FASTSUITE simulation and offline programming (OLP) software program from CENIT permits the system integrator to substitute completely different robotic manufacturers when provide chain shortages trigger lengthy lead occasions.
Based in 1970, automated arc welding skilled Melton Machine & Management Firm designs and builds the machines and tooling that make its clients profitable. For years the system integrator has constructed robotic arc welding cells for Tier 1 suppliers of automotive exhaust programs. The corporate has lately expanded into new markets and processes, now constructing automated materials dealing with, meeting and materials elimination programs for giant metallic buildings utilized in agriculture and development, amongst different industries.
Serving to its clients visualize what are sometimes subtle automation options is paramount to the mixing group’s quoting and design capabilities. Melton Machine is utilizing FASTSUITE Version 2 Superior Integrator software program, which allows every thing from idea planning, cell format and simulations, to robotic attain research, cycle time estimation and offline programming. The Superior Integrator package deal additionally permits for digital twinning of custom-designed half fixtures, together with modeling habits of clamps and half proximity sensors. That is essential for tooling validation and a excessive precedence for Melton Machine.
“We would have liked simulation and offline-programming software program that would assist two or three robots on a rail synched with an exterior axis,” mentioned Glenn Archer, vp of gross sales and advertising and marketing for Melton Machine. “We had discussions with at the least three different firms, and no person was prepared to commit and stand behind their software program for programming a system like that, besides CENIT.
Melton Machine robotic arc welding cell powered by FASTSUITE software program gives true coordinated movement with two robots and a dynamic workpiece positioner.
“We went reside with FASTSUITE simulations in 2019. Inside the first couple purposes, we caught three issues that in all probability would have been missed in engineering. Saving these errors paid for the 2 seats of software program.” -Glenn Archer, VP of Gross sales & Advertising, Melton Machine & Management Firm
“We’ve been in a position to excellent this difficult robotic group setup with CENIT’s assist and we’re on the level now the place we will have two robots on an overhead slide synchronized with a Ferris wheel system, and we will construct the applications upfront,” mentioned Archer. “Once we’re able to energy on these robots for the primary time, we will load in totally functioning applications which are able to weld with only a few touchups wanted. As a result of we will do all of the work on the entrance finish as an alternative of doing the programming after the robotic is up and working, that’s made the time to a deliverable a lot shorter.”
A precise geometry, Parasolid based mostly CAD kernel permits customers of FASTSUITE software program to change tooling and even entire cell format knowledge with exterior CAD programs, with out shedding that worthwhile challenge knowledge whereas programming components utilizing true curves or surfaces, as an alternative of tessellated or cut up segments, that are frequent with different software program. CENIT’s software program reduces programming time by utilizing automated weld seam search and torch angle orientation methods, thus avoiding tedious point-by-point programming. The result's a glossy, compact program with a minimal variety of factors, which is simpler to make use of.
“In FASTSUITE, there are course of geometry capabilities the place you may click on on the weld joint and it robotically populates all of your factors,” mentioned Joseph Koirtyohann, simulation engineer at Melton Machine. “With a pair clicks, you may generate a whole toolpath after which modify your torch angle, your instrument angles and different parameters. It cuts programming time by a 3rd.”
Archer added, “Our time to runoff has shrunk significantly. Through the use of FASTSUITE, we decreased the challenge execution lead time by 6 weeks.”
Challenge aims and difficulties
Even with one of the best planning, provide chain points can throw a wrench into the works. Just lately, the integrator had a problem with a cloth dealing with challenge that was already designed round a selected model of robotic. That producer mentioned they might be unable to ship the robotic within the anticipated timeframe. The brand new lead time could be 36 weeks!
Archer mentioned the delay would have killed the challenge for his buyer, so Melton Machine needed to substitute a special robotic model with a shorter lead time. Usually that kind of change, if simulated within the unique robotic producer’s software program, would require quite a lot of effort and time to reprogram within the new robotic’s brand-specific software program. However FASTSUITE software program is model agnostic. This makes for a neater swap.
“If we do the simulation in FASTSUITE after which the client desires to specify a special robotic or we have to swap it out because of a provide chain difficulty, we’ll nonetheless have to reprogram, however all the basics are already there,” mentioned Archer. “The benefit is that any robotic you seize, all the boundaries are already arrange, so robotic attain research and different parameters are already dealt with. It’s faster and cheaper to vary out the robotic if we’ve accomplished it by way of the FASTSUITE path.”
FASTSUITE software program gives an intensive library of almost 800+ robotic arms from all main producers. Reachability research, axis limits, and so forth. are all dealt with by CENIT software program, regardless of the robotic model. And regardless of the method, whether or not it’s materials dealing with, welding, materials elimination or meeting. Utilizing CENIT’s brand-agnostic software program, Melton Machine was in a position to swap out a special robotic and drop it into the prevailing simulation.
“We had been in a position to get the brand new robotic in 8 weeks and switch it round shortly,” mentioned Archer. “The client was again on observe!”
Having the aptitude to simulate robotic movement and coordination with dynamic workpiece positioners, exterior axes and complex fixtures offers Melton Machine engineers the arrogance that they'll present clients what they'll get and ship a sound answer. A typical cell has at the least two robots with six axes every, plus a workpiece positioner provides one other axis, for a complete of 13 axes of movement. FASTSUITE software program gives correct 3D course of simulation, together with collision detection and avoidance, axis limits, and singularity monitoring, saving Melton Machine the time and value of rework.
“We did our personal inside return on funding calculations,” defined Archer. “We appeared on the time it takes to get a robotic up and performing from the day it hits our doorstep to after we’re able to weld components, and the way simulation and offline programming scale back that point. Having the ability to discover all of the interference points on the very starting of the design stage saves an unimaginable quantity of effort and time versus having to return and makes modifications afterwards. One thing may very well be simply an eighth of an inch off. But when we don’t know that upfront and must make modifications later, it’s very costly.”
Melton is a longtime chief in automated arc welding programs. With 50-plus years of expertise designing and constructing premium-quality, value-focused gear and fixtures, the system integrator is trusted by its companions all over the world to develop exact, environment friendly options for manufacturing unit automation. Melton’s fundamental challenges with this challenge had been:
- Want dependable, easy-to-use simulation software program to assist integrator’s clients visualize ideas for advanced arc welding fixtures and programs
- Require simulation and offline programming software program platform in a position to deal with totally coordinated movement of multi-robot cells, workpiece positioners and exterior axes
- Provide chain scarcity led to potential challenge delay, prompting the will for simulation software program with the power to simply swap out completely different robotic manufacturers as wants change.
The keys to success of this challenge had been:
- FASTSUITE gives correct 3D course of simulation, together with collision detection, axis limits and singularity monitoring
- Full management of multi-robot cells and dynamic workpiece positioners
- Model-agnostic software program helps a complete library of robots, machine instruments, course of applied sciences, and management connectors to native robotic controllers/PLCs, enabling customers to carry out all actions of a typical integration challenge and swap out completely different manufacturers as wants change or provide chain shortages dictate.
Summarizing the outcomes of this challenge:
- FASTSUITE Version 2 software program paid for itself through the integrator’s first couple deployments by precisely simulating robotic interactions with different automated gear – upfront – and eliminating pricey rework of tooling and layouts
- Software program is routinely used to simulate and program advanced cells with two or extra robots (aka “robotic groups”) synchronized with dynamic workpiece positioners and exterior axes, typically coordinating 13 or extra axes of movement
- Throughout a provide chain crunch, the power to swap out one robotic model for one more minimize the lead time from 36 weeks to eight weeks and saved the challenge on observe for supply as promised
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