THE acquisition of Tecnomatix by software development company UGS has armed its local representative, plm , with powerful new software for production line arc welding and process simulation.
RobCAD/arc (RobCAD), one of the brands within the Tecnomatix suite of complete digital manufacturing solutions, can accurately handle digital simulation of factory layouts, new product lines, balance lines (for optimised numbers of products), and many other aspects of production.
On the production line itself, RobCAD is used for all designing, analysing and offline programming of arc welding processes for best economics and manufacturing accuracy.
In North America, auto manufacturers are using RobCAD to simulate robotic lines on the manufacturing floor and create optimal arc welding programs easily and quickly, design work cell layouts, and create robot programs interactively.
For example, the product can automatically configure a gantry to be at the best position so that the robot can weld a seam without collisions.
RobCAD is also addressing the particular needs of shipyard and bridge constructor panel shops where one-of-a-kind production requires exceptionally fast generation of new programs.
The product can be used for testing and completing a production line in the digital domain without actually making anything. It also does this with robotic lines.
On the shopfloor itself, RobCAD can take 3D CAD models and will create workflow showing how long the job would take, and how much speed each robotic weld requires.
Its powerful capabilities can generate a robot program at the push of a button.
Any company making anything in a production environment can simulate changes without costly trial and error.
CAD specialist at plm, John Belsham, said traditional programming of arc welding robots required hours of work where production lines were stopped and expensive equipment remained unproductive.
"RobCAD revolutionises the task by allowing the creation of a 3D graphics virtual manufacturing environment within which the operator can design, simulate, analyse and offline program arc welding processes quickly, efficiently and without stopping production,” he said.
"RobCAD allows direct access to product data residing in system such as Pro/ENGINEER, CADDS5, CATIA, and Unigraphics NX.
"This unique technology saves duplication or translation of data. Changes made to the master model are immediately reflected in the RobCAD cell.
"It interfaces with other CAD systems and allows process designers to work concurrently with the product designers."
RobCAD enables users to:
* Anticipate, detect, and correct production problems before they reach the shop floor.
* Analyse numerous product versions and solutions at no extra cost.
* Design and verify tooling.
* Reduce dependence on prototypes.
* Free up expensive production equipment for more profitable uses.
* Capture equipment, processes and best manufacturing practices, so that they are available for future projects.
* Reduce time to market and manufacturing costs.
"For Australian manufacturing plants, this product is making trial and error a thing of the past. For robotic plants, arc welding has never been more efficient and more accurate," Mr Belsham said.