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Dec 11, 2019 2:47:23 PM
Mirka, an innovative Nordic manufacturer of high-quality surface finishing products and tools, boldly develops new technologies in its quest to bring digital processes to the traditional surface finishing industry. The currently ongoing development work aims at meeting the customer need for automated production lines, where robot-assisted sanding plays a key role. The development is carried out in an extensive Surf Value ecosystem project, facilitated by Spinverse.
The target of the three-year Surf Value ecosystem project that brings together over twenty partners representing various fields of expertise, targets at providing readiness for digital manufacturing and extends throughout the whole value chain. Spinverse acts as the coordinator of the multi-disciplinary group of experts from software development, IoT, robotics, automation, smart materials, service design and business development.
The targeted end result of the project is to add intelligence to Mirka’s products and processes and ultimately to enable the integration of the digitalized systems into automated production lines in factories. One of the key development projects focuses on robot sanding. In the past, Mirka’s experts have discovered that some customers had attached a manual sander to a robot. They decided to help their clients by developing more feasible models with both the mechanical and electronic interfaces integrated into one product. At the same time, Mirka had to start tackling many specific challenges related to the finetuning of robot sanding such as controlling the forces applied on the surface and how to change the sandpaper automatically. “It would be fantastic if we could develop a system using machine vision that could evaluate the sanding quality and decide when it is time to replace the sandpaper,” says Mats Sundell, Development Director at Mirka.
Mirka’s product development has not only enabled a more effective production process but it also gathers data to optimize the various steps of the process to improve the quality and bring forth an effective and dust-free sanding process. This translates as safer and more comfortable working conditions for the end-users of Mirka’s products and provides new products and services with great potential to export to new markets - both for car repair shops in developing countries and highly automatized factories in Europe, as an example.
Tekniikka & Talous 5.12.2019 (in Finnish)
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