How to choose a comprehensive simulation and offline programming software for your automation needs
Listing: The best questions to find the perfect automation software solution for your shopfloor
Published 02/17/2021 | updated 07/20/2022
Identify core issues in production and define your specific needs in relation to your existing software and hardware configuration
- Do you use multiple brands of robots in your factory?
- Do you use different CNC driven machines and need to write NC code?
- Do you use PLC controls and need to troubleshoot PLC ladder?
- Is your company ready to deal with small-batch and product changes effectively and how often?
- What CAD software does your company already use for Product /Project design or to interface with external supplier or customer data?
- Make a list of questions and discuss them with your department heads.
Match your robot and machine requirements with the features of different software solutions
- Does the software support multi-brand robots and/or CNCs in the same session?
- What are the size or format or compatibility restrictions of part or tooling data import?
- Does the software process CAD data for all mayor CAD systems (e.g. Solidworks, CATIA, Inventor, Siemens NX, PTC Creo, etc.) without loosing CAD math kernel data?
- Can the software communicate with product and tooling design by means of e.g. CAD export as exact geometry or only as tessellated?
- Does CAD system prefer to get exact surface geometry back from the Simulation software (e.g. Parasolid) or in Tessellated (IGES) format, so that data is not lost or corrupted?
- Can the software cope with complex trajectory programming within itself, without a need to connect to another CAD/CAM software or scripting?
- Can software simulate more than just robot motion, so that I can validate an entire process of loading a part, closing clamps/grippers, sensors locations, etc.?
- Can software simulate (Logic, Behaviour) so I can make sure my programs are bound to work before loading in the production cell (line)?
Match your digital transformation objectives with the with the features of different software solutions
- Does the software offer more than Offline Programming? What other aspects of smart manufacturing does the software support?
- Can the software simulate an entire production line? Or is it restricted to a single production cell? Does the software support a “digital twin” concept?
Check User Experience and its costs
- Is the software cumbersome to operate? Is the human-machine interface user-friendly?
How much training would your team need approximately? And what features does the software offer to pass on learnings and best practice to others?
Check Software Company Background and Service / Support availability
- What services does the company offer and how is it charged?
- Can the company support you in all locations (countries) you have production facilities?
- Does the company offer support services beyond just sales and remote tech support?
If you want to checkout how FASTSUITE fits to your needs drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will come back to you asap.
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