Control Strategies for Machining with Industrial Robots

Detta är en avhandling från Department of Automatic Control, Lund Institute of Technology, Lund University

Sammanfattning: This thesis presents methods for improving machining with industrial robots using control, with focus on increasing positioning accuracy and controlling feed rate.
The strong process forces arising during high-speed machining operations, combined with the limited stiffness of industrial robots, have hampered the usage of industrial robots in high-end machining tasks. However, since such manipulators may offer flexible and cost-effective machining solutions compared to conventional machine tools, it is of interest to increase the achievable accuracy using industrial robots. In this thesis, several different methods to increase the machining accuracy are presented. Modeling and control of a piezo-actuated high-dynamic compensation mechanism for usage together with an industrial robot during a machining operation, such as milling in aluminium, is considered. Position control results from experiments are provided, as well as an experimental verification of the benefit of utilizing the online compensation scheme. It is shown that the milling surface accuracy achieved with the proposed compensation mechanism is increased by up to three times compared to the uncompensated case. Because of the limited workspace and the higher bandwidth of the compensator compared to the robot, a mid-ranging approach for control of the relative position between the robot and the compensator is proposed. An adaptive, model-based solution is presented, which is verified through simulations as well as experiments, where a close correspondence with the simulations was achieved. Comparing the IAE from experiments using the proposed controller to previously established methods, a performance increase of up to 56 % is obtained.
Additionally, two different approaches to increasing the accuracy of the machining task are also presented in this thesis. The first method is based on identifying a stiffness model of the robot, and using online force measurements in order to modify the position of the robot to compensate for position deflections. The second approach uses online measurements from an optical tracking system to suppress position deviations. In milling experiments performed in aluminium, the absolute accuracy was increased by up to a factor of approximately 6 and 9, for the two approaches, respectively.
Robotic machining is often performed using position feedback with a conservative feed rate, to avoid excessive process forces. By controlling the applied force, realized by adjusting the feed rate of the workpiece, precise control over the material removal can be exercised. This will in turn lead to maximization of the time-efficiency of the machining task, since the maximum amount of material can be removed per time unit. This thesis presents an adaptive force controller, based on a derived model of the machining process and an identified model of the Cartesian dynamics of the robot. The controller is evaluated in both simulation and an experimental setup.