Offline Robot Simulation
Offline robot simulation is a key tool for determining the best robot for your manufacturing process as well as for planning out the steps of your robotic application. Users of industrial robots can only capitalize on the full benefits of robotic automation if they have selected the right robot for the job. Robotic simulators are cost-effective and time saving devices that allow users to properly plan and map out their robotic application before involving the actual industrial robot.
Simulators consist of either mechanical devices or software programs that are used to mimic a real-life scenario. In robotics, simulators are usually software programs with the most common being 3D modeling. Offline robotic simulators can render an industrial robot, a robotic workcell, and the surrounding work environment. Applications can be created, designed, and debugged, emulating the desired tasks to be automated with an industrial robot. When users are satisfied with the application they have created through offline simulation software, it can then be programmed into the robot. For instance, an application for automated arc welding can first be created and optimized using offline simulation before programming a FANUC Arcmate 120ic, ensuring optimal robot operation.
Offline robotic simulators are ideal for testing the use of robotic programs before involving the actual articulated robot to ensure a safe work environment. Testing robot programming via a simulator allows for any bugs that could be dangerous to the surrounding work environment, including workers, to be ironed out before deploying the robot. Robotic simulators also provide the chance to test several different program modifications to create the most efficient and optimal application. They also give users a chance to test programming when a robot is not available or has not been purchased yet. Running an offline simulation before buying an industrial robot gives companies a chance to prove and visualize the value of implementing robotic automation as well as determine the best robot for their needs.
Most industrial robot manufacturers have developed offline simulation software that is compatible with their robots. ROBOGUIDE is FANUC’s offline simulation software. ROBOGUIDE has options for robotic material handling, painting, palletizing, and welding simulation. Simulating palletizing allows users to visualize the robot layout and operation before installing a FANUC M-410ic/185.
Like FANUC, Yaskawa Motoman robots have their own offline simulation software called MotoSim. This 3D simulator allows users to replicate a robotic workcell with one of their robots such as the Motoman MA1440. Users can not only plan their workcell layout and application process, but also determine if their selected robot has the proper load and payload capacity. Through this, users can determine if the Yaskawa MH24 is best for their material handling application before even purchasing the robot.
As the use of offline simulation grows as a robotic automation planning tool, industrial robots are becoming more compatible with this technology. Hollow arm robots, which have become popular for their reliability, reduced maintenance, and cable protection, are ideal for offline simulation. Housing cables inside the robotic manipulator arm makes offline simulation more accurate since the potential for unexpected cable movements is eliminated.