ABCO Automation and 3M Abrasives Feature SmartForce at This Year's FABTECH

At this year’s FABTECH 2018, ABCO Automation will feature SmartForce a self-contained turnkey grinding, deburring, and polishing robotic cell. Developed in conjunction with 3M, KUKA, and PushCorp, SmartForce is a flexible automation solution for manual machining processes. SmartForce will be on display in the 3M Abrasive Systems’ Booth #C11544 and is available for purchase at FABTECH. “We designed and built SmartForce to address the growing need to automate manual grinding, deburring, and polishing,” says Brad Kemmerer, president, ABCO Automation. “Today’s manufacturers recognize that new employees entering the workforce do not want jobs that are gritty, taxing, and hazardous. SmartForce offers companies a solution that removes employees from working under those conditions, repositions employees in auxiliary roles, and replaces direct labor with a robot that delivers consistent, quality results.”

With a compact footprint that is less than 100 square feet, SmartForce is mobile and flexible. The robotic cell is pre-engineered and pre-assembled on a metal skid base, which allows manufacturers to not only use it right away but easily move the cell from one section of a facility to another. In addition, other components, such as conveyors and post-processing inspection equipment, can be added to further automate the cell. The cell’s key components include:

• KUKA KR-60 3 F Robot • 3M™ Abrasives • PushCorp End-of-Arm Tool • Safety guarding • Coolmate™ Coolant System • Metal skid base • Dial part infeed table

Kemmerer went on to say, “What makes SmartForce so effective is the combination of PushCorp’s End-of-Arm tool with 3M’s abrasive discs. PushCorp’s End-of-Arm Tool features a tool holder mounted on a force control actively-compliant tool. The tool enables the robot to have human-touch capabilities that can grind, deburr, or polish in any orientation, even over contours. The tool’s unique capabilities in conjunction with ABCO programming provides our grinding, deburring, and polishing solution its ‘SmartForce’.”

The FABTECH SmartForce robotic cell will feature 3M™ Cubitron™ II Fibre Disc 982C, which is well-suited for edge chamfering, beveling, and removing carbon steel welds, mill scale, pits and imperfections, and machining grooves as well as the Scotch-Brite™ Light Grinding and Blending Disc, which achieves a high cut-rate for optimal weld grinding and blending in mild-steel applications.