what OLP software to choose from from a specific list

  • Hello, for a major assignment for my education I need to select an OLP from the following list: Vrep, RobotExpert, RobotWorks, Fanuc Robotguide, and LT Workspace.
    I'm having a hard time finding good information to compare these. Another part of the assignment is to find a task for the industrial robot to do and then program it and explain it. I have yet to find good inspiration for a task that I can make the 'robot' do. So ideally I'd have to choose software from that list that is often used in a professional setting and that can do a lot since the task hasn't been defined yet. I'm thinking of choosing RobotExpert, could anyone tell me if that is a good choice?

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  • The issue is, you're not going to find many people who have used more than one of those packages. They tend to be horrendously expensive, and most shops standardize around one, and only use that.


    From that list, I've only used RoboGuide, and it works pretty well, but it's strictly limited to Fanuc brand robots. I've seen a general pattern in OLP generation software -- the Brand-specific versions are better at the "robot" side stuff, like code generation, proper syntax, simulating actual robot motion patterns, etc. But worse at the "CAD model" stuff, like creating tooling, handling large complex cells, "animating" peripheral hardware, etc.


    The "general use" software packages tend to be the opposite. Most of them started as large CAD/CAM packages with high-end solid modelling and physics capabilities, and had "robot" stuff tacked on later as an option (often a paid option per brand), sometimes with varying quality.


    As far as picking a task goes... for many robot operations, like spot welding or pick&place, it's easier to program the robot "by hand". OLPs tend to be used most often where the program has to be generated from the CAD model (often in aerospace), or the path is so complex and/or is so closely linked to a complex surface that doing the program offline in a Simulation environment is worth the cost. This turns up in certain paint and dispensing applications, or CAM-style programs like complex milling/grinding/additive operations.


    There's a middle ground (like a lot of automotive these days) where an OLP is generated as a "close enough" program where the hands-on programmer only has to (ideally) fine-tune certain critical points. This most often happens in applications where doing the Simulation was already required for other reasons (reach studies, safety certification, cycle time testing, etc), and having the computer spit out an OLP was a minor extra cost.


    The biggest issue with making OLPs work, if you're not tweaking them by hand, is getting really good calibration between the real-world tooling and the "ideal" models of same in the Simulation model. Often this requires creating calibration OLPs that, when hand-tweaked, align the reference frames the robot is using with the virtual model. The other big problem, especially for people trying to use robots for CNC or additive, is that robots simply are not nearly as accurate, or rigid, as CNC machines, and as such cannot give the same "push button, make accurate part" experience as a CNC or 3DP.

  • About Your list.


    Vrep - general simulator, but I'm not sure if it has OLP capabilities.

    RobotExpert - a sort of capped version of Process Simulate. If I'm recall correctly, it isn't offered by Siemens anymore.

    RobotWorks - if this is the software I'm thinking, it is a SolidWorks add-on focused on milling applications

    Fanuc Robotguide - I think this one will have more information available elsewhere. Roboguide has a good number of features, but as Skyefire mentioned, is for FANUC robots only.

    LT Workspace - a rebranded version of Workspace 5 with a different business model.


    From this list, I know Roboguide, and demoed RobotExpert and Workspace 5 (father of LT Workspace) in the past.


    As far I can tell, the only one focused on educational environments is LT Workspace.


    But I think You first decide what kind of application You want to simulate, and after this, You can puck the best software solution for Your case.


    If You need simulate a real robot that isn't a FANUC, Roboguide won't help. If You need simulate a pick/drop process, RobotWorks won"t help. If You need generate robot code from Your simulation, maybe VRep won't help, and so on.

  • Yes. SIemens Robot Expert was replaced by Process Simulate VIrutal COmissioning Lite:

    Virtual commissioning made easy with Process Simulate VC Lite - Tecnomatix
    Today’s system and automation integrators are facing many challenges such as frequently changing customer demands, ever shorter product lifecycles and reduced
    blogs.sw.siemens.com


    PS VC lite is a license bundle version of Process Simulate that start in Process Simulate installation 16.0.


    Regards

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