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Procedia Manufacturing 00 (2019) 000–000


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Procedia Manufacturing 00 (2019) 000–000 www.elsevier.com/locate/procedia
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Procedia Manufacturing 43 (2020) 447–454

17th
17th Global
Global Conference
Conference on
on Sustainable
Sustainable Manufacturing
Manufacturing

Trochoid
Trochoid milling
milling with
with industrial
industrial robots
robots
Prof.
Prof. Dr.-Ing.
Dr.-Ing. E.
E. Uhlmann
Uhlmanna,, Dr.-Ing.
a
Dr.-Ing. S.
S. Reinkober
Reinkobera*,
a
*, M.
M. Hoffmann,
Hoffmann, P.
P. Käpernick
Käpernick
a
Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology, Pascalstraße 8-9, 10587 Berlin, Germany
a
Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology, Pascalstraße 8-9, 10587 Berlin, Germany

Abstract
Abstract
The highly dynamic production puts the versatility of production systems in the center of industrial interests. Due to their flexibility
The highly dynamic production puts the versatility of production systems in the center of industrial interests. Due to their flexibility
and low energy consumption industrial robots are a big part of this development. They have been used as handling systems for
and low energy consumption industrial robots are a big part of this development. They have been used as handling systems for
decades and are already state of the art in this regard. This is not the case for other surrounding tasks such as milling. These systems
decades and are already state of the art in this regard. This is not the case for other surrounding tasks such as milling. These systems
have in comparison to conventional machine tools a relatively low stiffness c, which allows only low cutting forces Fc and therefore
have in comparison to conventional machine tools a relatively low stiffness c, which allows only low cutting forces Fc and therefore
low feed rates fz and speeds vc. This leads to higher processing times and therefore to a higher energy consumption. A highly
low feed rates fz and speeds vc. This leads to higher processing times and therefore to a higher energy consumption. A highly
dynamic milling strategy, which results in significantly lower cutting forces Fc than in conventional milling and which at the same
dynamic milling strategy, which results in significantly lower cutting forces Fc than in conventional milling and which at the same
time has high cutting rates is trochoid milling. This paper shows the basic usability of this milling strategy on standard industrial
time has high cutting rates is trochoid milling. This paper shows the basic usability of this milling strategy on standard industrial
robots. Furthermore, the challenges of the near future will be shown.
robots. Furthermore, the challenges of the near future will be shown.
© 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
© 2019
This The
is an Authors,
open accessPublished by Elsevier
article under B.V.
the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
© 2019 The Authors, Published by Elsevier B.V.
Peer review
reviewunder
underthe
theresponsibility
responsibilityofofthethe
scientific committee
scientific of the
committee Global
of the Conference
Global on Sustainable
Conference Manufacturing.
on Sustainable Manufacturing
Peer review under the responsibility of the scientific committee of the Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing
Keywords: robot guided machining; efficient machining strategies; milling, production
Keywords: robot guided machining; efficient machining strategies; milling, production

1. Introduction
1. Introduction
The fields of application of industrial robots are constantly expanding. Today, industrial robots are not only used for tasks in
The fields of application of industrial robots are constantly expanding. Today, industrial robots are not only used for tasks in
handling, assembly and logistic. They increasingly face tasks in mechanical manufacturing processes. They are state of the art in
handling, assembly and logistic. They increasingly face tasks in mechanical manufacturing processes. They are state of the art in
milling processes for the machining of stone, wood, plastics and aluminum as well as cast iron or edge processing on steel materials.
milling processes for the machining of stone, wood, plastics and aluminum as well as cast iron or edge processing on steel materials.
In recent years, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK has been working on the applicability
In recent years, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK has been working on the applicability
of industrial robots for milling, in particular for hard materials. The desired use of industrial robots is of interest for a variety of
of industrial robots for milling, in particular for hard materials. The desired use of industrial robots is of interest for a variety of
reasons in an industrial environment. These reasons include the relatively low cost of robotic systems compared to processing
reasons in an industrial environment. These reasons include the relatively low cost of robotic systems compared to processing
machines, their large usable processing space in relation to their installation space, but also their higher flexibility. In addition, the
machines, their large usable processing space in relation to their installation space, but also their higher flexibility. In addition, the

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +49 30 39 006 326; fax: +49 30 3 91 10 37.


* Corresponding author. Tel.: +49 30 39 006 326; fax: +49 30 3 91 10 37.
E-mail address: Sascha.reinkober@ipk.fraunhofer.de
E-mail address: Sascha.reinkober@ipk.fraunhofer.de

2351-9789 © 2019 The Authors, Published by Elsevier B.V.


2351-9789 © 2019 The Authors, Published by Elsevier B.V.
Peer review under the responsibility of the scientific committee of the Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing
Peer review under the responsibility of the scientific committee of the Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing

2351-9789 © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.


