OLRP Expert Series

Offline Robot Programming Software for Automated Welding

October 7, 2021

Recent developments in robot welding technology have enabled industries to increase efficiency and productivity. Likewise, automated orbital welding systems and welding robots help manufacturers target previously unattainable productivity goals. To meet the demand that improved automation and productivity encouraged, robot programming capabilities continue to evolve. Traditional robot programming software focused on online capabilities where a controller is directly attached to the robot to perform parameter optimization; reprogramming required manufacturers to take robots off production. Alternatively, offline robot programming software allows manufacturers to set new parameters or reprogram their robots without a production pause.

How Does Offline Robot Programming Software Operate?

Most online programming methods require manufacturers to pause production while operators optimize a program with new parameters for the next set of welding operations. As a result, robots sit idle during the entirety of a lengthy programming process.

Offline programming allows operators to perform updates and reconfigurations remotely while the robot continues welding with the initial set of parameters. Software like OCTOPUZ also offers 3D CAD simulation, an essential component in ensuring weld accuracy through calibration. 3D CAD models are easily imported and given a kinematic format. The resulting simulation model with a motion layer enables operators to program the robot to weld on a specific position, path, weld speed, feed rate, and voltage.

In welding, the position and other parameters must be precisely calibrated. To ensure precise calibration, offline robot programming software allows post-processing of the 3D model. Individual process verification helps eliminate potential risks, such as path collisions, before the start of the production run. This capability not only saves time for the industries but also helps ensure high-quality welds.

Advantages of Utilizing Offline Programming in Welding

Whether the application requirement is large or small scale, offline robot programming allows manufacturers to train and optimize multiple robots with an array of capabilities. Wide-ranging industries utilize offline solutions to realize the full potential of their welding robots. Listed below are several benefits that offline robot programming software offers:

  • Operators can program offline without removing the robot from the production line. Without production interference, downtime decreases drastically—even if programming requires significant time.
  • 3D CAD enables accurate calibration with the help of a simulation model, enhancing accuracy and precision in welding.
  • Easy testing and debugging reduce the chance of failure.
  • Reduced downtime and increased welding accuracy ensure less waste, as well as productivity improvements.

As automated processes ensure welding precision, welders and operators can support other areas, saving costs and increasing productivity.

Offline Robot Programming Software Solutions

Manufacturers that have already adopted welding robots to enhance cost-efficiency and product quality can leverage offline robot programming without incurring significant investment costs. With the addition of offline programming software, these manufacturers can continue operations under an initial set of welding parameters while remotely programming the next set of parameters. As a result, manufacturing can continue without downtime by leveraging offline programming that offers onscreen simulation and positional calibration.

Is Offline Robot Programming Right for You?

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