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Offline Programming is the key

Production of heavy construction machinery: Advances in automation

In today’s economic environment, large scale construction projects are booming. Updates to public infrastructure alone—roads, bridges, hospitals, airports and transportation hubs—could keep engineering and construction companies backlogged for years. But that’s just the start. The demand is up for everything from new housing to corporate campuses and high rises to huge stadiums and entertainment venues—and the list goes on and on. What this means for the fabricators of heavy construction vehicles and building machines is soaring high demand for their products.

Construction companies are clamoring for everything from compact skid loaders to earth excavators, from boom cranes to aerial work platforms, and everything in between. And what these companies demand of their suppliers is consistent quality, timely delivery and the flexibility to quickly adapt their equipment offerings as the industry changes.

The key lies in automating the traditionally manual steps in the production of these heavy-duty machines. That’s why forward-looking construction vehicle and building equipment fabricators are integrating robot systems into their production lines to perform the welding tasks.

Robots guarantee a consistent welding quality. For example, they provide an always-perfect angle of inclination, use a consistent and optimal welding speed, and automatically apply the appropriate welding parameters. Compared with manual processes, therefore, robots can meet all the requirements for a weld seam of the highest quality. Additionally, robotics can perform these actions with the absolute repetition and accuracy a person cannot achieve.

Another advantage of the robot: the system can monitor all welding parameters in real time and make any necessary adjustments automatically. And, in combination with camera systems and sensors on the welding system, manufacturers can quickly achieve quality and efficiency even on orders of small quantities.

These are all convincing arguments for automation of welding tasks in manufacturing construction vehicles and machines. However, the best welding robot is only as good as its programming. How can you ensure the production order will be optimally fulfilled, for small production batches as well as large ones? And how can you quickly and efficiently reprogram systems for ever-changing workpieces, while minimizing production downtime?

The answers lie in simulation-based offline programming of industrial robots(OLP).

To make optimal use of a robotic solution, it should be used as continuously as possible, that is, with minimal downtime between lots. This is where offline programming can make an enormous contribution towards more efficient automation. And using the right software for offline programming of robotic welders allows you to realize this efficiency.

The FASTSUITE team offers you an innovative, meticulously designed-and-executed OLP implementation project. More than our OLP software suite, we provide you comprehensive end-to-end solution—from solution design and customization to installation, to staff training and full production startup—and full service and support beyond.

Take advantage of our experiences and expertise to optimize your welding processes!

FASTSUITE Edition 2 supports your robotic construction vehicle and building machine projects through:

  • Precise, error-free and uniform programs of the highest quality—regardless of the robot brand or model, including multiple robot environments (master/slave control).
  • Offline programming to maximize machine resources: Program and test all your robotic tasks without requiring a duplicate set of equipment—and without taking your valuable production equipment out of service.
  • Quick and easy: Semi-automatic programming with a user-friendly interface.
  • High program quality: Integrated quality control and Welding Procedure Specification (WPS) and CAD-based welding line generation (CAD-to-path algorithms), including automatic arrival and departure strategies.
  • Precise tool paths: Progressive calibration tools and path management.