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Delcam to show machining with robots at Advanced Engineering

Robot machining at Delcam customer Weta Workshop

Delcam will demonstrate machining with robots using PowerMILL Robot at the Advanced Engineering group of events that is to be held at the NEC, Birmingham, on 12th and 13th November.  PowerMILL Robot can be used for the programming of robots for a variety of multi-axis machining operations, including patternmaking, modelmaking, trimming and drilling of composite components, and deburring and polishing of metal parts. 

PowerMILL Robot replaces the earlier VB application that was developed for robot machining, which has been completely rewritten and fully embedded inside PowerMILL as a plug-in.  This approach makes it as easy to program a robot for machining as it is to program a five-axis machine tool.  With the robot interface being a fully-associated application inside PowerMILL, users have access to all the multi-axis machining strategies within PowerMILL and can use all the system’s project management options to manage, store and retrieve data.

The core functionality of PowerMILL Robot consists of three main steps: programming, simulation (including analysis) and creation of the robot programs.

Robots can be programmed for tool-to-part applications, making them ideal for machining large parts, such as composite panels that need to be trimmed, or for part-to-tool applications, such as grinding or linishing.  The working area can be extended with linear tracks and rotary tables for even greater flexibility over the size and types of parts that can be manufactured.

PowerMILL Robot can then be used to simulate the complete machining operation and to control the robot’s movements through different variables, such as axis limits, axis priorities and workplane constraints.  Various aspects within the configuration of the robot cell, such as axis limits, tool constraints and home position, can be defined, and the simulation of the robot completed within those constraints.

The robot’s working envelope can be displayed to optimise the position of the part or initial stock, and so give maximum access to the material.  The maximum range of movements required of each axis can be viewed to analyse the robot’s behaviour and movements throughout the operation.

Any issues that may prevent the toolpaths from being completed successfully are highlighted, with notifications of the robot potentially reaching axis limits, singularities and collisions.  Graphs display the axis limits, wrist singularity and axis reversals, to give a better understanding of how the robot will move.  Similarly, the acceleration and deceleration of the robot’s axes are shown on time-based graphs.

Once the results of the simulation have been reviewed, and modified if necessary, the program can be output in the appropriate robot native language, for example for KUKA, ABB, Fanuc, Yaskawa Motoman or Stäubli equipment, eliminating any need for third-party translation software.  Acceleration, smoothing values and other robot-specific parameters can be defined as part of the output.  Full support for external axes, such as rotary tables and linear tracks, can be included, as well as dedicated tools for spindle calibration.

Overall, PowerMILL Robot helps users to get the most out of any robot type in the shortest possible time.  The simplified workflow makes it easy to program, simulate, review and refine toolpaths, whilst also enabling the robots to achieve levels of accuracy similar to many CNC milling machines when cutting softer materials.

05 August 2013

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