IONA Monitors CNC Robot Machining Processes

Pentaxia, specialised in the manufacturing of advanced composite tooling solutions, prototyping, short-series and volume component production has installed the IONA System developed by INSPHERE Ltd for monitoring robot CNC machining operations.

IONA is a scalable network of sensors providing metrology-grade positional data of automated manufacturing processes. Live positional data from IONA enables robot programs to be updated either periodically or in real-time. The generated data enables users to bring offline programs online seamlessly without the need for manual intervention.

Pentaxia have installed a Kuka robot to perform subtractive CNC machining operations to manufacture composite tooling and foam inserts. The clear end goal is to develop robot CNC machining that is accurate and reliable and can take over relevant operations from more expensive and less flexible 5-axis machine tools.

In the study IONA was able to tolerate the machining environment with no degradation of data quality. It performed within 0.2mm of reference values throughout the 3-week trial and was able to track all robot movements with no line-of-sight challenges. The trial highlighted the system’s unique capabilities to generate live, in-process, metrology-grade data in real-world industrial settings.

IONA can capture accurate data in a robot cell while manufacturing operations are being performed. It is uniquely robust against environmental instability and uses multiple sensors to avoid line-of-sight restrictions.

“As we develop scalable and robust automation solutions in the composites industry, the IONA system shows promise for increasing process confidence and flexibility.” Dr Stuart Morris, Engineering Director, Pentaxia

Pentaxia specialises in the manufacturing of advanced composite tooling solutions, prototyping, short-series and volume (typically carbon fibre) component production. Working with both established & emerging composite materials, there the company always a key focus on next-generation industrial automation techniques.

Insphere has extensive experience of using metrology to improve manufacturing processes and designed IONA from the ground up to deliver accurate, dependable data in complex real-world automation settings. Unlike other metrology solutions, IONA can capture accurate data in a robot cell while manufacturing operations are being performed. It is uniquely robust against environmental instability and uses multiple sensors to avoid line-of-sight restrictions. These features were attractive to Pentaxia who wished to build a deeper understanding of their robot performance when machining tooling block and other materials.

For more information: www.insphereltd.com

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