Robotic Sander in the Cabinet Shop

Dynabrade and FerRobotics offer smart cobot application for cabinet shops

Force compliance tooling for the woodworking industry


 In fact, cabinet shops are the perfect place for robotic sanding tools. Even in smaller shops, a cobot equipped with our ACF-K can quickly improve quality, increase production, and help solve the #1 issue in factories of all sizes across the world: the labor crisis in manufacturing. From greater precision and consistency to increased efficiency and quality, robots with real force control tools provide considerable benefits to the labour-intensive woodworking industry, helping to improve the fit and finish of goods while optimising production operations. 

Manufacturing labor is in short supply in every industry, particularly in 3D (Dull, Dirty, Dangerous) positions. Wood Products in general and cabinet producers specifically are feeling the pain. The American Woodworking Network reported 80% of woodworking manufacturers are having trouble filling open positions. And the National Association of Manufacturers in the US reported hiring and retaining skilled manufacturing labor is the industry’s #1 problem. Overall, the use of robotic automation in the woodworking industry increases product quality and throughput, while saving time and money. It also lightens the physical burden for manual workers, freeing them to be redeployed to other value-added tasks within the company, mitigating risks while building valuable competitive edge.

What’s the biggest problem? Each shop is unique, but we believe sanding to be the most common, pervasive workforce problem in cabinet and furniture shops. Manual sanding is the definition of Dull, Dirty and Dangerous. Dull because it is a repetitive task with little or no variation. Dirty – operators live in a cloud of dust. And dangerous due to the environment and the high potential for carpal tunnel and repetitive stress injuries.

#Sanding. When preparing a surface for a specific finish, the use of application-specific robots with endeffectors that have real force control for these dull and dirty tasks can seamlessly and efficiently guide material removal media over a surface. This creates consistently smooth edges and surfaces. And, depending on the product, robots can be programmed to sand with different contact pressures or removal rates, with the help of intelligent force compliance tools like our ACF-K.

We’ve heard the stories from owners and production managers. Hiring 40% more sanders than needed because there are no-shows every day. Skipping drug screens to increase the candidate pool. An inability to attract younger workers with growth potential to even start as a sander. Pushback from cabinet builders who are true craftsmen and don’t want to sand. And a stream of workers comp claims.

Take the #1 Cobot Tool ACF-K. Collaborative robots can perform many tasks in cabinet and furniture manufacturing: sanding, polishing, finishing.

In combination with Dynabrade's tools, FerRobotics' Active Contact Flange-Kit (a certified component for: Universal Robots UR+ / FANUC CRX-ready / Doosan Mate / Techman and many more cobot manufacturers) offers a wide range of possibilities for different application areas. Whether it is a compact random orbital sander solution, belt sander or angle grinder for surface finishing and preparation. Users can choose between different end-of-arm tools for their individual task, which can also be quickly changed out during the running process.

The next event will be the IWF 2022 in the USA, where a live demo will ensure all insights around the partnership and benefits gained by the new applications. Stay tuned and never stop sanding.

Dynabrade IWF booth at Building B, Level 1 — B7937:


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