Digitally Transform Robot Productivity and Flexibility with NX Robotic Machining
- Take advantage of the extended reach, low cost and flexible automation of robots to do NC machining tasks
- Quickly create complex machining motion for industrial robots
- Grind, cut, deburr, trim, polish, glue and more along surface contours
- Validate programs graphically for faster startup
- React quickly to change orders with associative motion paths
The use of robots is expanding rapidly in a variety of manufacturing industries. Two trends are driving this change. First, recent improvements in accuracy, repeatability and payload capacity make robots adequate for increasing the number of machining tasks. Second, it is harder to find qualified workers that are willing to perform repetitive actions in tough environmental and physical conditions for a long time. Beyond the familiar tasks of lifting, positioning and welding, today’s robots are being fitted with milling, grinding and other heads, so they can be used to deburr, grind, cut, trim, polish, linish, glue and more. These tasks require the robots to perform continuous precision motions, including area coverage patterns and removal of in- process material. It can be challenging to program this type of motion for robots using a manual approach.
Siemens PLM Software has integrated its proven Tecnomatix® portfolio for advanced robotic solutions with NXTM software to provide the NX CAM Robotics Machining solution. This makes it easy to program a robot to cut, trim, finish, etc., using familiar NX CAM computer numerical control (CNC) programming methods.
NX CAM Robotics software lets users design, simulate, validate, optimize and offline program their industrial robots for machining-type tasks. This solution greatly increases the efficiency and quality of these high-precision, multi-axis robotic operations.
Featuring the intuitive and widely-accepted NX software 3D environment, the software combines the simplicity of CNC programming with the power to accurately create, control and simulate complex robotic machining processes. Associative updates, a key benefit of the entire NX system, make it easy to accommodate change orders since the robotic programming can be refreshed when design changes occur.
The NX CAM Machine Tool Builder now enables users to define robotic kinematic chains, making it easy to incorporate robots as the CNC machine selection in NX CAM. This is the basis for simulating the robot’s motion, as well as providing the correct output for the controller. Commonly-used robot models are provided with the NX CAM library of example machines and are easily customized with the NX CAM Machine Tool Builder.
More advanced robot definitions can even include additional axes such as part positioners or traveling rails that provide even larger work envelopes.
Robotic tool path
The concept behind NX CAM Robotic machining is to use the robust tool path creation methods of NX CAM to generate the end effector motion. This makes sure the cutter or grinder moves along the 3D workpiece in whatever pattern is required. In addition to this basic path are robotic rules that account for the extra degrees of freedom (axes of motion) and possible singularities. The user specifies preferences with straightforward rules for aligning the head relative to the working path, such as fixed vector, tangent to path and tangent zig zag. The configuration of the robot provides additional rules that help guide its motion and maintain predictable orientations along the motion and the starting and ending poses.
Robotic path validation
The complete, proven suite of NX CAM validation tools is available for robotics path validation. Material removal verification can be displayed during machine simulation. Collision detection and gouge checking are available to identify any interference issues between the robot, its tool, the fixture and the part. Reachability issues, such as inaccessible locations along the path and robot joints that exceed their hard or soft limits, are reported and can be analyzed. Special robotic issues, such as kinematic singularities, can also be automatically identified and reported.
Robot tool traces can be displayed during simulation to provide another important view of the motion. These advanced validation tools ensure high-quality programs that can be reliably executed by robots, reducing prove-out times and minimizing production issues.
Production-ready output that does not require any manual modifications is the key to shorten planning cycle time and to increase productivity.
The standard post-processing mechanism of NX CAM generates the robotic program. Available posting modules for Kuka (KRL) and Siemens Sinumerik 840D sl controllers with the intelligent Run MyRobot application can be used for standard program generation on these common controllers.
About Siemens AG
Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is No. 1 in offshore wind turbine construction, a leading supplier of combined cycle turbines for power generation, a major provider of power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In fiscal 2014, which ended on September 30, 2014, Siemens generated revenue from continuing operations of €71.9 billion and net income of €5.5 billion. At the end of September 2014, the company had around 343,000 employees worldwide on a continuing basis.
Further information is available on the Internet at www.siemens.com.
Note: Siemens and the Siemens logo are registered trademarks of Siemens AG. NX and Tecnomatix are trademarks or registered trademarks of Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries. All other trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks belong to their respective holders.