This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Peer review under the responsibility of the scientific committee of the Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing.
10.1016/j.promfg.2020.02.189
448 E. Uhlmann et al. / Procedia Manufacturing 43 (2020) 447–454
2 Author name / Procedia Manufacturing 00 (2019) 000–000

sustainability of production is of great interest, which is given by the use of industrial robots. It can be assumed that the energy
consumption of an industrial robot is lower than the consumption of comparable a machine tool, which further increases the interest
in roughing.The biggest challenges of machining with robots are the lower rigidity c compared to machine tools as well as the
susceptibility to dynamic loads and the resulting low achievable accuracy AP. The named issues can lead to significant form
deviations on the workpiece. It is necessary to select cutting parameters that lead to low cutting forces Fc. These are contradictory
to an economic and efficient use as a processing machine. Therefore, robots are only of limited use for time-consuming milling
processes. However, the roughing of large or complex components with high chip volumes through milling processes, such as in
aircraft construction, makes the use of industrial robots interesting.

2. Approach Trochoid Milling

A machining strategy that leads to low cutting forces F and which thus appears to be predestined for robot processing is the dynamic
trochoid milling [HEI14]. This machining strategy is characterized by the movement pattern of the milling cutter shown in Figure
1, which can be described as an elliptical circular movement [DAV11, DAV12].

Figure 1 Representation of the tool movement during trochoidal milling

Influencing process parameters are the maximum pressure angle φs of the milling cutter and a dynamically adjusted feed rate vf.
As a result, the chip center thickness hm remains constant [HOF17, HEI14, PLE17]. Further advantages of this method, which
result from the characteristic movement, are a high material removal rate Qw, good chip removal, low heat generation, and low tool
wear and thus a long service life. In modern machining centers, trochoid milling is already state of the art.
Thus, the potential of this strategy for processing with industrial robots is proven. At the Fraunhofer Institute for Production
Systems and Design Technology IPK it is being investigated whether this technology and therefore its utilization can be transferred
to industrial robots. The investigations are carried out on a vertical articulated robot KR 60 HA, KUKA ROBOTER GMBH,
Augsburg, with an electric spindle ES350 from HSD SPA, Pesaro, Italy. In order to be able to measure the loads during machining,
the robot is equipped with the 6-axis force-moment sensor SI-660-60 from ATI INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION, Apex, USA
between flange and spindle. The tool is a solid carbide bur of the Hoffmann Group, which is specially designed for trochoid milling,
with its imbalance and DLC coating. A tool with a diameter d = 6 mm and a cutting length of l = 18 mm was chosen. A suitable
geometry for comparing the conventional milling method with the trochoid milling is a groove. It furthermore ensures the
traceability of the occurring process forces F and moments M. The tool paths is generated by an offline programming environment.
In order to ensure a constant chip center thickness hm during dynamic trochoid milling, the angle of incidence φs of the milling
cutter is calculated at any time and the feed rate vf is adapted to this, which leads to an improved chirp removal rate Qw. Another
difference is the movement of the milling cutter, which is described by a cycloid.
E. Uhlmann et al. / Procedia Manufacturing 43 (2020) 447–454 449
Author name / Procedia Manufacturing 00 (2019) 000–000 3

Differences in path planning – static and dynamic trochoidal milling

Trochoidal milling can be static or dynamic. In static trochoidal milling, the feed rate vf remains constant. As a result, when the
cutting edge enters the workpiece, the chip center thickness hm is low, rises to the middle and then drops again, and thus no abrupt
forces occur. However, the maximum possible removal rate Qw is smaller compared to dynamic trochoidal milling. It offers
advantages through comparatively simple programming of the milling paths. Static trochoidal milling strategies are primarily used
to create grooves and pockets [KIE15, OTK07]. SZALÓKI ET AL. [SZA17] have examined various trochoidal trajectories using
the example of a groove on machine tools with respect to the mean feed and average axial forces and compared them with a
conventionally machined groove. The results show that the mean forces in the advancing direction are close to each other in all
examined trochoidal strategies and are altogether between 70% - 80% lower than with conventional processing. For the forces in
the axial direction, the result is similarly clear. The difference is 60% - 85%. The reduction of the forces could lead to an increase
of the removal rate, which has a direct influence on the processing time and so on the energy consumption.
With this strategy, the milling path is dynamically generated by CAD / CAM modules. The webs are not constant, but adapt to a
calculated cutting volume V. Information stored in a database, such as material to be machined, cutting material, spindle power,
maximum spindle speed ns, maximum feed rate vf and wrap angle φ of the tool, are used to calculate the cutting values. The aim is
to keep the chip center thickness hm as constant as possible. The optimum conditions depend on the dynamics of the machine tool
and the performance of the CAD / CAM system [KIE15].
For the path creation, the two strategies "2D HSC peeling" and the "2D HSC dynamic core roughing" were used. The shelling
consists of a few linear and circular motion instructions. The core roughing has a significantly higher number of track points. The
distances of the points to be approached are sometimes less than 100 micrometers, cf. Figure 2: 2D HSC core roughing and 2D HSC
peeling. This small dot pitch has a direct influence on the track fidelity. In order to implement the required processing speeds, it is
necessary to enable overriding ε, which adversely affects the path accuracy. During milling, the desired geometry should be
reproduced as accurately as possible, which requires a precise approach of the programmed points and has the consequence that
with correspondingly low rounding ε the feed rate vf can not be maintained or achieved and thus the chirp removal rate QW
decreases. This implies, conversely, that for very large selected overriding criteria ε the actual geometry can deviate significantly
from the desired geometry. This is shown schematically in Figure 3 with a setting of ε = 0.5 mm.

