TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 393/1989
The majority of installed welding robots are working on long production runs where reprogramming is infrequent. The industry and in particular the small manufacturing enterprises are increasingly faced with short and rapidly changing runs which makes frequent reprogramming necessary. Developing the working programs off-line will enable robotic systems to operate economically in these environments. Welding systems having an integrated off-line programming capability can be continuously productive as the robot is not required for program development. Systems with this capability will increase competitiveness by reducing off-line and on-line costs and by increasing flexibility. Economic batch sizes will be reduced and both quality and productivity improved.
This report describes the experience gained in assembling, integrating and operating a system which enables data to flow from a 3D computer aided design (CAD) system via a graphic robot simulator to the actual robot performing arc welding. To achieve this integrated cell it was necessary to obtain or produce hardware and software and to develop operating techniques. The experience gained and problems encountered are described.