BMW Implements Rapid Robotics Software

March 2, 2023
Realtime Robotics’ RapidPlan software is initially being used by BMW in 3D computer tomography scanning to assure weld quality.

Realtime Robotics has been named an official supplier for the BMW Group. The automotive company plans to use Realtime Robotics’ RapidPlan robot motion planning and control software to improve the speed and efficiency of industrial robot programming, deployment, and control.

More specifically, the software was selected for its ability to help BMW’s engineering teams to easily visualize, prioritize, and simulate robot path plans.

BMW’s initial use of Realtime Robotics’ RapidPlan software has been focused on improving the process around the 3D computer tomography scanning of automobiles, which is done to assure the quality of welds. The work cell designed for this process uses robots to x-ray vehicles and identify any welding issues, but it was a time-consuming process to complete for even a single automobile. In this original application, the robots had to be programmed with the exact geographies of the vehicles they’d be scanning. Because of the difference in vehicle models, robot programming reuse was limited, making development of a repeatable and effective scanning process difficult.

By autonomously generating and choreographing all robot movements and making them collision-free, the RapidPlan software allows BMW’s engineering teams to understand which scan points are easily reachable and which ones need direct attention.

According to Realtime Robotics, RapidPlan helps BMW improve the efficiency of its scanning operation by automating the robot movements and optimizing the scan points. This enables BMW technicians to concentrate their efforts on setting up and validating the remaining tough-to-reach areas, instead of having to review and validate all of them.

“Manual motion planning in multi-robot systems is prohibitively expensive for all but the largest lot sizes and longest-lived products,” said Peter Howard, CEO at Realtime Robotics. “Making it easy for manufacturers to create collision-free path plans by simply ‘pointing and clicking’ can save organizations weeks to months of programming time.”

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