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A revolution in laptop format- the simulation program became a game changer

For Henrik Jönsson, it is the simulation program KUKA.Sim that has opened up a completely new way of working.


Create and test your industrial lines directly in the computer.
There has been a real shift in how to create and build production lines. What has traditionally been a hands-on job, where everything was planned in rough sketches designed in CAD systems, manufactured, assembled and finally tested on site, is starting to become more and more something that can be done in a regular laptop equipped with a simulation program. One who was early to invest in the technology is Henrik Jönsson, automation engineer at the system integrator Metso Outotec in Kil. For Henrik Jönsson, it is the simulation program KUKA.Sim that has opened up a completely new way of working. - At first we only used it to simulate robots, then I discovered that we had just scratched the surface, he says. In the program - developed by the robot manufacturer KUKA - it is possible to build and test industrial lines directly in the computer. 
 
[Reminiscent of Minecraft 
The procedure is simple and a bit reminiscent of how to act in a regular computer game - a kind of Minecraft for professional integrators. According to Henrik Jönsson, he can visualize all movements in the program, not only for the robots but for the entire line. - For example, I can insert sensors for… let's say a plate to be processed. Then I can show how one machine leaves it in one place, and how another machine - triggered by the inserted sensor -picks it up, and so on, he says. In a new version of the program, it is possible with the help of an extension to build up your own library of configurable objects with specified kinematics and so on. - It took a while before I realized all the possibilities. Then I discovered that it is possible to do clever things here, says Henrik Jönsson. 
Henrik Jönsson, automation engineer at the system integrator Metso Outotec in Kil

Optimized already in the computer

As he learned more, he has become something of a pioneer breaking new ground, and has also become involved in the manufacturer's customer event to tell about how he works. But how far can you really go with just your laptop and a computer program at home in the office? According to Henrik Jönsson, it is in principle possible to optimize most things already in the virtual environment, before anything is actually built. You can even do things like simulate an emergency stop and see how far the robot has time to move after someone has pressed the button, and what the consequences are. But, he says, there is much more that can be done than just visualizing and testing the pure function. - The good thing is that we can also extract data and gain deeper insights about the line before we have even started building something in the physical environment. We can get times, bottlenecks and power consumption and more already in the computer. That's an incredible advantage. An aid in sales? - Yes, of course.
 
Export directly to the robots
Another thing he appreciates is that the integrated simulation software includes the programming language Python, an open programming language that is well known and that many can handle. When everything is eventually ready and tested in the computer, it is possible to export the entire configuration directly from KUKA.Sim to the robots. However, KUKA recommends that this be done via the WorkVisual program. How did you work before? - Then everything was based on experience. To analyze sources of error and the like, you had to use simple diagrams in Excel. It was quite undynamic, time consuming and with larger margins of error. Easier now? - Undoubtedly. One day this will also become commonplace, but right now it feels like something of a revolution. Software opened up new possibilities. Henrik Jönsson, automation expert at Metso Outotec in Kil, has in recent years invested in using simulation programs in his work to create production lines. - It will be incredibly much easier. Nowadays, I can do basically everything in my own laptop, he says
 
It is possible to export the entire configuration directly from KUKA.Sim to the robots

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