If you have added manufacturing robots to your facility, you are already aware of the advantages they provide and the ROI. Robots do have a downside, however, when it comes to programming—most of the time, they must be offline to be updated or programmed, which means production delays and lost revenue. One solution is to use Offline Robot Programming Software (OLP), which allows you to generate robotic code and then upload it to the robots without any downtime. Since it’s important to choose the right OLP solution, let’s take a look.
How to choose the best OLP software
- A very effective way to inform your decision on whether OLP is right for you is to engage your community of programmers, shop owners, integrators and other manufacturers to discover why they use the software they do. Most are happy to share their experiences and why the solution they have does or doesn’t work for them.
- Look for an OLP software provider who has deep process knowledge in solving robotic programming challenges, such as welding, deburring, additive manufacturing, cutting and trimming, dispensing and other applications.
- With OLP software, one size does not fit all. If you’re a manufacturer that has made the decision to be exclusive with one robot brand then the OEM software might be the right solution for your operation.
- Ask for a test drive of the software you are considering, to ensure fit for your operation and ease of use. Try out their support line. The solution should check all the boxes for the applications for your facility, but also possible future ones as your operation expands.
- Like any capital purchase, software has a cost. Ensure you understand the expected ROI, the maintenance costs, and costs for add-on processes, such as welding. Normally training costs are a consideration in calculating ROI, but with today’s OLP software the simplicity has reduced those dramatically.
- OLP solutions are not for everyone, so it’s important to work with a reputable software integrator who can help you make the best decisions and provide you with any assistance you need along the way.
At Robotmaster, since 2001 we have been taking great pride in creating intuitive, easy to use Offline Robot Programming software with a team of professionals that understands manufacturing and design, kinematics, mathematics optimization, simulation and CAD/CAM. Hypertherm is 100% employee owned, with over 1800 associates.