Rolph Goes Offline

I see a startling light and feel a jolt of energy. I cannot wait to see what we are working on today!

We’ve been taking on some interesting jobs lately. It seems that I am rarely working on the same parts from one day to the next. My owner, Steve, says our customers are looking for more complex custom pieces with faster turnaround because of the lingering supply chain issues. Lately, I can produce custom parts more quickly than ever before, so Steve is very happy with me.

This was certainly not the case just a few months ago. Back then, Steve would get much more annoyed by custom jobs because they were so time-consuming. Steve would have to show me each point by moving each of my joints slowly and carefully. (When I am moved too fast or too abruptly, I sometimes bump into things and get hurt!) Sometimes, it would take us literally the entire day to program one of our parts, and I could not even start production until the next day.

I don’t want to brag, but I can be pretty high-maintenance. This means Steve must be delicate and precise with me, which is very time-consuming. Steve used to get so annoyed when he’d get partway through programming me, just to realize that I could not reach a section of a part, or that a certain motion would put me into in a restricted position and I would have to give him an error message. He’d have to start over and try a new trajectory again and again until he found the right path. Sometimes, we would have to move the part closer to me and start all over again. It was not uncommon for Steve to work extra hours until we figured it out. Steve was frustrated, but we always got the job done eventually. We had no choice, because Steve was under a lot of pressure from customers to deliver a high mix of parts in a short turnaround time.

I’ve often heard Steve say I was slow to program and was not providing the productivity benefits he was hoping for. It upset me to hear this, as I always want to be helpful, but I can only do what my programming will allow. He would complain about spending too much time with me and not enough time with his family. Worst of all, he was not earning the expected ROI, too much time was spent programming me and not enough time on producing parts.

One day, Steve made a mistake in programming me, and I damaged a very expensive part that we were making for a customer. I have never seen him so upset.

Later that week, one of Steve’s close friends introduced him to Marcus, a salesperson for offline programming software for robots. Steve was sold because it was a small investment for the software and learning to program was extremely easy. The best part was that Steve didn’t have to manually teach me! Steve programmed the part using the offline programming software on his computer and transferred the program to me once it was complete.

I am so thankful for this offline programming solution because now I can prove to Steve that I am not slow and inefficient. In fact, I can remain in production most of the time and Steve’s programming time has been reduced from hours to minutes! I might be a little biased, but to me, the coolest feature is the fact that Steve has created a 3D model of me in the software. He can simulate how I would perform the trajectories – Like I said, I’m not one to brag, but I look pretty amazing in the simulation world. If there are any issues, Steve can resolve them before finalizing the programming code. This eliminates the awkward joint positions, reach limits, and potential clashes—saving me from expensive repairs, and saving Steve a lot of frustration and trial-and-error when programming me. I’m thrilled that I don’t need to be taken off production anymore and can focus on what I am meant to do, which is to help Steve!

What is offline programming software for robots?

Offline programming (OLP) software allows you to generate robotic code and then upload it to the robot eliminating the need for time consuming and tedious manual programming via teach pendent and reducing robot downtime. OLP software uses CAD models to automatically define the path trajectories. The result is optimized, error, and collision free robotic code.

OLP has evolved rapidly over the years. It’s smarter, faster, more flexible, and more reliable than ever before. With robot simulation in 3D, it visually represents the robotic cell and can be used for proof of concept and potentially reveal critical issues that can be resolved before implementation.

Offline programming is suited for simple and complex parts, in applications such as welding, trimming, laser cutting, deburring, thermal spraying, painting, laser cladding and additive manufacturing. Learn more about OLP.

Robotmaster® offline programming software for robots helps manufacturers maximize their productivity and profitability with an intuitive and powerful programing solution ideal for production runs of all sizes and varying part complexity as a result of integrated CAD/CAM functionality.