Figure 2: 2D HSC core roughing and 2D HSC peeling

Figure 3: Schematic representation of the influence of the overriding effect


450 E. Uhlmann et al. / Procedia Manufacturing 43 (2020) 447–454
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3. Influence of rigidity on the process result with plastic mold steel

A major disadvantage of the robot over the conventional machine tool is the lower rigidity described above. To investigate the
applicability of trochoidal milling, the Fraunhofer IPK carried out trials with the 40CrMnMoS8 plastic mold steel. As geometry a
groove was chosen. The results of the investigations on the displacement show that, depending on the selected parameters,
deviations of up to ΔAP = 4.2% of the nominal width of the groove occur. The influence of the displacement on the exit of the tool
from the workpiece becomes particularly clear. Due to the web geometry, the tool enters and exits the workpiece every turn. When
entering the chip thickness h is very low and increases with increasing wrap angle φ. As a result, the cutting force Fc, which is
exerted on the tool by the workpiece and results in a displacement ΔAP of the tool, is slowly built up. At the end of processing a
relief of the robot structure occurs due to the no longer present counterforce F and yields a rapid drop in the process forces F. Since
the actual groove width b due to the displacement is less than the target width, more material is removed when re-entering the tool,
due to the higher chip thickness h. This leads to high cutting forces Fc and potentially overloading of the cutting edges, which may
result in breakage of the tool or the cutting edges (Figure 4). A possible countermeasure is the reduction of the feed rate vf before
exiting the workpiece, which, however, is accompanied by a reduction of the material removal rate Qw and thus leads to a lower
economic efficiency.

10 mm 5 mm

5 mm 2 mm

Figure 2 Top) broken tool, bottom) groove width in the exit


E. Uhlmann et al. / Procedia Manufacturing 43 (2020) 447–454 451
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4. Influence of the robot control on the process result with plastic mold steel

The intelligence of an industrial robot and thus the ability to act flexibly, lays in its controlling algorithms. The robot control system
is the brain. For the economic use of trochoidal milling, the robot control is of great importance. If a program consists out of many
individual motion instructions, such as dynamic core roughing, which must be completed in a short time, the control comes to its
processing limits. Due to the trochoidal path of the tool, a high number of movement instructions with small distances between the
individual points is necessary. At high feed rates vf, this results in over 200 steps to be processed per second. If it is not possible to
process these steps in the given time, the feed rate vf is automatically reduced by the controller. This leads to a decrease in the
removal rate Qw and thus to a reduction in cost-effectiveness. In the case studied, a feed rate of vf = 3 m / min was specified.
However, only vf = 0.7 m / min and thus only about 25% of the specified value were achieved.
The investigations have further shown that deviations from the desired geometry occurring are not caused exclusively by the
displacement ΔAP of the tool. In the case of 2D HSC peeling, the specified feed rates vf are indeed achieved, but clear geometric
deviations can be determined (Table 1). When traversing the web without tool intervention, with a feed rate of vf = 3 m / min, the
deviation from the target geometry is already 7.5%, at vf = 6 m / min even 20.4% (Figure 5).

