Hall & Botterill investigated robotic fettling in 2005, but, at that time robots were totally cost-prohibitive.
In 2012, the idea was re-visited as a way of separating production capability from the number of men employed. At no point was there ever any thought of reducing staff, this was being introduced to reduce the danger associated with fettling, and to increase the working life of the men.
Hall & Botterill discovered that achieving the dream of robotic fettling was about to become a reality. He designed the cell, and found many trades to help build it, along with purchasing the correct tooling, which had to be robot compliant
The Robot arrived on June 10th 2013 and programming began in August 2013.The robot is a multitasking machine, the aim being to take a casting from die to sale.
By September we had one component programmed, because of problems with deburring causing major issues; i.e. the tool kept digging in to the casting. During this time another component was programmed because it did not require fine de-burring and would have been extremely dangerous to saw manually. Nobody seemed able to provide a solution to the digging in problem, until in August this year, 2014, with a random visit by a rep who suggested using a different cutter which would not bounce or dig in to the casting. We tried it and it worked!! Programming then took off.
We are currently programming and working the robot, it will soon reach the stage where it will be working and we will be unable to program, so, watch this space.