Robot-Friendly Spindle Blast System

The company has introduced a rotary indexing blast machine with special adaptations to enable a smooth interface with robotic load/unload equipment. Unmanned automatic operation is possible in production surface treatment applications such as deburring, deflashing, surface preparation and cosmetic finishing. The Model RXS-800 has four abrasion-protected ball bearing spindles equally spaced around the perimeter of its 36” diameter rotary table.

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The company has introduced a rotary indexing blast machine with special adaptations to enable a smooth interface with robotic load/unload equipment. Unmanned automatic operation is possible in production surface treatment applications such as deburring, deflashing, surface preparation and cosmetic finishing. The Model RXS-800 has four abrasion-protected ball bearing spindles equally spaced around the perimeter of its 36” diameter rotary table. A reliable cam indexer accurately advances the fixtured component through separate blasting and air-wash chambers in the cabinet, and then returns the finished part to the unloading position at the front of the blast machine. Inside the blast enclosure, the component is rotated at a pre-set, adjustable speed as targeted aspects of the part are exposed to blast from multiple nozzles for a timed cycle. If the desired coverage cannot be obtained by an array of blast nozzles that are rigidly bracketed in a fixed position, the machine builder offers programmable linear traversing, oscillating and multiple-axis gun motion that is synchronized with spindle rotation. For the blast system to be used with a machine-tending robot, more than extremely precise table radial indexing may be required. The component-carrying spindle may also have to be oriented exactly to allow faultless gripping of the workpiece. The company provides a motor-driven spindle orientation device that automatically engages, rotates and continually aligns the spindle and part-holding fixture so that components can be removed and replaced without incident or interruption. The programmable logic controller of the RXS-800 processes inputs from a variety of electronic sensors during unmanned operation of the automatic blast system. The quantity of blast media is constantly monitored, and the machine builder provides a storage hopper that automatically adds shot or grit when a low level is detected. The dust collector waste barrel and separator scrap drum can be equipped with level sensors to signal when they are full. Indexing and operation of the machine may be initiated only when a loaded part is present. A beacon light and/or audible alarm can be used to summon an attendant when a fault condition is indicated. The control panel is simplified by the use of a touch screen human machine interface that graphically represents system functions, providing text prompts and efficient access to multiple levels of touch-and-select displays as well as on-screen instructions.