GUYSON CORP. introduced a lean robotic blast system recently that is designed for single-piece-flow processing of precision components and is offered with special adaptations for shot peening or surface preparation of turbine buckets and blades. The Model RB-600 is available in suction-blast or pressure-blast versions, and is compatible with the full spectrum of shot and grit blasting or peening media.

A 6-axis Fanuc Robotics LR Mate 200iC robot arm rigidly suspended from the removable roof of the RB-600 blast cabinet directs a single blast gun or pressure nozzle. 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 robotic blast machine follows the contours of complex-shaped parts during the programmed impact treatment routine.

Compared to multiple-gun automatic blast machines in which the nozzle angles required for coverage of a particular component are approximated, the RB-600 uses, at minimum, half the compressed air, delivering substantial energy savings as it precisely executes the process recipe for each separate component. Set-up time, gun adjustment and trial runs for changeover to process a different part are eliminated by the robotic blast system.

To simplify loading and unloading of parts, the rotary spindle and component-holding fixture are mounted on the gear motor-actuated flip-down door of the RB-600 robotic blast system, so blasting operations are performed with the spindle in a horizontal position, and unload/load 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.