« Back To Case Studies
CENIT North America Logo

Member Since 2011


CENIT North America provides the development and implementation of digital manufacturing solutions. We have a background in offline-programming, simulation and process integration for robots and special machines. In addition to these offline-programming applications (OLP) we offer customer-specific software developments and

Content Filed Under:



Tool Specialist Meissner drives Automation with FASTSUITE Edition 2

POSTED 01/24/2022

Tool Specialist Meissner intends to explore new approaches in the use of robotic systems. These solution should help to diversify and expand the product portfolio. In addition to mold loading and unloading equipment Meissner develops special, customized machines and fixtures. The team led by Maximilian Kombächer alos goes beyond in a true startup attitude and kickoff entirely new initiatives. The effort has yielded excellent manufacturing solutions, including a project in which a robot executes 160,000 surface embossing operations that look as though they have been done by manual engraving. To realize its robot programming objectives, Meissner partnered with CENIT’s FASTSUITE team.

Project Objectives

The molds are used to make truck floor coverings from plastic. The finished product has to be skid-proof and high-quality in appearance. To achieve this effect, an embossing process is applied over the entire surface. The aim is to create an evenly applied irregular surface structure that appears as random as possible.

Creating a mold tool manually can easily take two or three months because to ensure a uniform pattern, each mold should only be stamped by a single metalworking specialist. And it’s a job that no employee can do for more than three or four hours a day.

The automation specialists at Meissner determine whether a robot could be tasked with this manual processing step. and with support from the Fraunhofer Institute, the team developed an algorithm. The algorithm generates points on the surface of the 3D model which correspond to the contact points for the embossing tool. Each point is representing a process position with corresponding attributes such as position on the surface, the orientation of the tool, etc.

But another problem arisesd from the enormous amount of data that needs to be processed. “Just to give you an idea of the amount of data: Embossing an entire tool requires approximately 160,000 individual robot operations”, says Duchhardt. “When creating the program, we therefore also have to program all robot movements for 160,000 positions, because our data don’t yet include the approach and retract motions of the robots. If you now assume that we need four robot motions per operation, you can see that we have to be able to program a large amount of operations at one time, otherwise the process will take forever.”

Confirmed results 

Relying on the FASTSUITE Team for a unique concept for offline programming.

“We didn’t get that many responses when we presented the challenge to several providers of offline programming software. – there weren’t many who were confident they could do it”, says Marvin Duchhardt, Application Engineer. “With the FASTSUITE team, things were different right from the start – they were all fired up from the get-go. Their commitment never flagged after that, and this has been the nature of our partnership with CENIT until today.”

CENIT software service team developed the necessary downloader (postprocessor). The process points are transferred as a data set to FASTSUITE Edition 2 and programmed area by area. The pilot project covered the 160,000 process points mentioned above, but the solution can handle a great many more

Thanks to the highly realistic FASTSUITE E2 simulation, Meissner can prevent collisions or problems caused by singularities before the robot actually begins embossing the mold. The only limiting factor during production is the robot control system which can currently consume not more than 6,000 operations at one time.

“Depending on size, we can now produce a fully embossed tool within seven to ten days! That shows just how much automation can reduce throughput times. And because simulation lets us safeguard the process, the robot can run for up to 24 hours without any manual intervention”, says a satisfied Duchhardt.

“We can use FASTSUITE to program just about any brand of robot or machine. That’s a great benefit because of course our clients give us different models to work with. Also, the 3D simulation software already offers us a wide selection of turnkey manufacturing technology modules. This means that as our team gains more and more routine in working with the program, they can focus on their actual task – developing new, creative solutions for our clients.”  Jan Müller, Plant Manager at Meissner 

Read here more information about this project.