Offline Programming for Industrial Robots
Programming is a vital step involved with the implementation process of robotic automation. Programming consists of creating the set of commands or instructions that inform an industrial robot how to perform a given application. In order for users to maximize the benefits of robotic automation it is imperative their robot is programmed correctly. For instance, the FANUC Arcmate 120ic can be used to automate arc welding applications, but in order to carry out a specific arc welding task it must first be programmed.
Offline programming is one of the programming methods commonly used with industrial robots. Teach pendants have been the most popular robotic programming method as they are a key component of any industrial robot and allow for on the go programming. However, offline programming is becoming more common and gaining ground on teach pendants. Offline programming can be used with just about any of today’s industrial robots. FANUC’s M710ic/50 has the option for offline programming as well as Yaskawa Motoman’s MA1400.
Robotic offline programming (OLP) involves using software on an external computer to create a robotic application program outside of the production environment. Unlike teach pendants which use online programming, OLP designs articulated robot programs before involving the actual robot. Robotic offline programming is often confused and interchanged with offline robot simulation software, however, these two are actually not the same. Offline simulation involves testing a robot program outside of the production environment and may be used in conjunction with offline programming. If an automated assembly application is created through offline programming for a FANUC LR Mate 200id, it can be tested prior to being uploaded to the six axis robot through offline simulation which creates a virtual representation of the robot and its work environment.