Across the automation landscape, companies big and small are facing shorter lead times and more complex projects. Some have responded by declining some of this work and keeping their processes simple, while others have embraced the need for greater agility and quality by upgrading their robotics programming platforms.
One of the biggest challenges in making this leap is clearly understanding the benefits of upgrading. That’s why we’ve broken down the benefits of a next-gen robotic programming software to help understand the two sets of reasons—TODAY reasons and TOMORROW reasons—to make this change.
Today Reasons: Next-Step OLP, Enhanced Sales Velocity
For many companies, the two biggest reasons for adopting Process Simulate today are to enhance your offline programming and to make a big impact on your company’s marketing and sales.
Let’s start with enhancing your OLP. For starters, a next-gen robotics programming software like Siemens Tecnomatix Process Simulate allows you to program multiple brands of robots in a single simulation by using their native syntaxes while optimizing for cycle time and sequencing of operations. The software also provides levels of analysis that aren’t possible in previous generations of robot programming software, like advanced interference and reach analysis, and more sophisticated simulation analysis like checking whether a certain robot movement will put too much strain on a cable.
Benefits also include:
- -Robot smart placement
- -Robotic simulation editing
- -Spot and arc welding
- -Human & ergonomic factors simulation/analysis
- -Static and dynamic collision detection
- -2D and 3D sections
- -3D measurements
- -Sequencing of operations
- -Assembly and robotic path planning
Together, these features have already given a majority of automation companies more than enough reason to move to Process Simulate.
Stunning Simulations for Sales & Marketing
Another significant benefit that companies are realizing from Process Simulate is the ability to wow customers with attractive, accurate simulations. Customers are increasingly requiring this kind of proof-of-concept to demonstrate a company’s ability to fulfill a certain project. But even in cases where it’s not required, forward-looking automation companies are standing out from their competitors by showing customers tangible results before the project has even begun. On a more basic level, this type of software will provide what you need to estimate cycle times and very quickly quote projects with incredible speed and accuracy.
Tomorrow Reasons: Customer Demand for Virtual Commissioning
For many companies, the customer demand for virtual commissioning is already the new normal. This means that customers want to see PLC code that has been fully debugged and validated in a virtual, simulation-driven environment before having that code sent directly to their real-world hardware for commissioning. This results in fewer errors at the time of real commissioning and can save significant amounts of time in Factory Acceptance Testing .
Even for companies that don’t see demand for virtual commissioning on every project, the trend is clear. More and more customers will demand virtual commissioning as part of their projects, and automation companies need to build their ability to perform this service today to set themselves up for success tomorrow.
Shifting Left to Slash Lead & Commissioning Times
It doesn’t happen overnight, but leading automation companies have already learned how to use virtual commissioning in Process Simulate to slash their project lead time and virtually eliminate the need for adjustment at the moment of real-world commissioning. This is because virtual commissioning in Process Simulate allows them to debug and validate all of their PLC code during the design and engineering phase of their projects instead of the commissioning phase. For companies that have matured in their use of this software, this means less time spent on design AND commissioning.
The following image gives a quick overview of how virtual commissioning is separating the leading automation companies from the laggards.
As we can see with the traditional approach, the mechanical, robotics, and electrical/automation portions of design and engineering are mostly sequential. Machine and system commissioning needs to wait until these other phases are completed. And as we see from the red lines, many problems are only detected in real commissioning, sending the entire project back to the drawing board and potentially resulting in equipment damage.
With simulation and virtual commissioning, though, leading companies are using Process Simulate to allow their mechanical, robotics, and electrical/automation engineers to work in parallel. Any issues can be spotted much earlier in the process because products are tested and validated in the virtual environment. That includes the finalized PLC code, which can then be sent directly to real-world hardware for error-free commissioning.
Conclusion: The Time is Now
Even if an automation company isn’t positioned to shift left and slash their lead times starting tomorrow, there are currently more than enough reasons to make the switch to Process Simulate today. The immediate benefits will be enhanced OLP and improved sales and marketing capacity. But this change will also provide a head start on the growing customer demand for virtual commissioning, and the shrinking lead times and improved quality being enjoyed by competitors that have already made the switch.
Reach out to us today to learn more about how your company can get significant ROI today and stay ahead of tomorrow’s competition using Process Simulate.