A semiautomatic grinding method for the metalcasting industry

[+] Author and Article Information
Danni Wang

Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA

Frank Peters

Dept. of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA

Matthew C. Frank

Dept. of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037890 History: Received March 31, 2017; Revised September 10, 2017


A semi-automated grinding system for the post-processing of metalcastings is presented. Grinding is an important procedure in a foundry, where the removal of gates, flash, and weld-repaired areas is performed. While grinding of repetitive locations on higher production castings can be automated, it is not practical for larger castings (e.g. > 200 kg) that are produced in smaller volumes. Furthermore, automation is even more challenging because locations of the required grinding is not a constant; depending on the unique conditions of each component. The proposed approach is intended for a simple x-y-z positioner (gantry) device with a feedback controlled grinding head that enables automated path planning. The process begins with touch probing of the surfaces that contain the anomaly requiring grinding, and then the system automatically handles the path planning and force control to remove the anomaly. A layer-based algorithm for path planning employs a search-and-destroy technique where the surrounding geometry is interpolated across the grind-requiring surface patch. In this manner, each unique condition of the casting surface after initial torch or saw cutting can be handled cost effectively without the need for human shaping and the egregious ergonomic problems associated. Implementation of the proposed grinding control is prototyped at a lab scale to demonstrate the feasibility and versatility of this strategy. A significant contribution of the work is the layer-based algorithm that allows an effective automation of the process planning for grinding, avoiding programming or code generation altogether.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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