robot programmer job

  • Hello

    I worked as a robot programmer for a long time. We have integrated mainly spot and arc welding cells for automotive.

    Now I want to change my job to be on site, so I'm looking for advice how does the job "on the other side" looks.

    The company is just starting with integrating robots into the production. So no one has any idea what working with robots looks like.

    Due to the virus new projects and relocations of old projects are withhold. I don't have any info on the old projects. I have no idea what problems we will encounter.

    The new projects are handling, Kuka and Fanuc.

    Can anyone tell me how does such a job looks? Daily tasks, used tools/software?

    For sure there will be a need for a standard, backup procedures.

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  • Hello, Serek .


    I'm not sure if I understood Your question. You worked as a robot programmer, but didn't worked on site yet?


    So about resources for FANUC and KUKA, You should note that the first is way protective with its intellectual property than the later, so is far easy to find KUKA documents and software in the wild (and here on Robot-Forum) than FANUC ones. But if You are an integrator, You can call FANUC and ask him directly.


    About KUKA, two good resources are KUKA Xpert (where You can download manuals). You need register with a corporate email:


    https://xpert.kuka.com/


    And KUKA Download Center, where You can download some stuff, like WorkVisual software, needed to work with KRC4 robots:


    https://www.kuka.com/en-de/ser…nguage:en:1;&q=workvisual

  • I have worked on site, I have integrated whole new cells.

    Maybe I used the wrong words, I meant that the new job would be in one factory more as maintenance of existing cells, rather than as an integrator.

  • Hi

    "Now I want to change my job to be on site, so I'm looking for advice how does the job "on the other side" looks."


    One word BORING

    Personally, I can see shooting myself after doing the same job for the rest of my life. Unless you are dealing with many, many robots where there's something new everyday

  • It's never made me even try Russian roulette. Maybe it would make some people would want to shoot themselves, but others like the stability of working in one location, better home life, etc.


    You touched on backups and standards. If you are the subject matter expert on Fanuc you will be able to implement and guide these procedures.


    You mentioned the applications were arc and spot welding, you'll do plenty of touchup, unless you've got some good operators. You'll be asked to improve cycle time at some point.


    You'll do some training to bring operators up to the level you need to keep it from becoming a 24 hr job.


    Regular maintenance of the robots will fall to you or at least your supervision. It's not difficult for someone untrained to make a mess of a robot doing basic PM work.


    You'll determine the spare parts policy.


    You'll lead or support troubleshooting. Again, it doesn't take an untrained person long to make a shambles of a robot arm or create a great amount of downtime through a maintenance mistake.


    The largest number of arms I've supported under one roof alone is about 85, the smallest 32. Your level of boredom won't necessarily be directly proportionally to the size of your herd.


    You will likely be subject to the "other duties as directed by your supervisor" clause of the job description, working on some non-Fanuc Robot items.


    Depending on the size of the operation it may be difficult to get the business to spend $10,000 for a Roboguide license. I was used to working for an integrator and getting the upgrades automatically and not having to justify the $2,500 every other year.


    Along the same lines Fanuc will support you directly, but not at the same level as an integrator, so make copies of all of those pdf manual before you lose them.


    If I can be of further assistance let me know.

  • I have worked on site, I have integrated whole new cells.

    Maybe I used the wrong words, I meant that the new job would be in one factory more as maintenance of existing cells, rather than as an integrator.

    Now I get it.


    My advice about tools/software continues the same.


    Now, about how the other side looks...


    On the technical side, work as a integrator is way better. On personal side, if you have a partner, kids, you are a student, etc, this condition can become rapidly unpleasant, with lots of travels, overtime, work on weekends and so on.


    I also worked as a maintenance technician before. You won't have too many novelty on your daily routine and as Fabian pointed, things can be very tedious. But, on personal side, You can make plans and have a better quality of live.

  • I have 2 robots now only, with 2 more in the warehouse waiting for production to make mechanical components for the cell. It's honestly boring. Most of the day I don't do anything and my main job is to make coffee. But I switch here for better pay, I finish my work at 2pm exactly and get home in 15mins.

    My last job was a lot of work at field which was honestly a lot of fun, despite it being a lot of work, but also a lot of unpaid overtime at company and complete disorganization which I hated.

    The times I do have something to work it's interesting, I do get a lot of work outside my main job, but I spend time reading here about other brands of robots and learning other useful soft skills.

  • Thanks for the feedback.

    My concern is also that the job will be boring, but I suppose It won't be more boring than sitting alone in a hotel room.

    Our last project was where I live and it reminded me how wonderful it is to be home for more than a few days during a whole month.


    Has anyone found having Roboguide / WorkVisual to be helpful in such a Job?

  • i think WorkVisual has more shopfloor functions, like monitoring, make backups, and so on.


    But Roboguide also can help You sometimes, to prepare some stuff while cell is running, make file conversions, etc.


    In this cases, better left than missing.


    The huge difference is WorkVisual is free and Roboguide needs a not so cheap license.

  • I am in agreement with all suggestions here and cannot add to much to it except:

    Personal circumstances, family, bills, position in your life for learning, advancement, pressures, skills and ambition should all should be considered.


    If you move or stay, it is possible to always 'carry baggage' or what I call 'unfinished business'.

    The new role will may not include the 'good' things you currently enjoy without thinking about it.

    You may find yourself still wanting to be involved in areas outside of your new role - doubling your pressures etc.


    I have experienced this myself and 12 months later, I returned to my previous position.

    But I did not regret the decision as I drew many positives from the experience.

    The biggest positive I drew was, even though the new role was appealing and I gained additional skills, I was not ready/prepared for it as I still had unfinished business with my old role.


    There are no guarantees in life however and you can talk yourself out of taking on a new challenge by staying with what you are comfortable with.

    I can only say this, only YOU can decide and make sure you are 100% with your decision or you may suffer from 'What if' syndrome and carry this over to your existing position or new role, in which case it could cause issues.

    So your decision should especially be discussed with family too and not just based on finances, but personal well being too.


    From what you describe though, about the job role and your current position, I think this is a considerable opportunity as you will be the 'go to robot guy'.

    Therefore, you're existing skills will be appreciated and listened to and probably introduced, at the same time giving you the stability of regularity as opposed to living from a suitcase.


    As far as Roboguide is concerned, absolutely, I am in the process of convincing my client that if they have their current robots mapped into Roboguide, then troubleshooting, cycle time reduction and new integrations, then going forward, they will have enough skill to be self sufficient, instead of being reliant on third parties over sold applications.


    I wish you good luck which ever decision you take.....:beerchug:

  • robot integration and family don't go well together. I know it . Stable working hours and more time with the family are priceless.

    Good Luck

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