ABB_Get virtual before you get real
Get virtual before you get real
Downtime is the number one nightmare of every manufacturing company. Time-to-
market is getting shorter, quality demands tougher and error
margins slimmer; under these unforgiving conditions lengthy stoppages
are not an option. An increasingly popular way around taking robots out
of production to create or modify programs is to use RobotStudio, ABBs
off-line programming and 3D simulation software. Introduced some six
years ago, this product was the first of its kind. Volker Miegel, a
based senior specialist for ABB, was involved with RobotStudio
right from the start. It was uncharted territory in those days. But
now its an established brand, he says, and weve sold a significant
number of licenses over the last few years.
An exact replica in your PC RobotStudio is built on ABBs Virtual Robot
Technology, a replica of the real software that runs the robots in
production. This permits highly realistic simulations, using robot
programs and configuration files identical to those on the shop floor
all in a familiar Windows environment. New solutions can now be
evaluated before theyre even built.
According to Volker, Robot-Studio is still the industry benchmark,
Everybodys heard of it. We were the first robot vendor to offer our
own simulation software, and were still ahead of competing solutions
in terms of functionality and accuracy.
Adding a third dimension to customer relationships
In Volkers home country, RobotStudio has helped to add new spice to
old customer relationships. A good example is Benteler
Automobiltechnik, a major supplier to the auto-motive industry, which
employs 380 robots in a mig welding and material handling operation.
The company manufactures axles and form parts, including B-columns and
door reinforcements for a variety of carmakers.
RobotStudio was utilized to reduce the initial operating time on-site.
Because the exact location of each robot could be determined off-line
in a virtual environment, downtime was cut to a minimum. As Volker
explains, Before the arrival of RobotStudio, each new product had to
go through an expensive and time-consuming trial and error phase. Now
this is all done on a PC.
Staying one step ahead
RobotStudio is today a fully accepted member of the team at Benteler
especially within design. The program is used to check designs, and, if
there are any problems, eliminate them ahead of time. Starting up a
new production over a weekend is a great achievement. Without
RobotStudio, it would never have happened.
Adding speed to Toyotas Formula One team Toyota Motorsport in Cologne
works exclusively with Formula One. Unlike its parent organization in
Japan, this dedicated outfit produces just three automobiles: two
racing cars and one replacement. Almost all parts are manufactured
in-house and the quality demands couldnt be tougher. Naturally,
theyre equally fussy about their suppliers.
Were privileged to be working with a Formula One team, says Volker
Miegel. Currently, an IRB 2400 is used to deburr cylinder heads. Before
the robot was installed, the process was carried out manually, which
created a bottleneck.
3,000 points to teach
With over 3,000 teach points on each cylinder head, the only was to
program the robot with-out bringing the entire process to a halt
was to go off-line. Enter Robot-Studio, which not only helped Toyota
Motorsport speed up the trimming process, but also delivered the
accuracy required in Formula One.
Virtual has become real
Over the past few years, RobotStudio has given the term off-line
programming a whole new meaning. What was impossible just a few years
ago is feasible today. And as the product develops and more
functionality is added, customers will be enjoying even greater value,
concludes Volker Miegel.
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