Kawasaki and Realtime Robotics add automation to robot programming


Wednesday, 15 June, 2022

Kawasaki and Realtime Robotics add automation to robot programming

Kawasaki Robotics and Realtime Robotics have announced a collaboration to automate the programming, deployment and control of Kawasaki’s industrial robots.

The two companies have partnered on several projects, including helping a major automotive manufacturer improve the speed of programming by 70%. The companies say this manufacturer reduced the pre-production engineering commissioning process through the use of automatic, collision-free motion planning technology; technology that in the future will enable the time-consuming physical validation of robot paths to be eliminated altogether.

“The combination of Kawasaki’s quality robots, advanced programming platform and Realtime Robotics software is an industry game changer, providing manufacturers from all industries with unprecedented flexibility, from automating programming of robotic motion and collision avoidance to the very design of the manufacturing floor. This is the future of automation, and the very best is yet to come,” said Kazuhiro Saito, President at Kawasaki Robotics.

Depending on the complexity of the project, the number of robots the customer programs and whether they are starting from scratch or simply making modifications, programming requirements can be shortened by weeks with Realtime Robotics RapidPlan software.

During the onsite physical validation stage, a user typically needs to have a highly skilled team working after hours to manually run through every move combination, ensuring seamless operations on the live factory floor. Because RapidPlan produces collision-free paths, it automatically removes the need to verify against potential collisions, resulting in significant time savings, according to Realtime Robotics.

“Today’s automotive manufacturers don’t have time or staff to waste. Factory floors and all related actions must be constantly optimised in order to maintain a competitive advantage and continue delivering excellent product to customers,” said Peter Howard, CEO of Realtime Robotics. “Kawasaki Robotics is a terrific partner to work with, as they understand how speeding or eliminating time-consuming and manual processes can directly improve a manufacturer’s production time and profits.”

RapidPlan is designed to help manufacturers have peace of mind in a high-stress and tight-spaced environment, where every minute of downtime is expensive. It is easy to make a mistake, such as grabbing the wrong teach pendant and jogging the robot in the wrong direction, causing a collision. RapidPlan will alert the user of a collision about to happen, in order to prevent it.

The programming, planning, verification and alerting features of Realtime Robotics RapidPlan are what made the technology so attractive to the previously mentioned major automotive manufacturer. By making the entire process more streamlined and efficient, without negatively affecting accuracy, the technology helps them to optimise operations while limiting downtime.

“Kawasaki was one of the first robot companies to see the potential of combining an advanced real-time control API like Kawasaki’s KRNX with our RapidPlan real-time autonomous motion planner to enable a whole new way of designing and deploying robotic systems,” Howard said. “We feel privileged to have had continuous support from their quality robot family, interface and people in realising our joint vision for what the future of robotics should look like.”

Image caption: Two Kawasaki robots working together using Realtime Robotics RapidPlan software. Source: Realtime Robotics.

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