Over the last 37 years, I’ve worked as a roboticist. Much has changed. It is my opinion that robot programming techniques and teach pendants have not advanced as quickly as the robots themselves. Quite simply programming robots is still not easy. There are several ways to program a robot. Point teaching and offline programming are two extremes. Teaching is the most basic technique. Using the teach pendant the programmer jogs the robot to the desired positions and saves or “teaches” the point. This is a slow process, robot positions are only as accurate as your eye and you must stop production to create new programs. The other extreme is offline programming which allows you to keep the robot in production while you write code but you need good solid models of your part as well as your robotic cell. You also need an additional level of programming skills and software. In my experience skilled offline programmers are even rarer than teach pendant style programmers. Finally, since robots are more repeatable than accurate programs generated offline frequently need to be touched up. Offline works well is it fits your shop’s skill set and part mix.
Parametric programming is a another option. It allows the programmer to simply enter a few key pieces of dimensional and process data into the ARC Specialties Expert System which then generates the entire program. At ARC our goal is to minimize or eliminate the time spent using the teach pendant.
Parametric programming is a good option when your parts have similar features, your dimensional data is known and you need to change programs on the shop floor quickly and easily without a highly skilled programmer. Think: third shift, 3AM in the morning, one batch of parts are finished and the operator needs to reprogram for a different part.
The ARC Expert System simplifies programming by handling as much of the welding process control as possible including welding conditions, travel speeds and step over.
We try to tailor our solutions to fit the shop and the products being manufactured. Sometimes parametric programming is the best approach.
“ARC Specialties thrives on problems, send us yours.”
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