Robohub.org
 

Innovative programming software used to generate robot welding programs

by
16 July 2018



share this:

Since programming is an extremely time-consuming business, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are often forced to manage without robots. Researchers from Fraunhofer IPA have therefore developed the software RobotKit specially for welding tasks. In an initial test scenario, the kit reduced programming times from 90 down to just 7 minutes.

At its production facility in St. Leon-Rot in Baden-Württemberg in South Germany, Piccolo K+L Behältertechnik GmbH manufactures skeleton and transport containers for the automotive industry. Because the company produces relatively small volumes with high variant diversity, the assembly workers at the factory perform all welding tasks by hand.

Under such conditions, the use of robot systems is simply not cost-effective. Reason: The manufacturer-specific programming languages are so complex that experts must be called in to program a robot for new components. In addition, under present circumstances it would take 90 minutes to program a new welding task, even for a simple component. This is acceptable for mass production but not for lot sizes of 20 to 100 pieces, which is often the case at Piccolo K+L Behältertechnik GmbH.

The lack of skilled workers is also a problem when high-quality welded parts are manufactured: This requires sound knowledge and longstanding experience. But suitably skilled workers are becoming increasingly scarce. It therefore makes sense to increasingly automate production processes and transfer existing expert knowledge to robot systems. For SMEs to use welding robots profitably, they need to be adapted to flexible, customer-specific production methods.

To achieve this, researchers working in the Department of Robot and Assistive Systems at Fraunhofer IPA have developed a manufacturer-independent software RobotKit specifically for welding tasks.

The software identifies possible weld seams on components in the CAD model and automatically generates a complete robot program with all movement commands.

Via a graphic interface, welders can simulate the entire process and correct it as required. This enables end-users to start using a robot for new welding tasks without delay and without the need for in-depth programming knowledge.

If product variants change, the respective welding tasks are easy and fast to reconfigure. To move parts freely on the welding table and thus reduce the necessary devices, the position of components can be accurately measured by the integrated 3-D sensor system and the robot program adjusted automatically.

Any geometric discrepancies on components can also be identified, such as those resulting from inaccuracies arising in the course of prior manual welding processes. The software then automatically adjusts the robot trajectory and processes parameters, doing away with the need for manual re-teaching in off-line programming mode.

Thanks to the intuitive software with the innovative algorithms for calculating trajectories and identifying components in 3-D, in an initial test scenario robot, programming times at Piccolo K+L Behältertechnik GmbH could be cut from 90 to just 7 minutes.

Based on these promising results, the technology is now being developed for serial application as one out of eight pilot projects in ROBOTT-NET.



tags: , ,


Thilo Zimmermann





Related posts :



Sense Think Act Pocast: Erik Schluntz

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Erik Schluntz, co-founder and CTO of Cobalt Robotics, which makes a security guard robot. Erik speaks about how their robot handles elevators, how they have hum...
19 October 2021, by and

A robot that finds lost items

Researchers at MIT have created RFusion, a robotic arm with a camera and radio frequency (RF) antenna attached to its gripper, that fuses signals from the antenna with visual input from the camera to locate and retrieve an item, even if the item is buried under a pile and completely out of view.
18 October 2021, by

Robohub gets a fresh look

If you visited Robohub this week, you may have spotted a big change: how this blog looks now! On Tuesday (coinciding with Ada Lovelace Day and our ‘50 women in robotics that you need to know about‘ by chance), Robohub got a massive modernisation on its look by our technical director Ioannis K. Erripis and his team.
17 October 2021, by
ep.

339

podcast

High Capacity Ride Sharing, with Alex Wallar

In this episode, our interviewer Lilly speaks to Alex Wallar, co-founder and CTO of The Routing Company. Wallar shares his background in multi-robot path-planning and optimization, and his research on scheduling and routing algorithms for high-capacity ride-sharing. They discuss how The Routing Company helps cities meet the needs of their people, the technical ins and outs of their dispatcher and assignment system, and the importance of public transit to cities and their economics.
12 October 2021, by

50 women in robotics you need to know about 2021

It’s Ada Lovelace Day and once again we’re delighted to introduce you to “50 women in robotics you need to know about”! From the Afghanistan Girls Robotics Team to K.G.Engelhardt who in 1989 ...
12 October 2021, by and

Join the Women in Robotics Photo Challenge

How can women feel as if they belong in robotics if we can't see any pictures of women building or programming robots? The Civil Rights Activist Marian Wright Edelson aptly said, "You can't be what yo...
12 October 2021, by





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association