Originally titled 'Robotic Blast Machine Preps Turbine Buckets'
Guyson Corp.’s Model RB-600 robotic blast system is designed for single-piece-flow processing of precision components and is available with special adaptations for shot peening or surface preparation of turbine buckets and blades. The blast system is available in suction-blast or pressure-blast versions, and is compatible with virtually all shot and grit blasting or peening media.
A single blast gun or pressure nozzle is directed by a six-axis Fanuc Robotics LR Mate 200iC robot arm rigidly suspended from the removable roof of the system’s blast cabinet. Nozzle motion is coordinated with component rotation by a servomotor-driven spindle that is controlled as a seventh axis of robotic motion, enabling the correct blast gun stand-off distance, angle to the substrate and surface speed to be accurately and constantly maintained as the machine follows the contours of complex-shaped parts during the programmed impact-treatment routine.
According to Guyson, the RB-600 uses less compressed air than multiple-gun automatic blast machines in which the nozzle angles required for coverage of a particular component are approximated. This delivers energy savings as it precisely executes the process recipe for each separate component, the company says. Setup time, gun adjustment and trial runs for changeover to process a different part are eliminated.
To simplify loading and unloading of parts, the rotary spindle and component-holding fixture are mounted on the blast system’s gear-motor-actuated flip-down door, so blasting operations are performed with the spindle in a horizontal position and unloading/loading while it is oriented vertically within easy reach of the operator. For shot peening of turbine blade roots or for grit-blast surface preparation in the coatings work cell, purge air is supplied to the spindle base, and a swing clamp is provided to press and seal the bucket and its urethane rubber mask against the part-holding fixture, forcing a flow of compressed air through the cooling vents of the hollow blade to prevent entrapment of blasting media particles inside components.
Guyson says the RB-600’s fixturing system positively locates interchangeable masks for a variety of similar components to enable flexible automated processing in a single robotic blasting machine of a range of product that might otherwise require multiple blast cabinets dedicated to one part. The blast system can store and recall motion programs and blast process parameters for more than 100 different components, and robot programming can be done using a teach pendant or off-line programming software.