Table 1 Results of the experiments for the displacement

Figure 3 Results of the experiments for the displacement

A hypothesis on the reason for the ocurring issues can be described by the control of the robot system used. Due to the high feed
rates and the constantly changing direction of movement of the tool, the position control of the robot controller can not correct
occurring deviations between the actual and desired position fast enough. For industrial robots, the robot controller provides
setpoints for position, velocity, and acceleration to the servo drives of each motor, and retrieves the measured actual values from
the motor encoders. As a result, deviations from the control can be determined and corrected [WEB17]. The decisive factor is the
cycle time of the controller. The lower this is, the faster a deviation can be detected and corrected. For robot controllers, this cycle
time is usually 4 ms and above [SCH16]. This means that, due to the system, there is a dead time of at least 4 ms, in which deviations
between actual and set position can not be effectively corrected by the robot controller [ROE14]. The cycle time of the position
control of modern machine tool control systems is 200 μs compared to robot systems [HEI18].
452 E. Uhlmann et al. / Procedia Manufacturing 43 (2020) 447–454
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Influence on the process forces with plastic mold steel

In addition to the investigations on the displacement ΔAP of the target path, the forces were determined according to the working
hypothesis. The hypothesis is that the trochoidal machining can reduce the process forces F acting on the robot to an extent that
enables economical machining of even metallic materials. The highest determined force is 1200 N and was determined orthogonal
to the feed direction. In this direction, most of the machining takes place. Similarly high values could be determined in the direction
of the tool axis. In the feed direction, these are about 60% lower. Since the forces vary greatly due to the web geometry, high
forces rarely occur. On average, the values are well below the maximum and lie between 35 and 110 N (Figure 6). Comparable
milling processes in full section with a material removal rate of Qw = 190 mm3 / s lead to process forces of F = 400-1000 N.
Here, therefore, a significant improvement in the load is detectable, which can be measured directly in the achieved shape
deviation.

Figure 4 Mean values of the process forces

In addition to the process forces F, the roughness characteristics of the generated webs were detected. This objective is intended to
enable an assessment of the quality of the processing. Only the combination of cost-effective and yet demand-oriented machining
offers the potential of industrial implementation. The measurements of the roughness measurements show that for the arithmetic
mean roughness Ra with a maximum value of Ra = 0.752 μm and the average roughness Rz with Rz = 8.865 μm, exact to usual
roughnesses according to FISCHER ET AL. [FIS08] can be achieved.

5. Comparison trochoid milling and conventional milling

A comparison of the trajectories between conventional milling and trochoid milling shows a clear difference (Figure 7). Due to the
different milling strategies, the material removal rate Qw at a volume of 14.85 cm3 can be approximately doubled in trochoid milling
in the tests compared with conventional milling. The experimentally determined material removal rate Qw in conventional
processing is Qw = 11.45 cm 3 / min. With the trochoid milling strategy and the adaptation of the parameters, the material removal
rate at low cutting forces F was increased to Qw = 20.1 cm3 / min (Figure 8).
With regard to the sustainability of this milling strategy, the energy requirement can be mentioned. Investigations by [REI17] to
record the energy balance of an industrial robot during the machining of an aluminium-magnesium alloy (AlMg3) have shown that
the energy requirement of an industrial robot is lower compared to machine tools and that the cooling of the system and components
has the greatest influence on the overall energy balance in percentage terms.
The trochoidal milling strategy doubled the material removal rate Qw compared to conventional milling. The resulting time savings
result in faster production of the workpiece. It can therefore be assumed that the energy consumption can be significantly reduced
by doubling the chirp removal rate Qw and that the productivity of the robot during milling can also be increased.
Author name / Procedia Manufacturing 00 (2019) 000–000 7
E. Uhlmann et al. / Procedia Manufacturing 43 (2020) 447–454 453

Figure 5 Conventional milling (l.) in comparison with trochoid milling (r.)

24 250 Chirp removal


rate Qw
Cutting force F
200
cm^3/min
Chirp removal rate Qw

Process forces FZ in N
150
12
100

6
50

0 0
Test 1 Test 2 Test 3 Test 4
Figure 6 Influence of the parameters on the chirp removal rate Qw and cutting forces F

6. Summary

The investigations at hard materials have shown that the industrial robot, originally designed as a handling robot, is currently only
of limited use for trochoidal processing on hard materials. Although the process forces F can be drastically reduced according to
the established working hypothesis without negatively influencing the realizable chirp removal rate Qw and instead reducing the
process time and therefore the energy consumption. The achievable accuracy does not meet the requirements. The biggest
shortcoming is the robot control, which has too little computing power and too little cycle time for the position control for dynamic
trochoidal milling. Static trochoidal milling is currently feasible, but here, too, the largest deviations yield from the target geometry
caused by the control. As the feed speed vf increases, the deviation ΔAP increases from the programmed trajectory. The process-
specific advantage which can result, in particular, from the high feed rates vf of the trochoidal milling, is thus not made possible to
the full extent. With improved control, even large quantities of material could be economically and ecologically separated with
industrial robots. However, as the development of robotic controllers is steadily improving and research is being driven forward,
this process appears to be a promising alternative to classical machining in the future.
8 Author name / Procedia Manufacturing 00 (2019) 000–000

454 E. Uhlmann et al. / Procedia Manufacturing 43 (2020) 447–454

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