CAD-Based Programming System for Arc Welding Robots in One-Off-Production Runs

PROARC - CP93-7831

Keywords: robot welding, off-line programming, MAP, AutoCAD

Start Date: 1 May 94 / Status: finished / Duration: 24 months

[ participants / contact]

Objectivies and Approach

A large number of off-line programming systems that are mostly workstation-based have been established in the last ten years. However, only a small number of these systems are designed for welding applications. Many systems started as tools for geometrical design and simulation of workshells/manufacturing systems and eventually were extended by manufacturing specificic applications modules for specific tasks, such as arc welding. These systems require experienced users who are familiar with i.e. modelling and programming techniques in complex programming environments.

PROARC follows a different approach. Similar to shop floor oriented programming systems, PROARC removes as many programming steps as possible from the user and leaves the tasks that require the knowledge of a welding expert. Furthermore, it is implemented on the well-known AutoCAD platform and runs on a personal computer. This strategy and environment not only enhance the acceptance of this programming tool but consequently result in an enhancement of the welded product.

Progress and Results

PROARC is especially designed for the use in SME's and applications for small batch sizes. PROARC is capable of simulating, generating and reusing entire or partial welding sequences for efficient robot program generation. The typical cell layout consists of a robot and a positioner. Torch cleaning and changing stations are also supported and the corresponding motions are automatically included in the welding sequence. The work pieces can have single or multiple seams and be shifted individually. Technology macros have also been defined for fillet welds and V-type welds. PROARC is capable of importing different CAD formats as well as communicating with various robot controllers.

Information Dissemination Activities and/or Exploitation

The focus of development was laid on the welding functionalities and their efficient applicability for the programmer. Basic functions that are typical for simulation systems have also been implemented. There are two different directions for future exploitation activities. First, the system adaptation for end-users with specific welding tasks that will allow the system extension without the need of overheads for a generic simulation system. Second, the system application in conjunction with a pure simulation system similar to existing workstation based off-line programming.

The consortium established promising contacts to both end-users and simulation systems developing companies.


Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische
Hochschule Aachen WZL
Steinbachstrasse 53/54
D-52056 Aachen, D

EU Partners

Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische
Hochschule Aachen WZL, D

Non-EU Partners

Computer and Automation Institute, HU
University of Veszprem, HU


Prof. Manfred Weck
Tel: +49 241 80 74 07
Fax: +49 241 88 88 293

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PROARC - CP93-7831, May 1997

please address enquiries to the ESPRIT Information Desk

html version of synopsis by Nick Cook