Why is off-line programming vital in a robotic welding project?

Published on 06/05/2021

If you are intending to invest in a robotic welding cell, you may be considering whether it’s worthwhile investing also in an off-line programming software to control your new robot. Off-line programming (OLP) enables you to program a robot graphically in a virtual scene and simulate its movements. It is more than just an alternative to conventional programming by teaching pendant. This solution has many advantages which in fact make it irreplaceable.

1- Off-line programming increases the productivity of the robotized installation

  • Programming of robots using an off-line programming software can be up to 10 times faster than programming by teaching pendant.
  • By programming in hidden time you avoid immobilizing the robot. It can continue to produce, maximizing its productive operation time.
  • OLP facilitates sensing, multi-pass welding and multi-robot programming.
  • If there are a large number of programs to create, the payback time for off-line programming can be approximately one year.
  • In addition, OLP enables a welder to program several welding robots, compensating for recruitment issues in a technical profession where there are shortages

2- Off-line programming enables you to anticipate production

  • The realistic simulation functions guarantee that the parts can be welded on the robot.
  • Tools designed in CAD are validated before they are produced.
  • The assemblies to weld and the tools can be programmed as soon as they are designed, without waiting for them to arrive at the workshop.
  • By enabling you to estimate robot cycle times, off-line programming helps you improve the organization of production.

3- Production of small series becomes possible

  • The duplication, symmetry and cloning functions make it possible to adapt the program when you need to assemble similar parts. This accelerates programming of products in the same range.
  • OLP makes your production process more responsive and flexible, by shortening programming times so that the robot is no longer immobilized for programming, It becomes profitable to weld in small series.

4- Welding quality is improved

  • The off-line programming software optimizes angles to guarantee maximum penetration.
  • Multi-pass weld seams are repeatable and comply with Welding Procedure Qualification Record (WPQR).

5- Programmer/welder safety is guaranteed

  • Programming by teaching pendant on large assemblies can be hazardous when the operator has to weld at heights of up to 2 meters.
  • Long periods spent programming by learning close to the robot in difficult conditions increase the risk of human error.
  • Instead of programming on a console in a noisy hazardous environment in a workshop, off-line programming takes place in a much more comfortable setting at the Methods Office.


So, ready to opt for off-line programming? In an upcoming article we will detail the requirements for success when setting up a welding robot off-line programming project.