Cobot

Automated calibration using an LBR iiwa from KUKA

In the automated measuring process at calibration service provider Perschmann Calibration GmbH, the KUKA LBR iiwa robot performs the autonomous loading of a coordinate measuring machine. The sensitive robot system supports the precise calibration of measuring devices of different shapes and sizes.

Sensitive robots: ideal partners for the automated measuring process

 

In measuring technology, maximum precision is the only thing that counts. This provides ideal conditions for the use of robots. For efficient use, however, they must be able to grip various large objects without damaging them. At measuring technology specialist Perschmann Calibration GmbH, a sensitive robot system with a KUKA LBR iiwa performs the loading of a coordinate measuring machine (CMM), automating the calibration process.

Utmost precision with robotic calibration

“A human hair is roughly 50 µm thick and the silk threads of a spider are approx. 5 µm. The precision with which we at Perschmann Calibration calibrate measuring instruments is approx. 0.5 µm,” explains Dr. Detlef Rübesame, Head of Technology at Perschmann Calibration GmbH. The calibration service provider specializes in manual measuring instruments. Among other things, it performs the high-precision inspection of gauges such as measuring pins and setting rings. The company’s customer base consists primarily of customers from conventional mechanical engineering, the automotive industry or the aerospace sector. The customers use the measuring instruments for quality assurance in their production processes.

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Automated calibration creates added value for customers

“In collaboration with KUKA, the company Hexagon – which also produces the coordinate measuring machine – introduced us to a concept for the automation of our calibration process and, as a result, to an even more customer-friendly option for the quick calibration of many different measuring instruments. We adopted the idea right away,” recalls Detlef Rübesame.

The fully automatic inspection system is equipped with a KUKA flexFELLOW solution and the CMM from Hexagon. The KUKA flexFELLOW is a robot platform on which the HRC-capable LBR iiwa robot is installed. It is able to sensitively pick up various measuring instruments from a material provision carriage and feed these to the Hexagon coordinate measuring machine for calibration. It can thus recognize the workpieces and perform automated calibration of them.

 

Automated measuring process: sensitive LBR iiwa can handle various measuring instruments.

Calibration in the spirit of Industrie 4.0

 

In the first work step of the automated measuring process, the LBR iiwa removes the measuring instrument from a transport unit. The sensitive robot system then moves it into the correct position for a scanner. Besides scanning, the measuring instrument has air blown on it to remove dust and prevent incorrect measurement. Once the system has identified the measuring instrument, the LBR iiwa clamps it in the clamping device. The corresponding measurement program is loaded and automated calibration is started – in other words, calibration in the spirit of Industrie 4.0. Once the measuring process is completed, the robot grips the measuring instrument again and places it in the second transport unit. The certificate of successful calibration is created automatically. 

Calibration in the spirit of Industrie 4.0: LBR iiwa loads the inspection system fully automatically.

Automated measurement a success

The automated measuring process brought many advantages for Perschmann: the time required for each measuring instrument is reduced and measuring instruments identified as faulty are discarded by the LBR iiwa. At the same time, the KUKA LBR iiwa has made it possible to perform calibration around the clock. At night, the fully automatic inspection system runs ten times faster. This is possible because other safety regulations apply to operation without humans.

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