ArtiMinds-Robotics-customer-Siemens-robotbased-assembly

ROBOT-BASED ASSEM­BLY OF STRETCH­ERS – pro­grammed with ARTIMINDS RPS

Siemens Health­i­neers

Another soft­ware foun­da­tion for the site in Kemnath

THE CHAL­LENGE

Siemens Kem­nath pro­duces stretch­ers, among other things. Stretch­ers are used to inserte patients into the imag­ing sys­tems of the Siemens Health­i­neers prod­ucts. For this, the stretch­ers are moved hor­i­zon­tally on a lin­ear axis. Until now, the assem­bly of those axes was mostly done in a man­ual process which included 280 screws to be set per stretcher in total. “The work was partly done the head or while bent over, because the screws have to be fed from below as well as from above”, states Flo­rian Beer, Project Man­ager for Robotics and Automa­tion. The com­po­nent is often rotated and turned dur­ing assem­bly. “The work sit­u­a­tion for our employ­ees was very uncom­fort­able, but a robot does not really care about that”, tells Beer with a wink. The robot not only relieves the employ­ees, but it also ensures process reli­a­bil­ity: the robot repro­duces the process 100 per­cent iden­ti­cally every time.

ArtiMinds Robotics - robot-based assembly at Siemens Healthineers

A robotic cell equipped with a light­weight robot and a spe­cial screw­driv­ing sys­tem han­dles the man­u­fac­tur­ing process. “The solu­tion works so far, but is still strongly lim­ited in some areas”, crit­i­cizes the project man­ager. “We have issues with the data trans­fer for exam­ple, espe­cially with the com­mu­ni­ca­tion between robot and screw­driv­ing sys­tem, since the robot used acts as mas­ter but does not speak PROFINET.” A deficit that could only be solved via dig­i­tal I/Os. This makes the struc­ture inflex­i­ble. Chang­ing the used robot man­u­fac­turer would come with a con­sid­er­able amount of addi­tional expenses.
In addi­tion, there is a lack of gran­u­lar­ity in the pro­gram­ming of the indi­vid­ual machines: The lack of inter­me­di­ate steps and sub­pro­grams makes it dif­fi­cult to clearly struc­ture the over­all process. There are cases of emer­gency where the pro­duc­tion has to be inter­rupted. If that hap­pens, the pos­si­bil­i­ties to con­tinue the man­u­fac­tur­ing process at the cor­rect pro­cess­ing step or to jump to the cor­rect posi­tion in the pro­gram are very lim­ited. There­fore it is planned to imple­ment a mas­ter PLC into the cur­rent process.

THE SOLU­TION

The Robot Pro­gram­ming Suite with the ArTIA con­nec­tor con­nects the robot and SIMATIC PLC

That is why the project man­ager decided to recast the soft­ware foun­da­tion using ArtiMinds. “Two worlds col­lide in our work”, says Beer, explain­ing the pilot idea. “On the one hand, that of the robot and on the other, that of the pro­gram­ma­ble logic con­troller, the PLC. With this project, we wanted to merge both.” For that, the team car­ried out two fun­da­men­tal reori­en­ta­tions: In the first step, they trans­ferred the con­trol of the plant com­po­nents to a cen­tral PLC. After­wards, the depart­ment uni­fied the robot pro­gram­ming by using a sin­gle soft­ware: The ArtiMinds Robot Pro­gram­ming Suite (RPS).
Includ­ing a spe­cial fea­ture: The inter­face pro­gram­ming between robot con­troller and SIMATIC PLC is per­formed auto­mat­i­cally by the so called ArTIA con­nec­tor, devel­oped by ArtiMinds.
“I am not aware of any alter­na­tive tool that can merge con­trol tech­nol­ogy and robotics in this way,” sum­ma­rizes Beer.

WHY ARTIMINDS?

“ArtiMinds RPS struc­tures indi­vid­ual pro­gram steps gran­u­larly, which makes indi­vid­ual assem­bly processes eas­ier to under­stand and the search for errors much simpler.”

Flo­rian Beer, Project Man­ager for Robotic and Automa­tion at Siemens Healthineers

ArtiMinds Robotics - Simulate Robot Assembly Processes
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THE ADVAN­TAGES

User-friendly han­dling

Beer is highly sat­is­fied with the choice: “ArtiMinds RPS speaks with almost any robot. So even if the man­u­fac­tur­ers vary, we do not have to start from zero and learn the pro­gram­ming respec­tively the pro­gram­ming lan­guages again.” The soft­ware also auto­mat­i­cally struc­tures the gen­er­ated robot pro­gram con­gru­ently to the process steps. If needed, the gran­u­lar­ity can then be fur­ther increased. If nec­es­sary, the gran­u­lar­ity can then be fur­ther increased so that indi­vid­ual assem­bly processes are more com­pre­hen­si­ble and the search for errors becomes much easier.
A big plus for Beer is the user-friendly han­dling of the soft­ware: “ArtiMinds RPS is very intu­itively designed. With a two-day train­ing and a lit­tle famil­iar­iza­tion, using RPS any­one can pro­gram a robot within a few days. Pro­gram­ming knowl­edge is not required.” As robotics experts are rare on the mar­ket, this advan­tage makes the soft­ware so attrac­tive to Beer. The depart­ment also reg­u­larly works with stu­dents who ini­tially lack the appro­pri­ate robotics exper­tise. This means that junior col­leagues can also quickly pro­gram and opti­mize robot cells using drag-and-drop, and long train­ing peri­ods are a thing of the past.
The pilot phase started in July 2021. Only eight months passed from con­cep­tion to imple­men­ta­tion to test­ing. Beer´s ini­tial inter­me­di­ate con­clu­sion: “We see a clear addi­tional value in the pro­gram­ming of our equip­ment. That is why we decided to take the pilot project from ‘proof of con­cept’ to ser­ial production.”
In addi­tion to the prod­uct itself, Flo­rian Beer is also impressed by the sup­port he receives from ArtiMinds. “In every pilot project, prob­lems arise that were not antic­i­pated. Then we sim­ply made a quick call and worked together to find a solu­tion. The coop­er­a­tion was excel­lent”, he finally summarizes.

 

ArtiMinds-Robotics-customer-Siemens-robotbased-assembly

“ArtiMinds RPS is designed to be very intu­itive. With the two-day train­ing and a lit­tle famil­iar­iza­tion, any­one can pro­gram a robot within a few days. Pro­gram­ming knowl­edge is not required.”

Flo­rian Beer, Project Man­ager for Robotic and Automa­tion at Siemens Healthineers

Take Aways of Siemens Health­i­neers when using ArtiMinds RPS:

  • The graph­i­cal, intu­itive user inter­face and pre-pro­grammed func­tion tem­plates make it pos­si­ble to solve com­plex automa­tion tasks even with lit­tle or no pro­gram­ming knowledge.
  • Fast and easy pro­gram­ming of PLC-con­trolled assem­bly processes.
  • ArtiMinds Robot Pro­gram­ming Suite and the ArTIA Con­nec­tor pro­vide a cou­pling of robot and PLC.
  • Uner­gonomic work that has to be done over­head or bent over is now car­ried out by a robot.
ArtiMinds Robotics - Easy programming of robots for assembly process
ArtiMinds Robotics - Automating Screwdriving Processes with Robots

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