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Five Key Areas for Robotics Integrators to Consider

[CenterLine (Windsor) Limited Wins with Dassault Systèmes' 3DEXPERIENCE platform]


-Shashank Nanivadekar



Dassault Systèmes took the 3DEXPERIENCE community for a tour of the world. In June 2018, the stop in Tokyo featured some valuable contributions from Canadian Robotics IntegratorCenterLine (Windsor) Limited. The Windsor-based industry leader adopted 3DExperience's robotics platform in the early days and spoke to the gains and wins they saw by choosing a solution that fit well within the robotics integration portion of their business and service model. 




Robotics integration companies are a recent invention of the industry itself. As robots and automation made their way onto the factory floor, companies began looking for efficient ways to maximize throughput and optimize the usage of these multi-million dollar setups. As a result, companies that were experienced in robot design began catering to the industry demand of being able to create a digital twin of the factory before a single robot stepped onto the floor.

The most instant effect was the reduction of risk for manufacturers: They could now guarantee that the robots or robotic cells they were purchasing were the right fit for their needs. However, that risk can be divided into five essential categories: and each category can provide a compelling reason to consider revisiting your strategy as an integrator.

Simulation Capability

Integrators who become too familiar with one family of robot, and in turn the robot simulation tool that accompanies it, begin crippling the future success of their business. Manufacturers are brand agnostic if the brand doesn't add strategic value: If they can get the best value by using a variety of robot families, then an integrator should be able to simulate robots from any family of robots. Failure to do so takes away your ability to simulate the line with just robot specific software. You need software that brings in all families of robots.

Win Criteria: DELMIA in 3DEXPERIENCE brings together over 1500 different robot families  with the ability to do offline programming, ergonomic safety studies, plant layout and material flow synchronization for optimal 

Connected Data

Legacy data and new data are the chicken and the egg of the manufacturing industry. Work cells created in the past in CAD releases that were not as state-of-the-art as today, can become a pain to deal with if links are not maintained. Furthermore, as you continue to generate new data, treating legacy data and incorporating past wins into newer solutions becomes a more required condition.  

Win Criteria: Opening up an old cell on the platform still maintains links and makes managing past solutions easier.

Time Wins

Being able to address a customer's requirement faster is the best service model you need today. In such a time where things aren't just due yesterday, but the customer most often does business with those who are able to foresee their problems and solve them, 


"Our simulation personnel are delivering in less time or the same amount of time with 50% more value added information, than in previous years.”

Luciano Mancini 

Robotics Simulation Leader – CenterLine (Windsor) Limited.


In such an environment, being able to present solutions to prospects and customers that save them (and eventually make) millions helps you solidify your business and future-proof your capabilities.

Win Criteria: 3DEXPERIENCE DELMIA  can allow you to bring solutions from multiple families of robots in quickest time. 

Cost Wins

Integrators getting involved early on in your plant design process might seem like an added cost until you look at the punishing non-recurring expense of reworking, scrapping, and managing the robots that you mis-ordered. Simply getting the wrong-sized refrigerator can add undue stress to the household, just imagine an entire line of robots that isn't right. 

Robotics integrators account for not just the robotic elements, but also the human elements in your shop floor. This allows them to identify any unplanned costs that might occur downstream and get rid of them before they become an incumbent migraine. Being able to study the ergonomics of your new or upgrading plant means you can be sure that robots and cells are fully utilized, placed at the right position, and safely able to interact with humans: 

Win Criteria: 3DEXPERIENCE brings people, processes, and data together to save manufacturers money downstream.

Business Wins

While you may gain cost savings in the process of simulating the factory and creating a digital twin, the one with the purse-strings is going to ask one simple question: are the savings significant or are we over spending on haircuts to avoid bad-hair-days. 

The bread and butter of simulation, Luciano says, is to "mitigate issues before you build the system. As your customers give you challenging situations,  you want to be sure that you can execute it properly, simulating them before-hand allows you to do reach studies, study behavior, and put tangible dollar amounts to something you can prevent and don't have to fix on the floor." 

Sound a little bit like magic? Well the technology is sophisticated enough to serve the magical purpose of being able to, with accuracy, anticipate and validate future error scenarios. Any business that is able to do that is going to be ahead of the curve.

Win Criteria: 3DEXPERIENCE is not just simulation software: It adds strategic value in not just avoiding downstream NREs but also in developing business models and revenue opportunities.

Takeaway

As Centerline prepares to take the stage at the 3DEXPERIENCE Forum in Waltham on June 18th, Robotics Integrators and Factory Automation consultants can begin to think about the kind of impact they want to bring to manufacturing. The way we manufacture is changing: manufacturers like to know with decimal-point certainty that the investments they will make in equipment, personnel, systems, and real-estate will pay off and when.

Are you a robotics integrator or a manufacturer who is happy with their shop floor's production? Then consider this: If you're happy with it, do you also know if your production system is being fully utilized. If you don't, isn't that a conversation worth having?

If you are in the Boston area from June 19-21, come see Centerline and other 3DEXPERIENCE users at the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE Forum - In the age of experience, provide a unique one. 

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