CAM-based planning, programming and execution of large-scale machining operations by a robot-mounted gantry system

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Journal titleSAE International Journal of Materials and Manufacturing
Pages3040; # of pages: 11
SubjectAutomatically generated; Cad/cams; Calibration procedure; Complex geometries; Conventional machines; Gantry system; Iterative process; Kinematic model; Machining operations; On-line process monitoring; Path generation; Positioning precision; Process performance; Production modes; Program generation; Program management; Robot machining; Robot programs; Robot trajectory; Robotic systems; Surface data; Toolpaths; Trajectory information; Cams; Machining centers; Process monitoring; Robotics; Robots; User interfaces; Robot programming
AbstractThis paper examines issues related to planning, programming and execution of machining operations by a robot in the context of machining large parts with complex geometries by a gantry-mounted robotic system. Parts were created from surface data in a CAD/CAM environment. The same environment was used to generate tool paths using a conventional machine tool approach. These paths were converted to robot trajectories and validated using mathematical kinematic models of the robotic system. Validation was performed according to various criteria related to process performance. Associated robot programs were then automatically generated. The manufacturing cell was progressively integrated according to requirements resulting from iterative process characterization. A metrology-based calibration procedure was designed that considerably improved the system's positioning precision. A custom user interface for online process monitoring was created as well as online cell program management capabilities to accommodate the large quantity of trajectory information. The system went from conceptual, to prototype-level to full production mode, thereby covering several Manufacturing Readiness Levels (MRL). The various strategies used in planning the process and programming the system demonstrate the viability of CAM-based approach for robot machining path generation without resorting to the use of OLP packages for validation of program generation. This could create a shift in the dependency on robotic specialists, allowing machine tool experts to carry about the programming of robot machining cells using the conventional machine tool approach.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); Aerospace (AERO-AERO)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21269545
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Record identifierda75e831-0c7a-4b3d-a95b-21c1c2a2ff86
Record created2013-12-12
Record modified2016-05-09
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