Purpose – This paper aims to present the critical issues and methodologies to improve robotic machining performance with flexile industrial robots.
Design/methodology/approach – A complete solution using active force control is introduced to address various issues during the robotic machining process.
Findings – Programming complex couture parts without a CAD model is made easy by using force control functions such as lead-through and path-learning. The problem of process control is treated with a novel methodology that consists of stiffness modeling, real-time deformation compensation for quality and controlled material removal rate for process efficiency.
Originality/value – Experimental results showed that higher productivity as well as better surface quality can be achieved, indicating a promising and practical use of industrial robots for machining applications that is not available at present.