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A practical method of improving hole position accuracy in the robotic drilling process

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The industrial robots have the remarkable advantage of flexibility over CNC machine tools in material removal of the large or complex parts, especially in hole drilling. However, the lower stiffness and thus the lower machining accuracy of the robotic drilling hinder its widespread use. Aiming at the enhancement of hole position accuracy, the optimization for stiffness of the robotic drilling system before processing and the compensation for hole position error in processing are proposed. Firstly, the maximum operating stiffness of the robotic drilling system in a certain machining task is obtained by optimizing installation angle of the motorized spindle to the end flange of the robot, which lays the foundation of a high machining accuracy of hole position. And then based on the position of the hole to be drilled, the calculation method of its corresponding compensation value is introduced, which takes both the deformation of the robot’s end under the force on it and the robot absolute positioning error into account. As for a certain robotic drilling system, it is much easier to implement to predict, and then pre-compensate the machining error of hole position for the various parts. The results reveal that the hole position errors reduce sharply at the average rate of 84.45% with compensation in all robotic drilling tests, which proves the proposed method as a practical and effective way to improve the robotic drilling accuracy of hole position.

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This work has been sponsored by the BaoShan District Committee of Science and Technology (bkw2015126), and the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization (CXY-2016-007). Thanks to SHANGHAI-FANUC Robotics CO. LTD for its technical support.

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Correspondence to Jing Li.

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Shen, N., Guo, Z., Li, J. et al. A practical method of improving hole position accuracy in the robotic drilling process. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 96, 2973–2987 (2018).

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  • Robotic drilling
  • Position error compensation
  • Robot stiffness
  • Deformation of the robot’s end
  • Absolute positioning error