How Robotic Programming Offline Increases Production Efficiencies
Automation speeds up manufacturing and production schedules; however, operators can see those gains dwindle when factoring in robotic programming time. Fortunately, engineers have found a solution with offline programming (OLP), which reduces initial setup time, programming time, and changeover and alteration time.
How Offline Programming for Robotics Works
Offline programming tools provide operators with simulation software to create a digital representation of their production environment. This allows them to know how the robots will perform within the simulated environment. Thanks to offline programming, integrators of robotic systems have been able to implement automation in markets that don’t have room for the downtime associated with traditional programming methods.
OLP can reduce the time it would take to train a robot point-by-point. Operators can more efficiently create programs and updates to their simulated production line as their real-world robots keep humming along. OLP not only saves money by keeping the physical robots running, but changes to their programming can be implemented faster, doubling down on the benefits.
Benefits of Robotic Offline Programming
Offline programming software isn’t just a robot simulator. It’s a robust package that helps programmers and operators test updates and predict how their production line will be affected by changes to their automation system. A significant benefit is that robot operators don’t have to be highly-skilled in programming to use it.
The costs to implement an offline programming solution can be gained back through production and programming efficiency, making it a cost-effective solution for manufacturers. Since OLP software can be leveraged for nearly any application, the software helps production managers plan updates and make changes that can be implemented without extensive, if any, real-world testing.
When to Use Robotic Offline Programming
All the benefits of robotic offline programming make OLP applicable for nearly any robotic integration. But some facilities will reap the benefits quicker than others. OLP can help manufacturers accomplish the following:
- Shorten startup times
- Tweak programs quickly
- Program heavy tasks faster
- Reduce downtime
- Reduce robotic changeover time
Highly complex applications that require large amounts of time to program can make the best use of offline programming. Production facilities that produce large components or facilities that have a high part mix with low volume can also quickly see a return on the investment.