Water Deburring, Washing Systems employ agile robot.

Press Release Summary:

FlexWasher(TM) W30 and W40 use integrated robot to move HPWD tool around fixed part or vice-versa, enabling high-pressure water to reach most areas of simple and complex parts. Both High Pressure Water Deburring (HPWD) and Parts Washing systems, suited for general industrial applications, remove eyelash burrs and foreign materials without removing parent materials. Compact and modular systems have closed-loop water filtration system and do not use heated water or cleaning chemicals.


Original Press Release:

ABB Adapts Sophisticated High Pressure Water Deburring and Washing System for General Industrial Applications

FlexWasher(TM) system, "Best-in-Class" for automotive powertrain and transmission parts, now available in compact and modular models AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (April 22, 2009) - ABB Robotics, a leading supplier of industrial robots, is introducing two robotic High Pressure Water Deburring (HPWD) and Parts Washing systems for general industrial applications modeled after the cutting-edge system it has recently developed for the automotive industry. The new ABB FlexWasher(TM) W30 and W40 systems, which remove eyelash burrs and other foreign materials without removing parent materials, are compact and modular versions of the FlexWasher W50 system. The FlexWasher W50 is currently in use by Ford, Chrysler, Toyota and DANA to clean and deburr machined powertrain and transmission parts. ABB FlexWasher systems are far more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient than competitive systems because they do not use heated water or cleaning chemicals. In addition to the significantly lower energy consumption and operating costs that result, FlexWashers feature a patented closed loop water filtration system that also reduces waste-handling costs. "It is generally assumed that chemicals are needed to thoroughly clean parts. In the automotive industry we have proven this is not true when using our robotic deburr and washer system," said Jan Nielsson, global product manager - FlexWashers, ABB Robotics. "With our FlexWasher W30 and W40 we are now ready to introduce our technology to the rest of the world". Parts of a complex geometry not able to be thoroughly cleaned by a standard fixed-nozzle system are ideal for FlexWashers. Typically the parts are smaller than one cubic meter and require strict cleaning standards. FlexWashers use the agility of an integrated robot to move a HPWD tool around a fixed part, or the part around a fixed HPWD tool. In either case high pressure water is able to reach most areas of both simple and complex parts from the optimum angle with a combination of accuracy and proximity that is unmatched by competitive systems. The result is an industry-leading Six Sigma cleaning quality rating, achieved at a lower cost; resulting in fewer defects and part reworking, and higher overall quality. "A recent study by an automotive customer comparing ABB FlexWasher technology with their existing ultrasonic, injection flood and traditional fixed nozzle washers showed overall cost savings in the 80% to 90% range," said Nielsson. "Millipore tests also showed significant reduction in contaminants as the parts got 2 to 7 times cleaner than with traditional washer technology". The FlexWasher W30 and W40 systems are specifically designed for a wide range of general industrial applications such as:

  • Engine manufacturers: for products ranging from lawnmowers and ATVs to agriculture equipment, aircraft and aerospace.
  • Foundries: for the removal of the investment casting shell, de-coring of hollow parts and cleaning of sand casting parts
  • Machined parts: for the removal of burrs and cleaning of coolant and cutting oil
  • Assembled parts: for the exterior cleaning of transmission oil
  • Overhaul and repair parts: for cleaning difficult-to-remove dirt and used aerospace parts The three FlexWasher Systems are profiled for small, medium and large operations: FlexWasher W30: is the ideal solution for production environments with restricted floor space and where the process only requires a single high pressure water deburring (HPWD) nozzle configuration. It consists of an IRB 1600 robot with a single nozzle HPWD tool and optional dry cannons to dry the part with compressed air. FlexWasher W40: a modular system, ideal for production with different part styles and geometries that require a configuration with different styles of high pressure water deburring (HPWD) nozzles. It consists of a main booth with vertical part entry and exit doors, an IRB 6640 Foundry Prime robot with gripper and stationary HPWD nozzles. FlexWasher W50: a fully equipped system with a built-in pre-rinse and drying chamber, also ideal for different part styles and geometries that require a configuration using mixed styles of high pressure water deburring (HPWD) nozzles. It consists of a pre-rinse chamber, a main booth and a drying chamber. The main booth is equipped with an IRB 6640 Foundry Prime robot with gripper and stationary HPWD nozzles. All ABB FlexWashers(TM) use the innovative Foundry Prime robots which are specifically designed to work in harsh water deburring and parts washing environments without the need for complex external protective covering against heat, water and contaminants. The robot can clean areas that are unreachable for other less flexible equipment. If the robot holds the part, the part can also be manipulated to improve water drainage. About ABB, Inc. ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in approximately 100 countries and employs about 120,000 people. About ABB Robotics ABB Robotics (www.abb.com/robotics) is a leading supplier of industrial robots - also providing robot software, peripheral equipment, modular manufacturing cells and service for tasks such as welding, handling, assembly, painting and finishing, picking, packing, palletizing and machine tending. Key markets include automotive, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. A strong solutions focus helps manufacturers improve productivity, product quality and worker safety. ABB has installed more than 160,000 robots worldwide.

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