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RobotExpert Brings Simplified Simulation to the Shop Floor
8/22/2012

RobotExpert provides an offline programming and simulation tool for creating virtual mock-ups of complete manufacturing cells and systems.   (Source: Siemens PLM Software)
RobotExpert provides an offline programming and simulation tool for creating virtual mock-ups of complete manufacturing cells and systems.
(Source: Siemens PLM Software)

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Beth Stackpole
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Re: pretty = yes; useful = only partly
Beth Stackpole   9/10/2012 6:25:22 AM
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Thanks for pointing out the potential limitations, Glenn. As with any kind of new technology, I'm sure this is a work in progress and subsequent releases will address some of these gaps. But definitely good to know.

GlennA
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pretty = yes; useful = only partly
GlennA   9/7/2012 6:55:03 PM
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Yes, the simulations are pretty.  But an off-line program still needs to be touched-up for real.  Foe example, the simulation does not show details of the torch angle in the welding simulation.  An experienced programmer would be needed to fine tune the torch angles to get good weld quality.  A common mistake that I have seen is trying to drag the puddle as in 'human' welding = a robot pushes the puddle.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Useful 3D simulation
Rob Spiegel   8/24/2012 10:49:12 AM
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Yes, I keep hearing there is a big change occurring. On the shop floor, the older engineers trust what they hear and see in the plant operation, and they don't necessarily trust the computer. With the young engineers, they trust the computer more than they trust what they see and hear in the plant operation.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Useful 3D simulation
Beth Stackpole   8/24/2012 8:40:22 AM
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It's interesting you bring up the "old" engineer, "new" engineer mindset, Rob. I've been hearing so much about that as I've been reporting on some of the newer design tool technologies that are starting to embrace social, mobile, game-like features--even some cloud-based aspects. As far as design tools go, while there have obviously been on-going improvements and evolutions over the years, the tools have remained pretty much the same. I think we're going through a major paradigm shift in the way technology is delivered and it's uncomfortable to many of us veteran professionals who are used to a certain way of working.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Useful 3D simulation
Rob Spiegel   8/23/2012 11:35:20 AM
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Yes, they really know who they're dealing with when it comes to the next generation of engineers. Already I'm hearing complaints from the older engineers about these new tools. The younger engineers are apparently saying, "Hey, this is great."

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Useful 3D simulation
Beth Stackpole   8/23/2012 7:41:02 AM
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Definitely an example of traditional automation and control technology blending with mainstream IT technology and more consumer-user interfaces. As we have written before, gaming is also playing a big role in how these simulation systems evolve, and Siemens has been right out front with that as well with its Plantville game to get engineers acclimated.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Useful 3D simulation
Rob Spiegel   8/22/2012 4:29:09 PM
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Nice video with this story, Beth. This is an example of a great trend that's happening on the shop floor -- the tools and systems are becoming more complex, but the interface with the control engineer is getting less complex. 

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Useful 3D simulation
Beth Stackpole   8/22/2012 2:12:30 PM
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The music is pretty catchy. Don't know what it is Naperlou, but it rings familiar. I think that Siemens uses it in a lot of their promotional and instructional materials. I'll check with my contacts and see if I can get an answer for you!

Ann R. Thryft
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A boon to industrial robot programming
Ann R. Thryft   8/22/2012 12:49:31 PM
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Thanks for covering this, Beth.  We've had several discussions in comments threads about what a pain it is to program industrial robots by hand. This looks like a major advance.

naperlou
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Useful 3D simulation
naperlou   8/22/2012 10:57:48 AM
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It is really nice to have the 3D model of the robot to help with visualization.  That coupled with all the instrumentation available will make it much easier to develop a full production cell with multiple robots. 

I also really liked the music in the video.  Do know what it is?

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