ADVANCED MOTION PLANNING FOR CNC machines
Smart factories are characterized by highly flexible production facilities that allow to produce small lot sizes in a cost-effective and fast manner. One aspect concerns the introduction of intelligence for the process operation. The intelligence of the industrial automation machines, such as CNC machines, can be increased by advanced process operation. In many CNC machines, such as laser cutting, the cycle time plays an inevitable role while a high cutting quality needs to be ensured.
CNC controlled machines can be significantly improved by the application of PROBOT. A model is needed that captures the dynamics of the machine as well as the effects of the cutting process. Based on this model, an optimization-based controller can be developed. The controller calculates an optimal motion plan and the best possible process parameters for the cutting process. The optimization-based approach allows to directly specify targets of the process operation such as the increase of manufacturing speeds.
PROBOT has been succesfully applied for improving the process operation of a CNC machine. Within the use case, for any part that is cut, PROBOT calculates the best possible movement and process parameters. The controller was designed to reduce the cutting time while achieving similar levels of precision of the produced parts and vibrational load of the machine. This increases the manufacturing speeds such that the cycle time can be reduced.
More and more robots work interactively together instead of having separate spaces. This increases the risk of collisions and thus makes motion planning much more demanding. To fully exploit the potential, the motion has to be planned for all robots such that the result is a coordinated motion. The resulting trajectory should avoid collision while handling the task in a time-optimal manner.
In the example above, PROBOT has been successfully applied for collaborative bin-picking. The manufacturing process was automated with two robots. These robots perform their handling tasks in one joint work space. A complex action plan needs to be set up as different tasks need to be fulfilled by the robot, e.g. bin-picking, alignment and material handling.
By using PROBOT the motion plan can be generated intuitively with drastically reduced programming efforts. A path can be found for both robots that allows a significant reduction of the cycle time. Compared to the previous solution implemented with one robot, a reduction of 30% in cycle time has been achieved while the two robots operate with a safe distance to each other.
For efficient operation of heavy machinery, the motion planning plays an important role. For instance, excavators perform elaborate motions to dig bulk material and dump it into a truck. A well suitable approach to improve the efficiency is the support of the operator with automated motion planning.
PROBOT offers the features that are needed to tackle the arising problems. Due to the constantly changing relative position of shovel and truck no pre-computeted paths can be used. PROBOT takes environmental changes into account for performing real-time motion planning.
PROBOT has been applied for the motion planning for automation of the loading of the truck with bulk material, such that the operator is ideally supported. As a result, the spillage can be minimized while reducing the time of the digging cycle. Due to the flexibility concerning the mechanical setup various excavator kinematics can be considered.
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