Helping cobot users get up and running with their new equipment as quickly as possible is the goal of a new software product from OnRobot. Launched in January, D:PLOY is said by OnRobot to be the industry’s first automated platform for building, running, monitoring, and redeploying collaborative applications directly on the factory floor with zero programming or simulation needed, resulting in time savings of up to 90% over conventional solutions. “By automating the process of getting a robotic application up and running, D:PLOY allows complete applications to be deployed and redeployed directly on the manufacturing floor in a few simple steps, with zero programming—all within a few hours,” says the company.
At launch, the D:PLOY platform supports palletizing, CNC machine tending, packaging, and transferring (pick-and-place) applications, with future announcements planned for additional processes.
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“The D:PLOY platform and its ability to truly democratize automation has been OnRobot’s goal from the beginning, and we have been laying the groundwork for years,” said Enrico Krog Iversen, chief executive officer of OnRobot upon the launch of the platform.
D:PLOY was developed to address the shortage of skilled robotics engineers and integrators who can help smaller, less-experienced manufacturers break through existing barriers to automation. According to Simon Potzkai, robotics sales engineer at Alexander Bürkle, an OnRobot system integrator and a D:PLOY beta tester, “D:PLOY simplifies the task of building and integrating a robotic cell with an innovative approach that doesn’t require any type of programming. With the current shortage of engineers, that’s a huge advantage for integrators. By making it easier and faster for us to deploy automation, we can serve more customers and help them more quickly realize the advantages of automation. That’s a win-win for everyone.”
D:PLOY works by automating many of the manual steps necessary today for building and running an application. D:PLOY automatically discovers most of the installed hardware, and generates the robot motion based on the obstacles and cell boundaries defined in the workspace. The program logic, signals exchange, event handling, and robot movement are automatically created for the entire application based on a few inputs such as workpiece attributes and pick position.
Demonstrating the reduction in robotic cell deployment time and complexity, OnRobot uses an example of a palletizing application, where deployment time drops from 40 hours to 4 hours, for a 90% time savings. In addition, when production requirements change, D:PLOY provides the flexibility to quickly redeploy the application for new products or workpieces. Real-time monitoring improves productivity and minimizes downtime.
Says Alan Vallis, training and development manager at LG Motion Ltd., an OnRobot distributor, “D:PLOY will make automation accessible for companies who may be a bit reluctant, whether it is related to cost or in-house skills and competences. I think D:PLOY will demystify a lot of that.” PW