast cleaning
The robot blasting nozzle should move in a special pattern that rotates in circular and slightly overlapping tracks and sometimes perform quick swiping movements to release iron scale from the steel surface
The robotic blasting booth must be protected by a special rubber or manganese steel cover to prevent excessive wear in hot spot areas
The abrasive recovery and cleaning system should be able to handle abrasive material from two 19 mm blast nozzles blast cleaning without any breaks.
The blast hose placement must be precisely aligned with the robot's movement
Robot for automatic blast cleaning
For our robotic shot blasting solutions we are working together with ABB, who produces some of the best robots in the world. We have chosen the model IRB 6700 for our shot blasting solutions which is the highest performing robot in the 150-300 kilogram class. It reaches up to 3 meters, and is available as wall mounted (as shown on the picture) or inverted versions.
The entire robot structure is strengthened with high rigidity, resulting in increased accuracy, shorter cycle time and better protection. Furthermore this robot is built to withstand the harshest working environments, which is one of the main reasons why we have chosen the IRB 6700. This model has also been validated and tested over and over againg to ensure that the predictions for reliability is accurate in the real world.
Simplified maintenance is also one of the aspects to take into concideration when chosing a robot. Time of service and repair has over the last generations of this robot model been reduced by 15%.
Access to motors has also been improved and technical documentation for maintenance has become easier to read and understand through the use of improved graphics and 3D simulations called “Simstructions.”
During blasting the robot is covered by a special protection suit to protect it from dust. The protection cover is made of a very resistent material (shown on picture above). Some parts of the cover is more exposed to grit recoil and dust generated from the shot blasting process. It is therefore interchangeble in sections. Instead of changing the entire cover every time some areas are warned out it is only necessary to replace the most warned out sections. The sections and/or the entire cover can easily be replaced due to the smart design.
Facts about our robotic solution using an ABB IRB 6700 robot:
- Can be delivered with a 360 degree rotational axis (turntable) which is able to handle heavy steel structures of up to 35 tons
- Can be delviered as an inverted 8 axis gantry blasting robot
- Very efficient blasting time
- 100 % automatic
Facts about the easy programming of the ABB IRB 6700 robot:
- Adjustable air pressure directly on a touch screen
- Adjustable distance between blast nozzle and surface
- Adjustable blasting speed
- Swiping blasting pattern of the blast nozzle for optimal cleaning
- Flowmeter for meassurement of blast media consumption and control
Robot cell for shot blasting and safety systems
A cornerstone and main focus area of Clemco Denmark is safety. Safety-wise the blast cleaning booth defines the robot cell. All doors and gates are integrated in the safety circuit and PLC for optimum safety of the operators.
The whole system can be operated from the operator panel to control the robot cell.
Monitor and test functions
Start/Stop, program selection and system ready to run
Robot in home position
Robot in process test position
Robot in tool change position
Optional cameras can be installed for the operator to monitor the robotic blast cleaning process.