Understanding the Input of Robotic Finishing in the Metal Industry

As technology evolves and automation advances, many companies are adopting robotic techniques like deburring (edge-breaking), polishing and grinding. Through automated work cells, computerized procedures can eliminate surface flaws like burrs, fins, and sharp edges quickly. A significant percentage of the work cells can be incorporated at the specific manufacturing point with different already integrated systems and processes. 

Majority of the finishing systems use a huge vibratory tumbler. The unit comprises a finishing media revolution that encounters each other and a collection of workpieces. The unit facilitates the deburring, cleaning, smoothing, and polishing of the workpieces. Read on for more insights about robotic finishing systems. 

Robotic Finishing Systems Types

There are various types of robotic finishing models available in the market, as we shall see below. 

·       Lean Finishing Cells

A majority of robotic techniques can be augmented by hand gadgets for the specific high accuracy execution of tasks like edge-breaking, sanding, belting, and buffing. Some systems comprise various solutions like infeed/outfeed conveyor straps and smooth buffing for fragile components.

·       High-pressure Edge-breaking Water Systems

These systems are capable of generating water blasts at more than 10,000 pounds per square inch. Doing so allows them to eliminate a wide range of surface faults. They are ideal for conditions where edge-breaking high-pressure water machines are required. The primary use of these machines includes die casting, foundry work, and automotive re-manufacturing. 

·       Blast Cabinets

Blast cabinets are specially designed for parts that come with complex geometrical patterns that need compliance for challenging quality standards. Machines that fall under this category include automotive and medical units. Aerospace industries can also benefit from blast cabinets. The advantages s of blast cabinets include enhanced regularity of surface finishing via simple repeatable results and small size, saving space. 

·       Robotic Polishing

Grinding, deburring, and robot polishing procedures in the finishing sector should deliver consistent and high-accuracy results. From low to high volumes, devices capable of shifting to varying part shapes, and the required finish. Such systems should be affordable. The robotic software signals the workpieces to refine a part in pre-set motions like varying immersion depths, circular motion, and outlined treatment angles permit the particular finishing of specific surface areas. 

What are the Sustainability Advantages of Leveraging Robotic Finishing?

Apart from enhancing productivity, robotic finishing promotes the sustainability of your polishing and sanding tasks. Today, sustainability is becoming a popular word among many businesses.

Entrepreneurs from different parts of the world are devising strategies to help them increase their sustainability. It is worth mentioning that sustainability is a critical part of present-day business. There are numerous reasons businesses should consider enhancing their sustainability, like promoting new revenue opportunities, increased tax incentives, and customer demand.

Finishing tasks like polishing and sanding are ideal robotic automation candidates. Robots can solve numerous prevalent problems that finishing workers struggle with. Doing so makes the jobs more satisfactory and enhances the quality of products. Here are some sustainability benefits you will reap from choosing robotic finishing as opposed to conventional manual finishing.  

Adequate Material Removal 

Robotic finishing enhances the steadiness of polishing and sanding tasks. With proper programming, the robot will offer regular force on the material surface across the entire finishing task.

As a result, it will only finish the parts along the surface which require finishing, making the robotic finishing more adequate and sustainable than manual finishing. 

·       Minimal Waste 

The abrasive material you utilize for finishing tasks can be worn out fast, especially in manual polishing and sanding tasks. Whether you are a startup entrepreneur or experienced, you can lose the finishing media inconsistently, causing waste that could have been avoided.  

You can cut down this waste by using robots. Finishing robots are easily customizable and can be updated to boost the efficiency of finishing tasks. Doing so further minimizes waste.  

·       Reduced Tool Degeneration

Tool degeneration is the leading cause of depletion in finishing tasks. Some level of degeneration is critical during a specific task. When the tool degenerates, the workpiece surface does so too. Still, if users can modify the finishing task to contain these changes, they can further reduce tool degeneration. 

·       Prolonged Tool Life

A robot that can adapt its operation to contain tool degeneration often prolongs the tool’s life than a robot that cannot execute this function. Prolonged tool life boosts business sustainability in various ways. For instance, it minimizes waste while helping reduce a significant percentage of downtime associated with numerous failures. Studies suggest that tool life plays a crucial role in manufacturing sustainability. 

·       Better Workforce Utilization

Robotic finishing allows entrepreneurs to save finishing workers from repetitive and tedious tasks and propels them to more valuable tasks. Doing so allows employees to utilize their capabilities and skills efficiently. While many people worry that robots will replace them at work, experts disagree with the concept. One study suggests that engineering jobs are not at risk of automation, and robots can promote job sustainability by generating new non-repetitive jobs. 

·       Increased Wellbeing and Health

Finishing tasks can be dangerous even though they do not look like they are. The repetitive motions of polishing and sanding may usually lead to specific musculoskeletal disorders. Inhaling dust may also pose a risk, while workers may suffer hearing damage due to working amidst overly noisy tools. Using power tools comes with various critical health risks. However, entrepreneurs can avoid them by adopting robot finishing instead of using conventional finishing. Adopting advanced techniques makes tasks more sustainable.  

·       Enhanced Energy Consumption 

Energy consumption is one of the most effective sustainability pillars. Reducing energy consumption helps reduce the effects of your operations on the environment. Further, it minimizes running costs. Using robots can help you cut down on energy consumption. When efficiently programmed, a robot only consumes energy for necessary movements. Some studies suggested that you schedule your robot to run at specific times when energy consumption is at its lowest. 


Robot finishing helps entrepreneurs enhance their sustainability by boosting employee health, enhancing job satisfaction, and minimizing shipping emissions. Polishing, deburring, and grinding procedures can be integrated with mechanized controlling to facilitate grasping and transfer, automatic feeding, loading and unloading, and tool changing activities.