LKI/Lab Equipment/Robotics


The machining robot system developed at Graz University of Technology was jointly designed by the faculties of architecture and civil engineering and is operated by the Institute for Structural Design and the Laboratory for Structural Engineering primarily as a grinding and milling robot system.


The research and test facility set up by ABB AG Austria is designed for wet and dry machining of large components. Both hard and soft materials can be machined by grinding and milling.

The individual components of the plant are:
ABB machining robot
NOMOTEC linear axis
PDS machining spindles

In addition, the system has an automatic tool change system as well as the force sensor control "Force Control". Furthermore, a powerful extraction system is available in the machining cell.

Depending on the material, tool and workpiece geometry, machining accuracies of less than +/- 0.2 [mm] can be achieved in a machining area of 6000 x 1200 x 1200 [mm].

Unlike most existing systems, the system described here is equipped with a precision linear axis, which was designed and built by Nomotec. With a dead weight of 7.0 t, a maximum permissible payload of 2.2 t and a total length of 7400 mm, it offers the possibility of moving the robot over a length of 6000 mm.

The moving base plate, which weighs around 800 kilograms and on which the machining robot is mounted, is supported by linear ball bearings and is driven by a ø 70 millimetre ball screw. The drive of the axis is implemented as a seventh axis in the robot control.


HyperMILL / HyperCAD
HyperMILL® enables the generation of milling paths. Both simple and sophisticated geometries can be programmed. A large number of 3- and 5-axis milling cycles are available.
The generated programme data can be read out for further processing in the common DIN/ISO format and via a postprocessor in the APT format required for the PiPath.

In the postprocessor PiPath, the MOD file readable for the robot control is generated, which controls the kinematics of all 7 axes (6-robot axes + linear axis). This enables full collision-free 3- and 5-axis machining. Singularities are prevented here, unreachable areas and kinematically impossible robot approaches are shown. These are, for example, overextended axis angles.

Relevant, current data (tool/work object) is read manually from the robot controller and stored in the PiPath.


Fire - FTP
With any FTP client, in our case the freeware Fire-FTP, the generated MOD files are transferred to the controller.


Robot Studio
The simulation and offline programming software RobotStudio enables the creation of robot programs on the PC.


RobotStudio is based on ABB's VirtualController, an exact copy of the real robot controller. This enables realistic simulations using real robot programs and configurations that exactly match the data used in production.


The RobotStudio (RobotWare) user interface is also used to create and edit additional necessary information for the system during NC programming (tool data / work objects).

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Laboratory for Structural Engineering
Inffeldgasse 24
8010 Graz
Tel.: +43 (0) 316 / 873 - 7051
Fax: +43 (0) 316 / 873 7061