There are three basic methods for programming robots, these methods are (1) using the teach pendant, (2) simulation/offline programming and (3) teaching by demonstration, according to the British Automation and Robot Association (BARA) currently, over 90% are using the first method.
In the case of teaching from the pendant method, the operator moves the robotic arm in jogging mode by eye to a point in space that they want as one of the way points for the trajectory (or as a stopping point for an operation like a gripper action for instance) and then saves that position either as a point to point or linear move. Once a complete trajectory has been built up in this way the complete program can be run through to confirm correct operation.
Robot Simulation Software
All the main robot manufacturers have simulation software allowing the proving out of a proposed cell permitting confirmation of reach and cycle time. Also withing robot simulation we find CAD-CAM software which will be application specific allowing the generation of the robot programs without the need for hand teaching. In the case of CAM software, this will allow the importation of the CAD data of work pieces, end of arm tooling and the environment. From this, we have the possibility to produce application specific trajectories for loading directly into the robot.
Phoenix has simulation software for all robot manufacturers and we always carry out reach testing and handling time analysis when proposing a robot cell solution. We also have many years of experience working with the main CAD-CAM software packages.
Key elements to consider in Robot Automation
When designing a cell, an integrator, will consider a number of important factors that will determine the final cost of the complete robot system, some of these components are:
- The number of Robots – Depending on the operations it may be necessary to employ more than one robot particularly in the case where cycle times are tight.
- Types of Robots – Robots have different configurations depending on their application. For example, palletising robots usually have less axes and are faster than a six-axis robot.
- The Cell Layout – The layout refers to the arrangement of machines within the cell. This allows consideration of the flow of the parts through the process.
- The Number of Part-Types – It may be that there is a requirement for several different part types for the process. In this case, you need a suitable program structure.
- The Processing Times – Each stage that a part passes through a complete cell. It has a certain time of operation, the combination of these will give the overall cell processing time.
- The Loading and Unloading Times – The robot requires a specific time for loading/unloading of individual parts at the beginning and at the end of the process. This time will also influence the overall handling time.
Industrial Automation requires programming skills in many different disciplines. For example, control system programming along with robot programming. Programming robots is easy and straightforward. Our engineers have expertise in all these disciplines, and we offer training in all aspects of industrial automation.
Phoenix offers solutions for all kind of robotic applications, for example, Cutting, Painting, Welding, Material Handling, Palletising, Assembly using both new and reconditioned robots and from turnkey solutions to reduced scope installs where the customer prefers to carry out some of the work inhouse.
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