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VDL Steelweld: RobCAD
VDL Steelweld specializes in the design and installation of automated systems for body-in-white production in the automotive industry. The company has more than 40 years experience and has been part of the Dutch VDL Group since 1995.
VDL Steelweld develops production lines for automotive clients such as Volvo, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Opel, Volkswagen, Renault and Magna. The production lines consist of a sequence of robotic systems that perform tasks such as laser welding and soldering of roofs and hatchback rears, application of glue and cosmetic joint sealing, welding and assembling the steel and aluminum parts of a vehicle (doors, side walls, floors and whole bodies), and flexible assembly of plastic fuel tanks.
Programming and calculating the attainability and feasibility of robotic systems on the work floor is time consuming and expensive. So VDL Steelweld uses Robcad supplied by cards PLM Solutions to perform these studies more cost-effectively. Robcad provides VDL Steelweld with a digital production environment for robot-controlled work cells that enables design, simulation, optimization, analysis and offline programming of robot-controlled production processes.
At the start of every project VDL Steelweld uses Robcad to conduct an attainability and feasibility study. “This enables us to determine attainability and feasibility during the engineering phase and to make any necessary adjustments. By optimizing the process at an early stage we are able to minimize tooling adjustment during the test phase on the client’s premises. Since the production environment is simulated in Robcad, complete offline programming of the robotic systems within this environment is a logical next step. This reduces the time it takes to complete the process on the work floor within the client’s organization and saves costs” says Hans Smit, Marketing and Sales Manager at VDL Steelweld.
The advantage of offline programming is that it allows the process designers to analyze and optimize the process graphically without the client having to invest in expensive production tools and without having to interrupt the existing production process.
Robcad enables VDL Steelweld to gain the confidence of its clients by quickly presenting them with a very accurate graphic demonstration of how different robots interact or the impact of adding a new robot to the production line. Clients see in advance how a production line will operate and have more faith than they would have without such insight.