Deburr with accuracy

March 3, 2005
Manually deburring parts can lead to carpal-tunnel syndrome, fill the air with hazardous particles, and result in inconsistent part quality.

Robotic deburring might be safer, but part quality may still suffer because most robots cannot exactly follow the part’s edge. Flexdeburr, a radially compliant and automated deburrer from ATI Industrial Automation, Apex, N.C. (, solves the problem with a floating motor and spindle. They provide 8 mm of radial compliance or give, to maintain a constant deburring force despite changing or complex surfaces. The motor and spindle mount on a pivot bearing on the tool housing. This lets the motor move independently of the housing. A ring of small pneumatic pistons near the front of the housing generates radial compliance forces on the tool, helping to keep it centered. This also simplifies the programmer’s tasks since the tool requires fewer path points and will accommodate deviations between path and part edge. A force-control system increases stiffness in the path direction and decreases it in the contact-force direction. This eliminates chattering. A quiet air turbine drives the 2.6-lb rotary deburrer at a constant 40,000 rpm for high-speed performance on aluminum, steel, and plastics. It can deburr at 1 to 3 ips on hard materials, and 3 to 12 ips on softer ones. It uses two air lines, one to spin the tool (90 psi) and another to maintain compliance (60 psi). Cutting force is adjustable, and can be increased for thicker material or where there are more burrs. Models for delicate finishing and heavy-duty deburring are also available.

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