The OnRobot Sander is an electrically actuated orbital sander for automated finishing applications, including sanding and polishing. According to Kristian Hulgard, general manager for the Americas at Onrobot, the release comes at a time when small- and medium-sized businesses that engage in tasks such as wood working are facing unprecedented labor shortages. Typically, automation would be either unnecessary or out-of-reach for companies of this nature. However, with a lack of available workers, less expensive robotic options, and technological advances that allow for more intuitive programming, much of that is changing.
The Sander incorporates a variety of features directly out of the box: a plug-and-play sanding tool, compatible with various cobots from Universal Robots and other major suppliers; standard sanding and polishing pads; programming software; a grit changer that enables automated switching between different sanding grits; and an optional force/torque sensor. In addition, it is powered by a brushless electric motor with operating costs as little as 5% of that of pneumatic sanding systems, OnRobot says.
Safety is also a concern in sanding applications, Hulgard says. Manual workers who engage in sanding often suffer from “white-finger syndrome,” which is caused by the high vibration of hand tools used for sanding. Moreover, particle matter such as sawdust may damage their lungs.
“This application is helping a lot of small- and medium-sized businesses in the woodworking industry,” Hulgard says. “There’s so many small- and medium-sized companies that are looking for labor for exactly this type of application, and because this setup costs lower than $100,000 dollars [they] can get going with automation quickly and reduce the time spent doing so.”
In the video above, Hulgard provides a walkthrough of the system.