Shot blasting with robot

Clemco Denmark is a leader within the supply of very durable and advanced robotic blast cleaning systems for larger steel structures. The industries within off-shore and wind turbines have been our working field for many years.

QUICK FACTS

  1. The robotic shot blasting process can handle nozzle sizes of up to 19 mm and blast with up to 12 bars air pressure.
  2. The type of robot we use is an industrial handling robot with 6 axis with a range of up to 3 meters.
  3. The robot is well protected with a neoprene suit and safeguarded with compressed air to avoid dust and grit particles.
  4. A simualtion of the blasting pattern can be performed prior to the in-situ programming.
  5. The lifetime of the neoprene protection suit, when blasting with steel grit, is more than 6 months.
  6. The famous Clemco Denmark dual chamber blast machine can blast continously without stops. 

 

WATCH ONE OF OUR AUTOMATION SOLUTIONs

Watch one of our robotic solutions for shot blasting. This video shows an inverted 8-axis gantry blasting robot with a 360 rotational axis to place the element. The rotation desk can handle element up to 35 tons. Watch one of our robotic solutions for shot blasting. This video shows an inverted 8-axis gantry blasting robot with a 360 rotational axis to place the element. The rotation desk can handle element up to 35 tons. Watch one of our robotic solutions for shot blasting. This video shows an inverted 8-axis gantry blasting robot with a 360 rotational axis to place the element. The rotation desk can handle element up to 35 tons. Watch one of our robotic solutions for shot blasting. This video shows an inverted 8-axis gantry blasting robot with a 360 rotational axis to place the element. The rotation desk can handle element up to 35 tons.

SHOT BLASTING AND ABRASIVE CLEANING WITH ROBOTS

Clemco Denmark is a leader within the supply of very durable and advanced robotic blast cleaning systems for larger steel structures. We have more than 40 years of experience of robotic shot blasting systems for the wind turbine industry. Denmark has always been a forerunner of wind energy, and also of the steel structures in the industry of wind energy such as wind mill towers, nacelles and off shore jackets. These areas have been our working field for many years. Our main advantage is that we understand the abrasive cleaning process very thoroughly. We have achieved this knowledge from our many projects that we have delivered during the last 40 years. We know when a certain surface roughness and cleanness creates the correct surface preparation for a following zinc/aluminum metallization process.

The zinc/aluminum coating works as a cathodic protection on the steel surface and 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.

The special alternations required for robotic blast cleaning are:

  1. The robot itself must be heavily protected against grit recoil and dust generated from the blast cleaning

  2. 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

  3. The robotic blasting booth must be protected by a special rubber or manganese steel cover to prevent excessive wear in hot spot areas

  4. The abrasive regeneration and cleaning system should be able to handle abrasive material from two 19 mm blast nozzles blast cleaning without any breaks or pauses

  5. The blast hose placement must be precisely aligned relative to the robot's pattern of 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 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 floor mounted or inverted versions (as shown on the picture to the right).

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 againgto 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.”

 

 

Robot control

               
DX 200 Controller                               Hand controller with touch screen

The robot uses the dynamic DX200 controller that includes patented multiple robot control technology for easy handling multiple tasks and control up to eight robots (72 axes), I/O devices and communication protocols. Featuring a robust PC architecture with unmatched memory capacity, the DX200 uses a Windows® CE programming pendant with color touch screen. The energy-saving DX200 controller features faster processing speeds for smoother interpolation, advanced robot arm motion, built-in collision avoidance, quicker I/O response and accelerated Ethernet communication. Its extensive I/O suite includes integral PLC and HMI pendant displays, 4,096 I/O and a graphical ladder editor that can provide system level control. The DX200 supports all major fieldbus networks. It is compliant to ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012 and other relevant ISO and CSA safety standards.

Clemco Robotic blast machine 300 L dual chamber

The Clemco 300 L blasting unit is a traditional blasting tank, but with additional electrical and pneumatics components made for robot blasting. The timing of the cycles between the blasting and loading is controlled by a PLC. The tank need to be loaded with abrasive blasting material every 20 minutes of operation.

The air supply is prepared with 2” piping for the main air valve ensuring the pop-up system in the chamber to close faster which means less pressure loss. The valves ensure that the pressure is maintained constantly in the shot blasting system.

The blast cleaning process starts and stops by the robot, which is controlled in the blasting program.
On the user panel you can start and stop the blasting process to test the automatic blasting equipment. 

The amount of grit coming out of the nozzle is regulated on the abrasive valve on the bottom outlet of the blasting machine. The blasting pressure is controlled by the robot and can also the controlled on the operator panel at 2 set-point values. In practice the equipment can be installed with one 19mm venturi nozzle or two 19mm venturi nozzles. With one 19 mm nozzle the approx. cleaning time is 1,5 m2/min to SA 2½ with the Clemco Denmark robot solution. The roughness can be from 90-100μ to 120-150μ depending on grit size and abrasive material. Normally we will recommend a work mix of steel grit for robotic abrasive cleaning og steel surfaces.

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.

Karsten Hansen

"Need more information about robotic shot blasting? Give me a call."

Karsten Hansen Frosio Inspector, level III

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