Virtual Commissioning of Robotic Workcells

Philip Nicholson and Jim Devaprasad


Virtual Commissioning, Robotics Simulation, 3D Digital Manufacturing


As robotic processes become more complex due to the high level of the interaction with sensors and surrounding equipment, the need to validate the input-output communications and system control in the virtual world has become paramount. Robotic simulation software previously only validated the feasibility of the processes but with the addition of virtual commissioning software the ability to validate the interactions between system components and devices is now possible. Commercial software companies have recently released virtual commissioning software to digitally define, control and monitor automated systems entirely in a 3D virtual environment. Effective use of the software would reduce the system launch time by identifying errors in the control logic of PLC programs or virtual equipment instead of taking risks on the real equipment. Due to the limited knowledge in the application of the virtual commission software for analyzing robotics processes, this paper outlines a 4-step procedure to successfully use the software. These steps have been tested while developing different robotics workcell models, one of which is presented as an example in this paper. The paper concludes by providing information on the benefits of applying this software for analyzing the control of robotics processes.

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