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Establishing a consistent production engineering system from digital process validation to robot offline programming and virtual commissioning.

FASTSUITE made it possible to seamlessly verify the feasibility of production equipment, which greatly contributes to productivity improvement. Thanks to this, HIROTEC was capable to achieve significant project improvements by detecting collisions and other issues at very early stages of a project and to optimize the complete downstream process until the start of production.

Project Details

HIROTEC is a pioneer in the use of the latest digital technology. Since 2016 they have been aiming to build a "digital try-out" system. In June 2017, and after different software evaluations, they decided to use FASTSUITE Edition 2.


FASTSUITE Edition 2 was implemented as an integrated system from layout validation to offline teaching. By using FASTSUITE, HIROTEC has solved many problems and improved the processes, for example, they can now avoid reworking the robot motions during the commissioning phase by directly using the offline results.

Project Objectives & Difficulties

7-axis roller hemming system patented by HIROTEC

With HIROETC's original 7-axis new roller hemming system, a space-saving robot cell can be designed, and various parts loading & unloading is possible. It is applicable for small quantity and high variety as well as for mass production. Some key features are:

  • High speed motions at the corners, and a greater robot working area are possible.
  • The roller can be rotated around the pressure axis by means of an external servo axis
  • The mounting is inclined by 45°.
  • The pressure is adjusted by an integrated coil spring

Since FASTSUITE can be highly customized, HIROTEC was able to get a 7-axis automatic path generation for their Roller Hemming system, leading to a big reduction of man-hours for programming. These functions include:

  • Easy selection of the hemming range and setting of the bending angle
  • Automatic calculation of the value of the 7th axis
  • Smooth interpolations of the tool orientation to avoid jerky motions

 

 

Reducing the number of try-outs and of project lead-time before delivery

The added value that HIROTEC is aiming for is to finish and validate the complete robot program and PLC program on the computer before the actual setup at the shopfloor.
The expected effects are:

  • No more equipment crashes and no more problems
  • Reduction of business trip cost at the start of production, especially in oversea installations
  • Increase the number of debugging tests of the PLC ladder program
  • Better collaboration between mechanical and electrical designers


Further benefits:

  • Usually it is only possible to make changes to existing equipment only during the weekend or during longer holidays. By using offline programming and virtual try-out methods, HIROTEC is independent from the availability of the production equipment.
  • No need to try out the actual machine before delivery, thus no need for dismantling and no need for temporary construction.

 

"FASTSUITE Edition 2 is the first of its kind. FASTSUITE Edition 2 is a simulation-based engineering process product. '' states Mr. Yoshiaki Higashi, Head of CENIT Japan K.K.

Providing a digital twin of the real factory equipment, it realizes signal driven and behavior models of equipment resources.

  • FASTSUITE Edition 2 can be connected to a motion controller (e.g. robot) and a logic controller (e.g. PLC).
  • The integrated CENIT motion controller is used for layout studies and off-line programming of the robot.
  • For high accuracy cycle time verification, an external VRC (Virtual Robot Controller) can be connected via Software in Loop.
  • For virtual test run evaluation, an external controller is connected via Hardware in Loop.

We are looking forward to the next steps in this Digital Twin Project with HIROTEC!

Confirmed Results

The results of this project were announced at the International Robot Exhibition held in Tokyo in December 2019, and many Automotive OEMs apprised its feasibility and effectiveness.

"For us as a production equipment integrator, the robot program and PLC program are very important. A system that can verify both programs in one environment is very important in improving international competitiveness. We relied on CENIT because they have been doing research & development on Industry 4.0 and manufacturing IoT for years. Also, CENIT's software already supports AutomationML and OPC-UA which are international standards, and I was convinced that it would be possible to build an optimal integrated production system with different models without depending on hardware or software manufacturers.... '' Mr. Hideharu Aranii, General Manager of Assembly Tool Engineering Dept. Tool & Die Division, HIROTEC

HIROTEC is one of the world's leading mass production suppliers of automotive components and a system integrator of production equipment. HIROTEC is headquartered in Hiroshima, Japan, and has 16 companies in 8 countries around the world.

Main challenges

  • Build a "digital try" system. A Digital Factory Twin.

Key to Success

  • FASTSUITE Edition 2 can be connected to a motion controller (e.g. robot) and a logic controller (e.g. PLC).
  • The integrated CENIT motion controller is used for layout studies and off-line programming of the robot.
  • For high accuracy cycle time verification, an external VRC (Virtual Robot Controller) can be connected via Software in Loop.
  • For virtual test run evaluation, an external controller is connected via Hardware in Loop.

Results 

  • Digital Factory Twin and therefore reducing the number of trials and time consuming before delivery
  • Full support for the Hirotec Roller Hemming as well as a7-axis automatic path generation 
Contact person:

Yoshiaki HIGASHI, Director CENIT Japan, K.K. - Linkedin

CATEGORIES & TAGS
Success StoriesRoller HemmingDigital TwinOffline ProgrammingVirtual CommissionningAutomotive Body in White
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