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Robotics simulation

Robotics simulation helps to engineer and automate real production systems in the digital world.

What is advanced robotics simulation?

Robotics simulation is a digital tool used to engineer robotics-based automated production systems. Functionally, robotics simulation uses digital representation – a digital twin – to enable dynamic interaction with robotics models in a virtual environment. Robotics and automation simulation systems aim to bring automation systems online faster and launch production with fewer errors than conventional automation engineering.

Automation simulation plays a crucial role in robotics because it permits experimentation that is expensive and time-consuming to perform on actual robots – and even more so to conduct experimentation on the production floor. Robotics simulation allows engineers to try ideas and construct manufacturing scenarios in a dynamic virtual environment, collecting virtual response data that accurately represents the physical responses of the control system.

Robotics simulation has steadily evolved to keep up with the growing capabilities of industrial robots. Robots are being deployed into dynamic environments where the robot's tasks change frequently or involve human collaborators. Demand for advanced robotics continues to grow as manufacturers increase product complexity, variety and customization to meet customer demand. Advanced robotics incorporates runtime decision-making, reactive programming for unforeseen events, and the ability to adapt and improve based on data collected by the industrial internet of things (IIoT) processed with artificial intelligence (AI). The level of complexity in advanced robotics programming and deploying and operating advanced robots, as well as the high cost that would be incurred to debug a robotics system on the production floor, make advanced robotics simulation a critical component of manufacturing engineering.

Advanced robotics simulation software enables users to engineer and optimize robotic production, which comprises the new flexibility and customization made possible by advanced robotics technologies. Engineers may employ advanced robotics simulation to design complete 3D robotic work cells, then validate and optimize manufacturing process sequences simulating realistic behavior and responses. They can validate automation concepts digitally and perform offline advanced robotics programming. This simulation software also allows companies to commission complete production systems virtually.

Related products: Robotics Planning & Simulation | Tecnomatix Process Simulate

Engineer holding tablet displaying 3D robotics simulation model in front of real robot on the factory floor.

Benefits of robotics simulation

Robotics simulation enables manufacturers to design and optimize automated manufacturing processes without the time and cost penalties of tying up capital equipment or production floors.

Faster product launch cycles

Design and optimize automated manufacturing processes in a digital environment, reducing the time and cost penalties associated with physical setups and iterations.

Virtual commissioning

Test and validate complete production systems in a digital environment before deployment to ensure smooth integration with real-world operations.

Minimize errors and debugging

Identify and address potential issues in manufacturing processes before implementation, reducing downtime and improving overall system efficiency.

Functionality of advanced robotics simulation software

Modern robotics and automation simulation software addresses single-robot stations all the way to complete production lines and zones. It begins with design and validation of automated manufacturing processes that include a variety of robotic and automation processes.

Once processes are designed and validated, the software supports detailed engineering of robotic paths and motions, helping engineers to ensure collision-free operation with optimized cycle times. Both time-based and event-based simulation methods may be employed. Advanced robotics simulation software also typically provides support for specific robotics applications:

  • Resistance spot welding
  • Arc welding
  • Drilling and riveting
  • Cutting
  • Spraying
  • Pick-and-place
  • Safety operations

Software functionality also includes offline advanced robotics programming, which allows downloading and uploading of production programs to and from the shop floor. This means that the software interfaces with any major industrial robot and controller, and users can add detailed information to create complete programs offline, then download them to the controller on the floor.

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Industrial advanced robotics white paper

Industrial advanced robotics for flexible and automated production in tomorrow’s factory