Programming and simulation of robot applications independently of manufacturers
ZF FRIEDRICHSHAFEN AG
ZF Friedrichshafen is one of the largest automotive suppliers worldwide. Uwe Wachter is Head of the Production Tech Center Robotics and Vision at ZF Friedrichshafen. He reports, “About three and a half years ago, we founded the Production Tech Center Robotics based in Schweinfurt. We are the division within the ZF Group that is responsible for new production technologies such as lightweight robots, camera systems or software solutions. We act as an internal service provider by support with advice, development and training.”
In his role as a technology scout and consultant, Uwe Wachter is always looking for new solutions that make working at ZF easier. That is how he became aware of the ArtiMinds software.
It is a great advantage for ZF, to develop a robot application in the RPS once and letting it run on different robot systems at any time. Wachter explains, “If, for example, we develop an application for robots from manufacturer A in Schweinfurt, we can then generate the executable program for robots from manufacturer B from this source code and send this program by e-mail to our plant in Portugal. Then the colleagues in Portugal can run the same production with their robot system B as we do in Schweinfurt with robot system A. Only the software from ArtiMinds offers us this flexibility.”
Simulation are another main task. For this purpose, Arnold regularly uses the Robot Programming Suite. He explains, “We are often confronted with the task of estimating whether or not a robot can meet a certain cycle time in a given situation.”
In the past when faced with the task of conducting such feasibility studies, ZF had to install the robot system on site at great expense, develop the appropriate application and test whether the system could meet the specified cycle time.