Let the PART
drive the ROBOT
ago, CNC programming required special knowledge and teaching
points by actually moving the machine in teach mode. Today's
CNC programs eliminated that stage, and machines are
programmed directly from within a graphic environment, which
includes the ability to design parts and fixtures, visualize
tool path perform and simulations. Moreover, smart CNC
programs analyze the part itself, recognize features and
create smarter and more efficient tool path.
consider nowadays writing CNC programs one line at a time, yet
industrial robots, although they are in the most advanced
echelon of modern manufacturing, are still programmed this way
today. Most robots are still programmed using teach points,
saved one by one using a teach pendant, capable of moving the
robot one axis or one joint at a time. A robot trajectory
(path) consists of a continuous motion through the
collected points, while activating I/O at certain points, to
close a gripper, start/stop a paint gun or a welding arc etc.
high-end robot simulation programs are able to program a robot
off-line, they still need to import the geometry. This
approach presents two obstacles. The first is the format
conversion issue, with non-uniform graphic formats and the all
too familiar "solid or surfaces or wireframe" issue. But the
second problem is more serious than the first. OK, you managed
to get that CATIA part converted, how do you make the robot
move along the path you want?
A new add-in
for SOLIDWORKS called RobotWorks, presents a novel approach: "Let
the part drive the robot". RobotWorks uses the 'wisdom'
built into SOLIDWORKS parts and assemblies to generate the
robot's trajectory, with accuracy, ease and speed, far beyond
any teach pendant.
article in PDF