Cloning milling cells

Automotive engineering Underbody protection

The robot cell for deburring turbine blades needs to be cloned so that time-consuming measurements do not need to be repeated on a second cell.

Cloning milling cells

Cell description

The customer's robot cell contains an ABB IRB 4400. This deburrs turbine blades for aircraft engines. The parts are picked up, placed in a positioning station and gripped again. They are then deburred by robots at a milling station consisting of several fixed cutters. The robot then passes the parts to a brushing station for the last processing step. Once machining of the parts is finished, they are stored in a depot.

Task definition

The robot program for deburring the turbine blades is extremely difficult to generate. The decisive criteria are certain radiuses that the blades need to have. In the end an acceptable result could only be reached by measuring the blades and then re-programming to an accuracy of a tenth of a millimetre. This procedure had to be carried out several times.

To ensure that this process would not need to be repeated at the second milling station, the customer tasked Wiest with cloning the robot cells.


The robot was fitted with a manual tool changing system. An adapter plate was supplied that could be fitted as required with either a single measuring rod for the robot calibration with loop:in or with the LaserLAB for calibrating the milling cutters.

A measuring rod with a 6 mm pin for the chuck was produced for the milling cutters. The measuring rod was designed so that the central point of the ball coincided with the cutter tip.

Customer benefit

The programs of the master cell were easily transferred to the cloned cell.

At the same time the two cells were backed up by the measurement. A replacement of the fixed cutters can be mapped geometrically by means of another measurement with the LaserLAB. This ensures that the milling programs function correctly.