Designing an Industrial Pick-and-Place Robot
A leading provider of packaging machines was experiencing repeated motor failures with their pick-and-place robots, facing substantial replacement costs on a regular basis. The company chose Maplesoft to develop a high-fidelity parameterized model of the robot. Using MapleSim, the company simulated the robot’s operation and used Maple to understand the exact cause of failure in hopes of finding a cost-effective solution.
The results from MapleSim showed the company a solution they were unaware of - instead of replacing motors in every robot, they could modify the robot motion profiles to reduce the moments of greatest motor torque. The company was able to essentially apply a software update to what was previously expected to be costly, on-site hardware replacements for larger motors. Going forward, they are using their MapleSim models for other robots, minimizing the high costs of over-engineered components and unexpected on-site repairs.
Industrial automation is on the rise, with machines performing more complicated tasks every day. Designing these complex industrial machines is a challenging process. Engineers need to ensure that the machine they design meets many different performance objectives for productivity, workspace, maneuverability, payload, and so on. At the same time, they also need to develop a design that will minimize both production and maintenance costs, such as using the smallest possible motors and the shortest links for robot arms, and minimizing loading to reduce the wear and tear that leads to expensive repairs and downtime. In light of so many complexities, organizations will over-engineer products, investing in more costly components to reduce unforeseen failures. Others will try to minimize costs, but are more likely to face expensive on-site repairs when unexpected failures occur. System-level modeling offers a third option, providing analysis and deep insight into product performance long before physical prototypes.
A leading provider of packaging machines approached the Maplesoft Engineering Solutions team looking to understand why they were experiencing reoccurring motor failures in their pick-and-place robots deployed in the field. They turned to Maplesoft to help them answer questions about the design of their product, including many questions that could prove beneficial for all of their future robot designs:
- What is the proper motor sizing for the robot in all operating conditions?
- What lengths should the links be to achieve the desired workspace?
- What effect will different combinations of link lengths have on the design?
- What is the required performance from the motor and gearbox in different use cases?
Model Development using MapleSim
Each of the link structures includes sensor components to provide force and torque information, which can later be used to determine radial force, axial force, and bending moments at each bearing. The model also includes probes embedded at strategic locations withi...
Each of the link structures includes sensor components to provide force and torque information, which can later be used to determine radial force, axial force, and bending moments at each bearing. The model also includes probes embedded at strategic locations within the design to monitor performance characteristics, such as required motor speed and torque, along with joint angle and constraints.
Initial simulations were run in MapleSim to observe the behavior of the system, with the probe information presented in various plots. The model was then loaded into Maple for in-depth analysis.
Design Analysis using Maple
This case study presents just one example of innovation in the industrial automation and packaging machinery sectors. As automated robot requirements become more complex, this company realized the huge role that system-level modeling can play in driving innovation. What started as the desire to fix a simple problem has radically transformed their design process, shortening design cycles and minimizing unnecessary costs every step of the way.
Published by Maplesoft, Inc. on 11 May 2017
For more information send an inquiry directly to Maplesoft, Inc.
Industry 4.0 and the Power of the Digital Twin
The world of industrial automation is undergoing a major transformation to the Next Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0. Manufacturers can no longer afford the “build it and tweak it” approach that has long characterized many design projects. Instead, they must take a more systems-design approach by implementing rigorous systems-design processes that accommodate the complexities of developing multi-disciplinary systems. High-fidelity virtual prototypes, or Digital Twins, are at the core of this development process. Read this whitepaper to learn how early adopters are already benefiting from the power of the Digital Twin as part of their Industry 4.0 strategy.
Searching, Exploring and Visualizing Data using Maple
With the ever-expanding sea of available data and data repositories, navigating the vast quantities of information can be a difficult task. Maple, the advanced computing software from Maplesoft, is a powerful, interactive data visualization tool. Maple makes it easy to: searchfilterexplorevisualize dataThis paper presents several examples of how Maple can be used to search and filter large data repositories, explore and visualize the data in innovative ways and use the data to predict future behavior.
