Comatec realized the automation of a soldering cell using the Digital Twin technology, according to the customer’s expectations. The commissioning went fast and smoothly, and the soldering cell is already in production use.
“The customer asked for a solution with a demanding work step, where the quality was not constant and changed according to the work habits of the employees. To ensure a constant quality, automation of the work step was desired. Now, the task can be performed in every factory by anyone with the same quality”, reports Comatec’s Automation Sales Director Peter Lillqvist.
“We started by creating a robotized cell, where the customer has the possibility to configure the robot’s control to repeat the same actions with the same quality in any factory around the world” explained Peter.
We carried out the automation of the soldering cell using Digital Twin technology. This implements the creation of a complete digital 3D model, including the cell and its machines, its index table, manipulators and robots, which works in virtual reality like the real cell would work. Using this model, our designers are able to code the control software and everything else ready for commissioning. These tasks can be performed already at a stage where the components are under manufacturing in the shop floor.
We perform all the designing tasks using 3D design technology. The performance and the results can be easily shown off in simulations, so that the customer has the chance to review and to plan the needed surroundings in a virtual way. By doing so, unwanted surprises during commissioning can be avoided.
The use of Digital Twin technology ensures a safe commission, and the time needed is reduced to a minimum. In this soldering cell project, the commissioning was not a very critical step because it happened in a space readily reserved for R&D.
“However, often the commissioning of production cells happens in a fully active factory environment, where the production must be halted for the time when the commissioning is happening. For the customer, a greatly shorter commissioning time has big advantages. Further than this, the technological and economical risk is be far smaller than using a traditional way to work”, Peter adds.
Peter expands “that in the same time, a follow-up project is going on, where the production cell data is saved to a cloud in an easy-to-read format. By doing so, the indicators for performance and production rate can be reviewed. For example, if a cell is located halfway around the globe, the customer does not have to call and ask for performance data anymore. They can follow from their own screen, if the production runs efficiently or not, and also for what reason.”
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