Patented algorithm for the CAD program
The automation specialists at Meissner therefore teamed up with their colleagues from toolmaking for vehicle interiors and from R&D to determine whether a robot could be tasked with this manual processing step.
With support from the Fraunhofer Institute, the team developed an algorithm for the CAD authoring software. The algorithm generates points on the surface of the 3D model which correspond to the contact points for the embossing tool. Each point is representing a process position with corresponding attributes such as position on the surface, orientation of the tool, etc.
24 hours of embossing without manual intervention – thanks to precise simulation
During the pandemic year 2020, project support and FASTSUITE training courses had to navigate unfamiliar waters. But thanks to the experience, commitment and creativity both sides brought to the table, this hurdle was taken too and Meissner has been able to offer robot-based embossing as an additional portfolio feature since the autumn of 2020.
“Depending on size, we can now produce a fully embossed tool within seven to ten days! That shows just how much automation can reduce throughput times. And because simulation lets us safeguard the process, the robot can run for up to 24 hours without any manual intervention”, says a satisfied Duchhardt.
FASTSUITE – tried and proven
These key figures are not the only success factors of the project, adds Kombächer: “We have seen FASTSUITE in action, and we were able to take a very close look at the software. This confirmed our impression that the suite will be an excellent resource for us, both for everyday automation tasks and in special innovation projects. Many things only got off the ground after we understood the capabilities of the software.”
And then, says Duchhardt, there was the proactive support from CENIT: “We highly appreciate the trust-based communication that was built up here. It’s exceptional that someone is always available to you, even when a glitch suddenly crops up in one place or another.”
Jan Müller, Plant Manager at Meissner AG, recognizes the benefits of FASTSUITE as a source of all-round software support when leveraging automation solutions to achieve growth targets. “We can use FASTSUITE to program just about any brand of robot or machine. That’s a great benefit because of course our clients give us different models to work with. Also, the 3D simulation software already offers us a wide selection of turnkey manufacturing technology modules. This means that as our team gains more and more routine in working with the program, they can focus on their actual task – developing new, creative solutions for our clients.”