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Crown uses FASTSUITE Edition 2 for offline programming of welding cells

Robot welding: More efficiency for programming and fixture construction

The forklift manufacturer Crown relies on the use of robot cells for welding production at the Roding site. There are several complex systems with up to 13 axes. In order to use the robots even more efficiently, Crown has commissioned CENIT to replace the time-consuming manual teaching with simulation-based offline programming. The result: Instead of several days, programming a new workpiece or a new part variant takes only a few hours. Because the programming is done in the simulation environment of FASTSUITE Edition 2, i.e. parallel to the productive operation of the plant, the downtimes of the plant have been considerably reduced. The OLP project has a positive impact on development and design: The toolmaking department is able to find the appropriate device more quickly because the system with all kinematics is available as a simulable 3D model. The virtual device can be checked for accessibility in advance. New components can be optimized during development for subsequent welding production.
(Detailed report in the FASTSUITE newsroom

Customer Data

    • Technologies

    • Welding
    • Industry

    • Heavy Industry
    • Robots/Machining

    • Reis

Project Objectives & Difficulties

  • Introduction of simulation-based offline programming for increased plant efficiency and higher productivity in fixture construction
  • Robot welding system with up to 13 axes
  • Workpieces: high variety, partly difficult to access seams and/or many welding seams on a small area
  • High Crown quality standard for production and high employee satisfaction must be guaranteed

Solution

  • Features of FASTSUITE Edition 2 features that were in demand for this project:

    • CAD data-based weld path generation (CAD-to-path algorithms) with automatic approach and departure strategies
    • Weld path generation includes control commands for welding technology; easy adjustment of parameters
    • Simple operability

  • Implementation in three phases:

    • Configuration of the software for the requirements of the plant
    • Development of a digital plant model with robots, tools, collision-relevant interference contours and plant components; incorporation of reference, TCP and plant zero points, kinematization robots with traversing axes and positioners
    • Calibration of the real system with the digital system model: Measurement of real reference points and TCP's by means of a measuring tip on the robot; correction of the values in the software.
    • Handover of the OLP-capable system and user training on site

  • Practical experience and detailed knowledge of the CENIT team ensure transfer of quality standards for welding production into automation solutions
  • Consulting and training of the Crown team ensures acceptance and satisfaction
  • Final acceptance of the OLP solution for the first welding cells in summer 2017
  • Freedom for new ideas: FASTSUITE is open and scalable

 

Confirmed Results

  • Increase of plant efficiency

    • Programming of new workpieces/parts in a few hours instead of several working days
    • Significantly reduced downtimes due to programming parallel to production operation

  • Increased efficiency Development and design

    • Virtual prototype of the device can be checked for accessibility in a simulation environment, since the system is available with all kinematics as a simulable 3D model
    • New components can be optimized during development for subsequent welding production

  • Very good welding quality according to Crown standard
  • Florian Braun, project manager in manufacturing engineering at the forklift manufacturer, praises the cooperation. The highly motivated Crown team could always rely on CENIT as a partner when obstacles had to be overcome: "When they were needed, they were there and they stayed there until it worked".

The OLP project is of course good for our figures. But we also see that our employees are very satisfied and that is very important to us at Crown.

Mads Andreasen, Director of Manufacturing, Crown Gabelstapler GmbH & Co. KG

Company Profile

Crown, one of the world's largest material handling companies, stands for award-winning product design, advanced, sophisticated technology and first-class customer service. At the core of Crown's business philosophy are vertically integrated processes for the design, manufacture and distribution of innovative, forward-thinking solutions that enable customers to increase the productivity and performance of their operations. In addition to an extensive range of forklift trucks, Crown develops automation and fleet management technologies. Crown operates regional headquarters in Germany, Australia, China and Singapore and employs over 14,000 people worldwide. The sales and service network comprises more than 500 locations in over 80 countries. Crown has been producing forklifts in Roding since 1986. For more than 30 years, this has been the starting point for innovations in production in the US-American family-owned company.

 

Dieter Konrad
Senior Regional Account Manager

Digital Factory Solutions