In recent weeks, businesses have discovered that one of the most vital elements for sustaining and improving productivity in a demanding (and, at times, uncertain) market is via the presence of advanced technologies, including robotic automation. From welding to coating, and every application in between, robots combined with feature-rich technologies can often help businesses achieve greater accuracy and higher quality with increased efficiency.
To facilitate robot uptime – especially for manufacturing companies that cannot afford to interrupt production while a robot program is being written point by point from a teach pendant – offline robot simulation and programming platforms like Yaskawa’s MotoSim® are being used. This gives robot programmers the ability to create, test and adjust a robot program or job from the convenience of a desktop computer (anywhere in the world) before it is implemented on the factory floor.
That said, due to events surrounding the recent global pandemic, many manufacturers are finding themselves in one, or more, of the following situations:
Scenario 1: Restricted Access on the Floor
The whirlwind of new health concerns and regulations has prompted your business to implement social distancing, along with “work from home” policies. Subsequently, this has caused restricted access to robots on the factory floor, making it difficult to program/re-program jobs, leaving robot operators wishing they had a better understanding of the offline programming software (OLP) available.
Scenario 2: Adapting to Changing Demand
An uptick in demand for general use products has workers at your company striving to complete high-mix, low-volume runs at a record pace. To deal with the changeover required, a greater focus has been given to smart technologies, such as OLP software, to reduce programming downtime and optimize Overall Equipment Efficiency. However, workers at your facility do not understand all the “ins and outs” of the software program, prohibiting the software from being as helpful and efficient as possible.
Scenario 3: Adding Automation Quickly
Similar to scenario two, the increase in demand for products (i.e., face masks, test kits, etc.) that are important to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic have your company hurrying to integrate new robots or redeploy old ones. Either way, to facilitate a smoother transition to the manufacturing of these essential products, the use of offline programming software has been suggested. However, there is not a well-trained individual at your facility that can utilize the OLP software with the utmost efficiency.
Scenario 4: Testing a New Approach
Loosening government restrictions have your business reopening, and a new sense of urgency now exists for revitalizing production. As a result, company leaders have decided to tackle tough challenges through creative and collaborative approaches to robotic automation. Either current robots are being redeployed or new robots are being purchased. Quite possibly, robotic automation is being introduced to the factory for the first time.
Regardless of the approach, a viable method for setting up new robot jobs with minimal work is through offline programming. However, in your situation, there is no one knowledgeable at your facility to take on this responsibility.
Once implemented and used properly, the collective use of offline programming software can help manufacturers address pressing production needs. This is why it is so important for company workers, including robot programmers and workcell champions, to educate themselves on the key features and advantages of tools such as Yaskawa’s MotoSim EG-VRC.
To learn more and experience a live walkthrough of this product, register for our up-coming webinar with Nelson Barksdale – Application Engineer at Yaskawa Motoman.
Sarah Mellish is a Marketing Content Specialist