AMERICAN MACHINIST: Production cost, safety, and availability factors are promoting wider use of industrial robots for complex, repetitive tasks.
A new “out-of-the-box” robotic simulation and programming software from Siemens shows robotic devices’ interactions with production and other machinery in a machine or fabricating shop setting, which minimizes downtime for the automation devices and increases throughput for shop-floor robots.
Called RobotExpert, this software program is described as “intuitive” and “easy to deploy” for small and medium-size manufacturers, for functions like machining, deburring, polishing, welding, pick-and-place, etc.
Since most industrial robots are traditionally programmed manually, which means production downtime and non-optimized robot programs, RobotExpert provides an offline programming and simulation tool that helps to minimize downtime by allowing the majority of the programming work to be done virtually, while optimizing the program to reduce the cycle time and increase throughput.
Also, simulation capabilities help to anticipate avoid workplace hazards for both workers and equipment?s alike.
Reduce the cycle time and increase throughput
RobotExpert allows design, simulation, optimization and offline programming of robotic applications to maximize the speed, flexibility and operation of automated systems.
It presents an intuitive 3D environment, and combines the simplicity to optimize robotic paths and improve cycle times with the power to simulate virtual mockups of complete manufacturing cells and systems. It can be used to generate the most suitable combination of equipment to meet specific manufacturing needs, supporting faster product introduction as well as early evaluation of manufacturing times, costs and project investments.
Typical functions for robotics simulation may include work cell layout design and modeling, or motion simulation for robots and mechanisms, including collision detections. The program performs 3D modeling of kinematics tools, assistors and robots; calculates cycle times using realistic robot simulation (RRS); and provides Gantt charts of its simulation for users’ comparative analysis.
RobotExpert supports robot devices from ABB, Fanuc, Kuka, and others and is available for offline-robot programming and program uploads from the shop floor.
“Manufacturers, big and small, are under a great deal of pressure to maximize return on capital investment, and production-line automation provides an excellent opportunity to help increase efficiency,” said Zvi Feuer, senior vice president at Siemens Manufacturing Engineering Software.
“Specifically, small and midsize manufacturers needed an intuitive and easy-to-deploy solution that removes the complexities involved with implementing a robotic simulation and programming solution,” Feuer continued.