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BryanBryan Posts: 5 Apprentice

Hi pro’s,

For productcontrol our products are cleaned manually by an operator at specific product points/locations. We produce a lot of different products and they are all analyzed in the same installation. When a product is analyzed, a totally different product will be analyzed next. Because of this continuous product variation an universal product fixture for positioning the products on exactly the same manner is almost impossible. That is why the product is always positioned in a different way. During this project I am trying to figure out what the possibilities are to automate this proces.

Therefore my question is:
Is it possible to create a path between two or three productspecific reference points.
For example: the operator positions the robotarm (with a positioningtool) against a productspecific start- and endpoint. Because of these two reference points the position of the product can be determined and a standard programmed path will performed between these points?

Thanks in advance,


Best Answers


  • matthewd92matthewd92 Posts: 402Founding Pro, Tactile Sensor Beta Testers Handy
    @Bryan that should be possible. What would the path between the points look like?
  • Etienne_SamsonEtienne_Samson Posts: 321 Handy
    @Bryan our integration coach can help you with that but you will need to tell us more about the parts and the requirements on positioning accuracy. With our FT sensor it is perfectly possible to create path and have them relative to a different starting point. But to really help you, we need to know more about the process. Could you film it show us ? Along with some tech requirements? 

    If you don't want it to be public, you can send your request to support@robotiq.com
    Etienne Samson
    Technical Support Manager - Responsable soutien technique
    +01 418-380-2788 ext. 207
  • BryanBryan Posts: 5 Apprentice
    Thank you for your fast responses,

    First I will try to explain more about the parts that are cleaned. We have to clean a lot of different products for example the oil pan and exhaust coolers in the pictures.

    These parts are manually presented in different positions and orientations each and every time. We position them on a “tube frame”  as you can see in this picture:

    Some products (with a flat product surface) are able to be placed precisely, these can positioned in the same spot each and every time. But most parts aren’t this easy (for example the exhaust coolers).

    When a product is positioned it is cleaned manually by an operator with a control cleaning nozzle. The part needs to be cleaned at specific points, like all the holes and pipes. (See picture)

    For an automatic process the robotarm will position the cleaning nozzle relative to the part.

    With the teach pendant we want to learn the robot the “cleaning path”. During this path the robot will move the nozzle in front of all holes and pipes (under an angle of approx. 20 degrees). The position accuracy of this process needs to be +/- 1 mm. Because of the different positioning of the part I was thinking should it be possible to manually position the robotarm in front of the first hole and the last hole (for example) to determine the product orientation and then start the cleaning path between these reference points?

    I will try to upload a video of the manual process.


  • matthewd92matthewd92 Posts: 402Founding Pro, Tactile Sensor Beta Testers Handy
    I agree with @David_Gariepy that the plane is an option but probably very tedious and subject to imprecision.  Are the holes that you are cleaning of similar size?  If so, have you thought about using a vision system to locate the hole positions?
  • BryanBryan Posts: 5 Apprentice

    @David_Gariepy I found this description online (http://www.zacobria.com/universal-robots-knowledge-base-tech-support-forum-hints-tips/knowledge-base/planes-and-position-variables-1/) and I think that this is approximately the solution you are suggesting. I was wondering do I have to create 1 reference plane with “fixed” waypoints and than another 2nd plane where I reteach the 3 plane points (for other product positions) so that the waypoints change accordingly to the plane refernce?

    I was also wondering how time consuming is it to reteach this plane feature (approx.)? Because the cleaning of some parts can take up to 80 minutes, so for example when this reteaching takes me 5 minutes I still achieve 75 minutes profit.

    I totally agree with your second remark, the precision is relative to these 3 points and I should explore if this a problem for the process. I also will look into custom fixtures.

    @matthewd92 Unfortunately all holes have a different size, otherwise vision would be a good solution.
  • David_GariepyDavid_Gariepy Posts: 25 Handy
    The example show how to use 2 different planes and switch between them for the same moveL.
    For you application, you will have to use a plane for each product. You should be able to reteach the plane under 5 minutes, but i'm still concerned about the precision.  If you don't want to create custom fixture for each of your product, you might need to use vision as @matthewd92  suggest or a combination of both, plane + vision. 

  • BryanBryan Posts: 5 Apprentice
    Thank you for your answer.
    I will take a closer look at vision systems!

    What is the precision you expect, without a vision system?
  • David_GariepyDavid_Gariepy Posts: 25 Handy
    I can't say for sure but think it will be hard to get below 1 mm
  • David_GariepyDavid_Gariepy Posts: 25 Handy
    +1 for @matthewd92 idea. This would definitely improve the precision.
  • BryanBryan Posts: 5 Apprentice
    Thanks for your reactions again,

    @matthewd92 i think that is a really good idea to remove the main variation.
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