Robot carpenters: What can robots do in woodworking and construction?
Robot woodworking assistants give all businesses the powerful tools of large companies in carpentry, furniture, construction and woodworking. These five companies artfully illustrate the versatility of robots in woodworking and construction for small, medium and large companies.
Even woodworking and construction experts may not realize the extent to which robots have become powerful, versatile tools that scale from single robotic cells to customized robot production lines. Robots can perform difficult, repetitive tasks in mass-produced furniture and construction. But multifunctional robots can just as easily produce be elegant artisanal carving, allowing custom carpenters to push the limits of their creativity further.
1. Robot milling curved of furniture and art
If furniture woodworking is an interest of yours, see how the craftspeople at Lignum use 3D modeling and one of their KUKA robotic arms. Similarly, watching them transform a piece of aged bog oak into a mind-blowing, robot-machined coffee table is twelve minutes satisfyingly spent.
2. Total-package timber construction with robots
If robots give a powerful advantage to artisan craftspeople, they also scale to the larger construction industry. Robots can fulfill the full spectrum of tasks required in the timber construction industry, including heavy lifting, machining and gluing. In the following example, two KR 500 FORTEC robots manufacture lightweight timber construction components for a pavilion.
The Institute for Computational Design and Construction of the University of Stuttgart developed the robotic manufacturing solution in collaboration with system integrator BEC. Robotic solutions such as these have the potential to be a game-changer for the timber construction industry, which has only made limited use of automated production processes until now.
3. One robotic cell for drilling, machining and sanding
Robots allow can small-and-medium-sized woodworking companies to compete on a larger scale, such as by automating a wide variety of tasks with a single robotic cell. Automatech Robotik demonstrate robotic drilling, cutting, machining, edgebanding and sanding all combined into a single automated work cell, saving handling time and space. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a single robotic cell. Automatech Robotik also demonstrate a system of three robots sanding beautiful curved wood in a tailor-made robotic solution for woodworking.
4. Robot unloading high throughput wood products
While a single robotic cell can act as a multi-tool, robots can also form part of a larger automated system. For customers looking for high throughput, a custom automation system is configured to do exactly what the customer wants without a minute wasted. In another application from Automatech Robotik, watch industrial robots working as part of a complete automated system in the wood and furniture industry load, position, trim, drill and handle wood pieces as they roll down the production line for assembly.
5. Fully-automated robotic woodworking
Combining several robotic technologies brings us to the pinnacle of automation technology: a fully-automated system of robots and automated guided vehicles (AGVs), created by HOMAG. In this system, AGVs link two robotic cells that each perform a different process: high-tech edging and CNC machining.