While robotics continues to become more and more advanced, there are some processes that still seem best done manually. They’re too complex, traditional thinking goes. But, while that may still be true for some processes, KUKA Robotics and 3M have developed a way in which weld processing can now be automated.

That’s thanks to the ready2_grind, a pre-configured solution to automate weld grinding and blending processes.

“The applications are primarily grinding and blending of welds. The optimum welds would be button-corner weld, where customers want to remove the weld and achieve a certain finish prior to, perhaps, painting or any other post-process they may have,” said Scott Barnett, Application Engineering Manager – Robotic Abrasive Processing at 3M.

The ready2_grind utilizes KUKA’s KR60 robot and controller and tooling from 3M, including the Active Compliant Tool. It’s a partnership that can help customers as manual grinders become more difficult to hire and keep on.

“The KR60 has an ideal reach at about 2.5 meters to cover most grinding applications, like weld grinding and casting grinding,” said Pat Duda, Senior Application Engineer for KUKA Robotics. “The mechanics are extremely rigid, and the path and velocity performance are really stable, also. That produces really consistent results.”

With 3M tooling, like the 3M Active Compliant Tool, on the end of the KUKA robotic arm providing the abrasive section of the tool, the ready2_grind is a perfect example of two innovative companies teaming up and finding a way to integrate effectively.

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