The polishing of ceramic hybrid interior parts
The illuminated gear stick display in a particular luxury vehicle model is a masterpiece of design. However, since there was no known industrial technique for achieving the specified surface finish of the ceramic hybrid component in question, the only option was to come up with a new solution.
Leading plastics multinational Oechsler, which has made a name for itself as a reputable supplier to the automotive industry, declared its willingness to take on the challenge. Oechsler commissioned system integrator Toolcraft with working out how to perform the crucial task of polishing the ceramic surface of the display. Toolcraft, in turn, brought software developer Unicam and robot manufacturer Stäubli on board.Together, the four specialist technology enterprises set about developing a viable polishing setup for a series production line. In the case of ceramic hybrid parts, it is essential to polish all sections of the ergonomically shaped free-form surface by applying an even and continuous force in all directions. Experience had shown that this should be possible using specially developed tools, a high-precision robot and extremely precise path planning.
Precision robots make the impossible possible
The specialist teams were under immense pressure to com