Delcam has launched a new online interface designed to help users program and operate their milling robots.
The site includes full details on the PowerMILL Robot Interface, downloadable software, plus examples of applications where robots are being used successfully, including sculpting stone and wood, machining of foam and resin models, and trimming, deburring, linishing and grinding of a range of materials.
The PowerMILL Robot Interface makes it as easy to program a robot for machining as it is to program a five-axis machine tool.
With the Robot Interface being a fully-associated application inside PowerMILL, users have access to all the multi-axis machining strategies within PowerMILL and can use all the system’s project management options to manage, store and retrieve data.
Robots can be programmed for tool-to-part applications, making them suitable for machining large parts, such as composite panels that need to be trimmed, or for part-to-tool applications, such as grinding or finishing.
The working area can be extended with linear tracks and rotary tables for even greater flexibility over the size and types of parts that can be manufactured.
It can then be used to simulate complete machining operations and control the robot’s movements through different variables, such as axis limits, axis priorities and workplane constraints.
Various aspects within the configuration of the robot cell, such as axis limits, tool constraints and home position, can be defined, and the simulation of the robot completed within those constraints.
The robot’s working envelope can be displayed to optimise the position of the part or initial stock, and so give maximum access to the material.
The maximum range of movements required of each axis can be viewed to analyse the robot’s behaviour and movements throughout the operation.
Any issues that may prevent the toolpaths from being completed successfully are highlighted, with notifications of the robot potentially reaching axis limits, singularities and collisions.
Graphs display the axis limits, wrist singularity and axis reversals, to give a better understanding of how the robot will move.
Similarly, the acceleration and deceleration of the robot’s axes are shown on time-based graphs.
Once the results of the simulation have been reviewed, and modified if necessary, the program can be output in the appropriate robot native language, for example for KUKA, ABB, Fanuc, Yaskawa Motoman or Stäubli equipment, eliminating any need for third-party translation software.
Acceleration, smoothing values and other robot-specific parameters can be defined as part of the output. Full support for external axes, such as rotary tables and linear tracks, can be included, as well as dedicated tools for spindle calibration.