Engineer working with a 3M Robotics and Automation system

Abrasives Automation

Robotic deburring and finishing are exciting opportunities for manufacturers to increase productivity and mitigate the challenges of a shrinking workforce. But with that excitement comes risks, challenges and unknowns.


We're here to help you with automation.

3M is a trusted leader in robotic material removal. With decades of experience partnering with system integrators and robot manufacturers — and as a leader in abrasives for robots — we can help you confidently navigate the automation process.

To help us best serve your specific needs and interests, find below a variety of tools and resources to support you through all stages of the process. We'll guide you through every step of the way: from still trying to understand whether your company is ready to implement automation processes to selecting the adequate abrasives for your applications.

As an Abrasives Leader, 3M can be your partners throughout the entire process.

  • 3M created this Automation Customer Handbook as a perfect starting point, to give you a basic understanding of automating your abrasive processes.

    All you need to know, is carefully explained in this handbook.

    This is where your journey to automation starts.

  • There are many benefits to automating, including helping to decrease costs over time and increase part production, worker safety, and quality. But, automating an abrasive operation can be complicated.

    That’s why, in addition to the handbook, we developed a set of resources and tools to help guide you through the process, from concept to robotic cell.

  • Need an automation partner?

    Use the growing 3M Robotics Network to find a system integrator that best suits your specific application needs and location.

  • Our selection of sanding belts for metal brings the quality and performance of 3M abrasives to a wide range of applications.

Car in metalworking workshop

3M™ Robotic Paint Repair System

Automated Paint Repair

  • 3M™ Finesse-it™ Robotic Paint Repair System

    Robotic Paint Repair: Help perfect your paint finishing.

    • Virtually every car coming off the paint line has defects that require manual inspection and repair to ensure the level of quality customers expect.

      Most automotive manufacturers rely on dozens of highly skilled operators, this makes topcoat defect repair one of the most highly manual operations in the automotive industry.

      The 3M™ Finesse-it™ Robotic Paint Repair System can allow you to automate this important step in your manufacturing process.

      Contact a 3M Robotics and Automation expert today and discover how an automated paint repair solution can help improve part quality and productivity on your paint repair deck.


Automated Paint Repair resources

  • As one of the most intensive manual operations on the entire assembly line, the skilled labour required to maintain quality and output is substantial.

    Automation can help reduce cycle times and increase part quality.

    That in turn can protect and enhance brand perception while helping to reduce dealer rework and warranty claims.

  • Topcoat defect repair introduces a number of challenges including the need for a large shop floor or factory footprint, high energy consumption and reliance on multiple operators working in very close quarters.

    Additionally, manual labour comes with an inherent variance in inspection, repair techniques, and data entry.

    Our 3M™ Finesse-it™ Robotic Paint Repair System video has been made in collaboration with ASIS and Inovision.

  • The 3M™ Finesse-it™ Robotic Paint Repair System is a critical part of a complete automated solution that enables robots to efficiently and reliably sand and polish.

    The system is comprised of tools, software, abrasives, accessories, and process expertise all designed to work together with a range of robots — delivering results you can rely on, car after car.

Robotic sanding made easy - System solutions with SCHUNK

Streamline your robotic sanding implementation with two trusted automation industry experts. 3M and SCHUNK have teamed up to deliver a new automated sanding solution — a complete kit including a compliant orbital sander and professionally selected 3M sanding abrasives.

  • AOV-10 Axially Compliant Orbital Sander

    Meet the ideal solution for robotic sanding.

    If you’re looking for more consistent part quality and surface finishes in your sanding operations, our robotic sanding kit is the ideal solution. This compact tool comes ready to mount to your industrial robot and delivers fine finishes at any pressure or orientation — even upside down.

    The affordable and flexible AOV-10 Axially Compliant Orbital Sander from SCHUNK streamlines surface preparation processes and allows users to configure the tool for their unique process.

    The sander is optimised for the included 3M sanding discs and backup pads for maximum performance, consistent cut and long life — qualities of an efficient robotic cell.

Watch 3M™ abrasives make the most of automation.

Not sure if your process can be automated? Or maybe you're just curious what robotic deburring looks like. Watch the video simulations below to see what robots are capable of when they're equipped with 3M™ Abrasives.

Learn more about Robotic Applications

3M offers abrasive solutions and expertise to help you automate a variety of material removal processes, from robotic grinding to robotic polishing and every step in-between. Visit our metalworking application pages to learn more.

Automated belt polishing

Products for Automation

Ready to shop for products? See the best abrasive belts, discs and wheels for use in a robotic cell.


Featured 3M Robotics Events and Resources

  • 3M Application Engineers partner with other industry leaders to discuss robotic grinding, finishing, sanding and more.

    Check out recordings of past events and register for future webinars.

  • 3M has the expertise, connections and products to help you automate your abrasive process.

    Download our informational brochure to learn more about abrasive automation.

Dark blue and light blue separator banner

Let's talk automation

Ready to connect with a 3M abrasives expert?

Our team is here to answer your questions about automated abrasive processes.

Whether you're just starting to consider robotics in your operation, designing a robotic cell for your abrasive process, or making a final abrasive selection, let us help you get the most out of automation.

  • Thank you for your request to 3M. The information you provide on this form will be used to respond to your request through email or telephone by a 3M representative or by one of our authorised business partners with whom we might share your personal information consistent with the 3M privacy policy

  • All fields are required unless indicated optional

  • Please choose at least one application type (multi select)

  • Please choose at least one application type (multi select)

  • 3M takes your privacy seriously. 3M and its authorized third parties will use the information you provided in accordance with our Privacy Policy to send you communications which may include promotions, product information and service offers. Please be aware that this information may be stored on a server located in the U.S. If you do not consent to this use of your personal information, please do not use this system.

  • Submit Submit

Thank You

Your form was submitted successfully!

Our Apologies...

An error has occurred while submitting. Please try again later...