Robotic welding is well established in large-scale enterprises whereby programming of the process follows a manual online teach-in method. This method implies immobilization of the robot cell during programming of a new product batch or adaptation of the program to products with geometric deviations. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have to deal with much smaller lot sizes and high product variety leading to undesirably high programming time. Alternatively, using an offline programming (OLP) environment allows to improve productivity as the robot cell is uninterrupted during programming. OLP solutions further demand online adaptation of the path in a so-called after-teach-in process.
In the age of mass personalization, lot size is decreasing and product variety is increasing in many industries. In this context, robot programming time is a key criteria for cost-effectiveness of automated production. In the following video we show innovative OLP components to address both quick programming time and after-teach-in requirements as results of “AutoWELD” pilot, part of the EU “ROBOTT-NET” project.
Two SMEs were equipped with a prototype welding robot cell including an innovative offline programming software integrating welding process knowledge and a 3D sensor. Robot programming occurs in the simulation environment which is adapted for each lot or each workpiece. The set of integrated technologies allows to make robot programming much easier and faster than with the teach-in programming method with a touch panel or in simulation. The video shows the procedure for intuitive, flexible and highly automated robotic welding:
- - Intuitive robot path generation on workpiece CAD
- - 3D measurements of workpiece assembly
- - Localization of workpiece in robot cell
- - Detection and compensation of assembly deviations
- - Robot path collision avoidance under process constraints
- - Export robot program
- The technologies were integrated into the established, commercially available, offline programming software Delfoi ARC.
The project ROBOTT-NET is funded by the European Commission, H2020 ICT-688217, from 1.1.2016 to 31.12.2019.