Seamless interlock of online and offline programming
RETHINK ROBOT PROGRAMMING
Complex robot applications generally pass through three phases in their life cycle: Planning, programming and maintenance. It is common for problems to occur at the interfaces between the individual phases. On the one hand because different people are responsible during the respective phase, on the other hand because different tools are used. A programming solution that covers all three phases and bridges the gap between the different areas of activity brings numerous advantages. Especially when users can easily switch between online and offline programming. We will explain why.
STATE OF THE ART TECHNOLOGY
A NEW APPROACH
RAPID TESTING OF DIFFERENT SOLUTIONS
ADVANTAGES FOR MAINTENANCE
Finally, the seamless combination of online and offline programming is also advantageous for maintenance as the RPS facilitates the exchange with the programmers. Hermann adds, “The aim of our current developments is to continuously expand the ´disconnected` mode, i.e. even without RPS, the maintenance engineer can make specific changes in the generated robot code using the robot manufacturer’s standard techniques, such as re-teaching a waypoint.” For example, the maintenance technician can now improve individual teach points with little effort by touch-ups and then feed the updates back into the software. This is very important, because otherwise, documentation and reality would no longer match and essential changes would be lost when implementing additional systems.
With the complementary software LAR (Learning & Analytics for Robots) it is also possible to analyze robot data from real operation. This allows production cycles to be optimized in terms of stability, accuracy and speed. At the same time, LAR makes it possible to compare different program versions with each other. In this way, changes remain transparent and it can be determined reliably whether, for example, an “optimization” is really better than the current program version. In addition, the maintenance engineer benefits from PDF documentation including stored comments that the programmer can create at the touch of a single button.
NO MORE ONE-WAY STREETS
The programming suite is interesting not only for newcomers. It also offers various solutions for companies that already have a library of robot code and want to continue using it. On the one hand, code from previous applications can be integrated and reused for future projects. On the other hand, the opposite approach is imaginable, i.e. that for complex sensor-based sub-processes, for example, code is generated with the ArtiMinds RPS and integrated into the robot’s programming environment.
In general, it has always been important to the robot experts of pur team that they do not dictate users how to use the code and that a step-by-step transition is possible. Hermann sums up, “The combined approach of online and offline programming in combination with the existing control algorithms and the driver library allow to work process-oriented and prevent the loss of focus due to time-consuming detail implementations.”