Robots can’t weld/paint/cut/or grip a part that they can’t reach. An envelope study or reach study is one of the most basic steps in the design of a system. Yet even today with advanced tools like Robotmaster offline programming software we still see systems fail when envelope limitations are not considered.

Back in the ’80s, all we had were robot plan and elevation views of the envelope. I admit that we made assumptions and mistakes as we struggled to consider the envelope, the tool shape, and the part position. Back in the day, I had to reposition the bot to reach the part more than once.

The video below is a complex study of a large robot with 2) 2 axis part positioners and an extremely long tool. In this case a welding torch. William Saxton designed the system using a KUKA robot with 2) Koike Aronson, Inc./Ransome heavy-duty positioners, and several of our welding torches. David Luce “Keith” then modeled it using Robotmaster for final positioning and envelope conformation. We are testing Bill’s design using a VIRTUAL robot because don’t have time or budget for REAL mistakes.

Keith will use the same model for offline programming while we build the system. This saves even more time.

If you are building or buying a robotic system make certain that someone had conducted a proper envelope study BEFORE you start cutting steel!

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