Visual Components Essentials Provides Powerful Production Simulation

In the News
June 21, 2016

ODENSE, Denmark — Industrial automation promises greater efficiency, but re-engineering the processes of a particular factory or warehouse can be a big challenge. Visual Components Essentials, the successor to 3DAutomate from Visual Components Oy, offers to make that much easier.

The software includes library of more than 30 brands of commercial robots that can be dragged and dropped into various simulations.

Visual Components Essentials can be used to demonstrate to internal managers and customers the value of adding robots to a production line, said Mikko Salminen, sales manager for EMEA at Espoo, Finland-based Visual Components.

“You can build up a machine-tending cell, drag and drop CNC systems for machine tending, and snap on conveyors,” he said at RoboBusiness Europe 2016 here earlier this month.

The typical automation project involves layout using computer-assisted design (CAD) programs, sales and materials flow to customers, and commissioning of robot cells and controllers. Justifying and coordinating decisions among parties with varying levels of technical understanding can be very difficult, Salminen said.

With Visual Components Essentials, it’s possible to design a large-scale production line, test and measure the throughput, and record and replay the video at any speed. A user could add or move robots and components as desired and see how they interact with existing processes, including those conducted by human workers.

“In one to four hours, you can build a production line [simulation], connect process stages, and visualize the process flow,” Salminen told Robotics Business Review. “You can set inputs and outputs, go to the pedestal [robot], and snap on different grippers.”

For instance, if a user has a production line in which objects such as food packages are moved from one conveyor belt to containers on another, VC Essentials could show how different robots would do the same task.

Essentials includes an online equipment library of almost 2,000 components for “plug’n’play” simulation. The software was updated with feedback from existing users.

The software includes physics to show how objects would behave in, for example, a bin-picking application. It shows how items such as cables would move because gravity, and users can scan in existing facilities for even more realistic simulations.

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