3D Software for Custom Machine Design

Nov. 16, 2021
Rockwell Automation highlights use of its Emulate3D software to more easily create, develop, and test complex machine designs before physical construction of the system and reduce commissioning time.

At Automation Fair 2021, Sarah Larson of Rockwell Automation explained how the use of simulation and emulation software from Emulate3D, a Rockwell Automation company, is used to develop, test, and create machine systems—including robotics and conveyance technologies—before building. Larson said the software takes CAD models and applies physics to simulate how a robot will move within a specific machine design to determine the robot working envelope and coordinate with the conveyor system. The system showcased at the event featured delta and SCARA robots for loading and unloading items from Rockwell’s iTrak intelligent track conveyance system. Larson said use of the software also helped reduce on-site commissioning time to two weeks versus the four-to-six week commissioning time typically required.

In addition, Rockwell Automation’s Studio 5000 automation system design software allows engineers to program their entire machine in one environment, including robot arms directly controlled through Rockwell Automation’s Logix-based controllers. 

In a related announcement about the collaboration between Rockwell Automation and Comau (supplier of the SCARA robot in this video), Paolo Carmassi, CEO of Comau, said, "Machine builders, system integrators, and others will gain development and deployment efficiencies through the use of digital engineering tools like Rockwell’s Emulate3D digital twin software, which creates digital models of production lines, auto-generates machine control code, and has built in capabilities for Comau robots. The combined Rockwell and Comau solutions will also offer benefits beyond enhanced integration; for example, end users can use analytics and digital twin tools to gain deeper insights into machine performance and potential production optimization. They can also use safety and security solutions to reduce business risks."

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