Delcam will demonstrate its PowerMILL Robot programming software for robots at Composites Europe.
Delcam will demonstrate its PowerMILL Robot programming software for robots at Composites Europe.

Delcam will be showcasing its PowerMILL Robot CAM system, used for composites machining, at Composites Europe, Stuttgart, Germany, from 22 to 24 September.

Robots programmed with PowerMILL Robot are already used in the marine, aerospace, rail and wind energy sectors of the composites industry for the manufacture of models, patterns, molds and fixtures for component manufacture, and for the finish machining of composite parts.

According to the company, robots can be cost-effective for the production of larger items of tooling, and for the trimming and drilling of composite panels. The working area can be extended with linear tracks and rotary tables for greaterflexibility over the size and types of parts that can be manufactured.

The functionality of PowerMILL Robot consists of three main steps: programming, simulation (including analysis) and creation of the robot programs. For both types of programming (manual and CNC) the system can be used to simulate the complete machining operation and to control the robot’s movements through different variables, such as axis limits, axis priorities and workplane constraints. Various aspects within the configuration of the robot cell, such as axis limits, tool constraints and home position, can be defined, and the simulation of the robot completed within those constraints.

Robot behavior

The robot’s working envelope can be displayed to improve the position of the part or initial stock, and so give maximum access to the material. The maximum range of movements required of each axis can be viewed to analyse the robot’s behavior and movements throughout the operation.

Any issues that may prevent the toolpaths from being completed successfully are highlighted, with notifications of the robot potentially reaching axis limits, singularities and collisions. Graphs display the axis limits, wrist singularity and axis reversals, to give a better understanding of how the robot will move. Similarly, the acceleration and deceleration of the robot’s axes are shown on time-based graphs.

Once the results of the simulation have been reviewed, and modified if necessary, the program can be output in the appropriate robot native language, for example for KUKA, ABB, Fanuc, Yaskawa Motoman Stäubli, Hyundai, Comau, Kawasaki Robot, Nachi or Universal Robots equipment. Acceleration, smoothing values and other robot-specific parameters can be defined as part of the output. Full support for external axes, such as rotary tables and linear tracks, can be included, as well as dedicated tools for spindle calibration.

This story is reprinted from material from Delcam, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.