Simulations Aid Engineers in Designing Productive Robotic Systems
Wouldn’t you like to know that the automated system we design is going to match your cycle times before installation? And that it fits in the space you have available? Of course you would. For each integration project, we use computer simulation software specifically designed to confirm in advance that all user specifications will be met.
ROBOGUIDE, a FANUC Simulation Software, was specifically developed to simulate robotic processes in 3D space. It allows engineers to conduct feasibility studies for robotic applications without the physical need and expense of a prototype work cell setup.
How It Works
First our engineers create a virtual working 3D model of the cell. FANUC’s ROBOBUIDE software has tools that will easily allow the user to add key features that make up a system such as customer parts, machines, fixtures, obstacles and all FANUC robot models. There is a virtual teach pendant that operates like a real pendant. The virtual robots have all of the kinematics information built in so that they will move and behave like real robots. Once the system models are in place, the virtual robots can then be programmed through the tool and user frames by teaching them all the required points of motion that they will need to perform the task. Final touches can even be integrated on peripheral software options such as FANUC DCS (Dual Safety Check), collision detect or FANUC IR Vision.
Once all information has been entered, the simulation gives our engineers instant feedback on how the robot reacts to the virtual environment. Adjustments can be quickly made to the program accordingly. Imagine how long that would take in real life!
What It Means
For one thing, our customers don’t have to worry if the system will work. They can see for themselves as simulation robots perform the most complex functions. The program allows for a complete cycle time analysis to confirm that specs will be met before the cell is physically integrated into the line. The software also detects flaws in the operation of the cell that can quickly be corrected. Crashes happen on the computer screen and not with real objects or people, which considerably enhances the safety factor and ensures there are no surprises once the system is built. And with the ability to export files from the simulation computer and import them into the actual robot controller, our engineers just need to fine tune the program, allowing the system to be up and running at full production in no time.
Seeing is Believing
We have been using these computer simulations to demonstrate extremely complex automated cells since we opened for business. With the ability to assess and review these simulations before the actual build, we can foresee any challenges and resolve them ahead of time, giving our customers the confidence that the final delivered product will enhance speed and efficiency from the first day of operation.