Leveraging Robot Finishing to Reduce Tool wear and Damage

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Tool wear and damage are some of the common problems that many machine dealers struggle with.

Disposing of unused albeit damaged tools can be a painful experience considering the expenses incurred.

Did you know that you can protect your machines and prolong their lifespan with robot finishing?

While everyone is seeking ways to cut down cost, sometimes you may be forced to discard overly damaged tools. 

Is there a way to Reduce Tool Wear?

Reducing tool wear, damage, and waste, and enhancing the quality finishing duties is possible. You can leverage robot finishing and the contact offset process to conquer tool wear challenges in an advanced manner. 

What Triggers Tool wear and Damage in Finishing?

According to some experts in the robot industry, tool wear and damage is common with machining tools. Still, this problem can also be experienced in finishing tasks such as polishing and sanding. 

Understanding Tool wear

Tool wear is a state where a machining tool fails gradually with continued use. It’s worth mentioning that in finishing tasks, tool damage forms part of the operation.

When the abrasive media corrodes the workpiece’s surface, it gets damaged in the process. Where there is a high wear rate, you will be forced to change the abrasive media regularly.

The wear rate depends on the type of workpiece equipment and abrasive media you are using.

Reducing Tool wear

Reducing the rate of tool damage is important. However, you need to do so without jeopardizing the quality of the finishing.

Further, aim to maintain a steady wear rate throughout the surface of the finishing tool. You can achieve this using manual finishing operation can be an arduous task.

Examples of Tool Wear that can have an impact on a Finishing Job

Here are some types of tool wear that can influence a finishing task.

·         Adhesive Wear

Adhesive wear takes place when the material overheats as a result of friction. Eventually, the material not only softens, but it also starts fusing together. This minimizes the tool’s lifespan. 

·         Hard Particle Wear

Hard particle wear is triggered by hard particles or impurities on the workpiece’s surface. These impurities are harder compared to the surrounding material, which increases the rate at which they corrode the finishing media. 

·         Diffusion Wear

Diffusion wear involves changing the chemical composition of the tool during the finishing task. For instance, friction resulting from overheating can soften the abrasive media leading to damage on the tool’s surface. 

·         Fracture Wear 

Fracture wear happens when a hard finishing tool breaks, calling for the replacement of the entire tool. 

·         Chemical Wear

Chemical wear is triggered by a chemical reaction such as oxidation. This can corrode the finishing tool. 

How does Robot Finishing Assist?

Robot finishing is an ideal method of enhancing the quality of your finishing tasks. It eliminates some of the common problems that you may experience when executing finishing tasks manually.

Further, it’s precise. This means that it enhances surface finishing, minimizes errors, and makes the job more rewarding. 

·         Consistency

One of the main advantages of robot finishing is consistency. Robots are designed to maintain a consistent line on the tool’s surface.

Robots can also maintain a steady force along the tool’s surface when used together with a force sensor. Why does this happen?

When consistent force is combined with a consistent path, the result is consistent tool wear. Utilizing robot finishing helps you achieve more out of each abrasive tool you use.

The tool wear will be consistent and you can focus on reducing it over time with the practice continuous enhancement technique.


Are you worried that your abrasive media is failing more rapidly than anticipated? You may want to adjust the robot’s program as you search for ways to reduce the tool wear. Achieving this with manual finishing can be impossible since humans are inconsistent. This is where robots come in to help improve the precise execution of finishing tasks.