Client: AKE Robotics is a subsidiary of the German enterprise AKE-Systemtechnik GmbH. The parent company designs and builds everything from transport systems to robotic manufacturing cells. AKE Robotics, located in Poland, configures and programs all types of industrial robots for applications in manufacturing, assembly and logistics. By incorporating the most up-to-date technology in the field of industrial robotics, AKE Robotics meets the demands of exacting customers, such as Volkswagen, Volvo Gent, Mercedes, Audi and Seat.
Business Requirement: The company wanted to improve quality and reduce risk. Supplying robots to the global market requires the highest quality standards; and the configuration of critical production environments plays a vital role in ensuring that these exacting standards are met. Often, there are constraints due to time and space limitations, but the company must still deliver reliable and fault-free robot operations. Imprecise installations result in costly production downtimes and are expensive to correct. Also, when there are errors, repair work must be done on-site, significantly reducing the profitability.
AKE Robotics decided to implement a robot programming and simulation solution, which was compatible with leading computer-aided design (CAD) systems. This would help the designers (if customers’ CAD data could be imported); moreover, compatibility with other systems would also make it easier for the company to expand into new markets.
The company chose Robcad software, part of the Tecnomatix software portfolio from Siemens PLM Software, as it fitted in with the criteria they were looking for. According to Bartłomiej Siuda, Managing Director at AKE Robotics the main reasons for choosing Robcad were because it offered the possibility of working with prestigious automakers, and it is compatible with the parent company in Germany, which uses Robcad too. Also, it allows the company to take on smaller projects, which were previously unprofitable.
Benefits Realized: The business benefits in terms of efficiency and optimization are reflected in the numbers and improved employee productivity. Previously, when assembly and process-related errors occurred, employees had to spend long periods at customer sites across Europe. Not only did this reduce the profitability of a project, it prevented those employees from taking on new projects. Robcad allows robot programming to be done offline and the software’s simulation functionality literally reduces errors found as the robots are being installed. This has reduced travel costs by 25 percent, saving about $44,000 annually. It is estimated that improved productivity has increased project profitability by 30 percent. Robcad has also reduced the time needed to design and install a new robotic system by 60 percent.
Keywords: Siemens PLM Software, Robcad, Tecnomatix, AKE Robotics, Industrial Robotics, ARC Advisory Group.