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Work Cell Simulation

Robots are a major part of automation technology. Application of this technology depends on how robots are located and used in work cells. Feature-based work cell simulation software is perfect for these applications, because it provides an interactive and accurate virtual view of a fully combined robotic work cells that can be modeled and assessed for low cost and reliable solutions.

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Designers can use the software to model a work cell by acquiring a group of components, such as robots, conveyors, workbenches, and end-effectors, etc. , from built-in databases. The software allows users to study work cell performance, optimize work cell configuration, and debug the process layout. Major automotive companies, such as Chrysler, Ford and GM, are utilizing the work cell simulation software including Cimstation, Workforce and Deneb for automation clarifications.The biggest upside to using the work cell simulation software is that an optimal solution for the work cell design in involved. For the first time there is a reality without having to have the tangible model of parts, robots, jigs, and fixtures. As any alterations are made to the parts, the procedure of involving the changes into simulation is minuscule compared to the process of reconstructing a physical work cell. Work cell simulation technology allows an important bridge between the design and manufacturing technologies.Work cell simulation software has either input data translators, like IGES, which stands for Initial Graphical Exchange Specification, or direct translators for the primary engineering-based CAD software packages. These translators let designers to bring in the file of a part to be worked from a CAD program for fast work cell design. Device models are the main elements that complement a robotic work cell model. Device models are assembled by an assembly of three dimensional part models with assigned coordinate systems.Device models, such as robots and like equipment, can be brought from the standard model libraries. Devices that aren’t found in the library, such as jigs and fixtures, can be drawn up as a group of parts on the built-in CAD system or brought in from a CAD system for the work cell layout. With accurate device models, designers can specify robot operational requirements with the option and number of robots and their location in the work cell. Work cell simulation software is also has the capability to evaluate the layout of a work cell.The main function is to maximize the critical production element, such as robot placement, robot automation, cycle time analysis, and to avoid collision. When work cell model has been finished, the calculated positions needed for a device to move in the virtual work cell can be drawn up as three-dimensional points. All point can be created individually, and then brought to a surface, edge or vertex in the work cell model. With the option of choosing these points, it is possible for designers to design a model that has defined inverse movement to any point.The point is that if the motion of a device, such as a robot, can be created graphically by positioning points on the work piece, the software can basically simplify the programming by automatically generating programs from the graphical data of these points. The robot motion paths can also be tested and interactively edited through the built-in program editor if any potential collision is detected. By merging the realistic data from both product and work cell, users can no longer base assumptions on oversimplified work cell models.Instead, users can be confident that the robot will be able to reach all of the desired locations and perform specific operations. The completion of both work cell design and evaluation, the manufacturing process to be carried out by the automated factory floor devices can be accurately repeated once the program is downloaded to the controllers. Existing programs can also be uploaded for evaluation and editing. The greatest advantage of incorporating work cell simulation technologies into the product and process development is that it eliminates the guesswork from a concept.To realize this advantage, a procedure needs to be developed in order to realize errors, evaluate alternatives, and make modifications quickly in a product development path. Many companies have been forced to reevaluate their approach to product and process development. Although they have increased their investment, very few succeed in fully combining the two areas. With the break troughs of work cell simulation technologies, the complexity of the involvement of product and process development can be drastically reduced.For manufacturers, work cell simulation technologies must become the norm of the basic design phase, so the hidden cost of part and process reworks can be eliminated. Industrial technology professionals, who assume responsibilities in product design, production processes, product and process improvement, or even management, must continue to play a greater role in how things are done. Adopting and bring in the most current technologies to achieve the effective combination of product and process development must then be one of the priorities of industrial technology professionals.