Remote Robot Programming
Programming is a necessary step for automating applications with industrial robots. A robotic program is essentially a set of instructions for how an industrial robot is to perform a specific task. In order for the FANUC Arcmate 120ic to automate welding, it will need to be programmed. The majority of robotic programming is done online, meaning the robot is taken out of production and put into teaching mode. Online programming requires the robot to be present. While this is the most common programming method, it may not be the most practical since it can involve long periods of downtime. In today’s fast-paced manufacturing world many companies cannot afford to decrease their productivity. Many companies are also looking to transition to fully automated factories. Fortunately, remote robot programming is now becoming a reality.
Remote industrial robot programming has been made possible through offline software. Robotic offline programming software develops applications through a PC. Programs are created on a computer without involving the actual robot and can be done remotely outside the production environment. Program instructions are written through the PC. A 3D replication of the robot and work environment is created through a simulation in order to test and debug the program once it has been written. When the program has been tested and optimized, it can then be downloaded to the robot. The FANUC R-2000ic can be programmed remotely for assembly applications with offline software.
The ability to remotely program articulated robots significantly decreases downtime related to application development. Robots can remain active while new application programs are developed. This keeps productivity high and is especially beneficial to companies with high production volumes. The Yaskawa MH50 can adopt a new program within just a few hours as opposed to several days. Production changeovers can take place more quickly with less time needed for reprogramming.
Remote programming is also beneficial for those looking to operate a lights-out manufacturing facility. Offline programming means factories can run completely automated without any workers present. When applications need to be changed or adjusted it can be done offsite from the production environment.
Programming robots remotely also improves the accuracy and safety of robotic applications since they can be tested and debugged through simulation. Before programs are taken live users are able to run through them and can correct any errors. This eliminates the potential for any collisions, joint violations, and poor outcomes.
There are many different offline software programs available for remote robotic programming. All four major robotic manufacturers have developed their own offline programming software that is usually available as an option with their industrial robots. FANUC’s offline software is called ROBOGUIDE. Yaskawa Motoman’s offline software is their MotoSim program. RobotStudio is the offline programming software developed by ABB. While KUKA has developed three different offline software programs, KUKA.OfficeLite, KUKA.Sim, and SafeOperation. There are also several different offline software programs that have been developed by third party companies.
Remote robot programming through offline software can maximize your robot ROI. Reducing idle time and programming errors optimizes the operation of industrial robots allowing for greater productivity.