OSTLING MARKS PRECISE MEDICAL PARTS WITH NO HUMAN INTERACTION
Ostling is another global provider of marking systems that is demonstrating an excess diode pump solid-state laser marking system automated with a UR robot. Brian Watts, Ostling Product Support Manager, explains that the robot manages full control for z-axis focusing as well as rotational control and location for the laser-marking process. The robot can also be incorporated with a vision system to do visual inspections for the mark, or to use the system for cutting or welding.
The UR robot brings important capabilities to the automated system. “The UR robot is extremely, extremely easy to program,” says Watts. “With the collaborative nature of the unit, it’s easy to set up; it’s safe. A lot of the programming attributes for robots I used to use in the past, safety was always an issue. With this, it’s as simple as me grabbing the end effector, moving it in position, then using the teach pendant to dial in the fine-tuned settings.”
Ostling sees great potential for the turnkey system, especially for high-volume marking applications that are difficult for an operator to provide consistency and repeatability, and that present ergonomic challenges for human workers. The Ostling system is ideal for medical marking, which must be done in Class 10,000 clean rooms with no human interaction with the parts at all. For these applications, the part can be picked up and inspected by the robot, using a vision system to identify the location for the mark, so no human workers are involved.
“In some of these cases, there are very, very detailed graduation lines or identifying marks, like for laparoscopic or endoscopic surgery,” Watts explains. “These are critical that we have that laser and that robot in tandem to know exactly that those parts are being marked where we tell it to. It’s also good for traceability. We can place a mark, an identifier on it, put it under our vision system and actually have the robot use that for all of its positionings, and then come over to a vision system to do a verification, tie back into a database, release that for a final production part, or eject it off as a scrap part if it wasn’t correct.”
Beyond medical, Ostling is seeing interest from the aerospace industry, where the robot can work nearly non-stop without the potential of human contamination of delicate parts, as well as the automotive industry.