Maplesoft Makes Model Based Systems Engineering Accessible to More Engineers with New MapleMBSE
MapleMBSE is a new product from Maplesoft that provides engineers with greater accessibility to model-based systems engineering tools, helping them create, maintain, validate requirements efficiently, with fewer errors29 Aug 2017
Engineer in France Develops Motorcycle Racing Simulator Using MapleSim
Mr. Frédéric Nicolo wanted to develop a motorbike simulator that performed at the same level as current automobile simulators, accommodating the unique features of motorbikes. He started his own venture, developing a simulator using MapleSim that ...22 Jun 2017
Maple 2017 Offers Increased Mathematical Power, Stronger Visualizations and Flexible Deployment Options
Maplesoft today announced a major new release of its flagship product, Maple, the mathematical software that makes it extremely easy to analyze, explore, visualize, and solve math problems. The result of over 30 years of development, Maple already has ...22 Jun 2017
New Connector by Maplesoft and Phoenix Integration Combines Engineering Insight and Efficiency
Maplesoft and Phoenix Integration announced a new plugin that enables engineers to easily incorporate Maplesoft software products Maple and MapleSim into the ModelCenter workflow integration and automation platform from Phoenix Integration. Th...11 May 2017
Designing an Industrial Pick-and-Place Robot
A leading provider of packaging machines was experiencing repeated motor failures with their pick-and-place robots, facing substantial replacement costs on a regular basis. The company chose Maplesoft to develop a high-fidelity parameterized model...11 May 2017
Researchers at the University of Waterloo use MapleSim in New Approach to Tire Modeling
Ideally, a tire model will accurately simulate the dynamics of the system and result in simulations that execute quickly. Unfortunately, existing tire models typically either do not model behavior to a high degree of accuracy, or they are very resource...15 Mar 2017
Maple Drastically Reduces Downtime of Steam Turbines by Improving the Ultrasonic Testing of Rotor Blades
Rotek, the maintenance branch of Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned electricity provider, is using Maple, the technical computing software from Maplesoft, to design a comprehensive pre-inspection simulation model for use in the ultrasonic inspections of...8 Feb 2017
Maple Helps Hiab Simplify Their Crane Operation
Hiab, a leading provider of load handling equipment, is using Maple to design new ways to lessen the burden on crane operators and maintain safe and precise machine operation. Hiab selected Maple because of its ability to process complex matrix ma...7 Feb 2017
Latest MapleSim Release Improves Engineering Design Productivity
Maplesoft today announced a major new release of MapleSim™, an advanced system-level modeling and simulation platform used by engineers to reduce development time and gain insight into system behavior. The latest release provides tools that increa...6 Feb 2017
MapleSim used to speed up development of high-fidelity robotic manipulator models
ABB's Robotics business unit evaluated MapleSim, the high-performance modeling and simulation platform from Maplesoft, to develop high-fidelity manipulator models that included flexible joints, gears, and dynamic friction, and to determine the ease wit...4 Feb 2016
Maplesoft Engineering Solutions team helps FLSmidth develop revolutionary mining equipment
FLSmidth discovered the advantages of system-level modeling while working with Maplesoft's Engineering Solutions team on the development of a Dual Truck Mobile Sizer (DTMS). The level of design detail and the amount of insight the team gained by using ...4 Feb 2016
New MapleSim Toolbox Enables System-Level Modeling with CAD Designs
Maplesoft recently released the MapleSim CAD Toolbox, a new add-on to MapleSim that allows engineers to understand and improve their mechanical designs by bringing their CAD assemblies into MapleSim, the advanced system-level modeling and simulation p...4 Feb 2016
Modeling the Nao Robot in MapleSim
Engineers at Maplesoft used MapleSim to develop a model of Nao, a 58cm tall humanoid robot created by Aldebaran Robotics. The model simulated the movements of the robot, allowing the engineers to simulate its behavior accurately and teach it to do...10 Jul 2015