Stuttgart, June 15, 2022 – Factory automation through sustainable digitalization. How this goal can be planned virtually and implemented in reality will be demonstrated by CENIT at this year’s Automatica trade fair in Munich (stand 506 in hall B5). The technological basis for this is provided by the latest and most powerful version of CENIT’s FASTSUITE E2 3D simulation software.

Today, in addition to ever-shorter market cycles, companies are increasingly faced with demands such as resource scarcity, supply chain disruptions and political upheaval. This requires an even higher level of response speed and efficiency. “With the enhanced capabilities of FASTSUITE E2, we enable manufacturing companies to optimize their use of human and material resources,” says Jens Fetzer, VP Business and Partner Development, Digital Factory Solutions, CENIT AG. “Due to the neutrality of the hardware suppliers of FAST SUITE E2manufacturers also retain flexibility in their cell and plant planning to respond quickly and very efficiently to necessary adjustments regarding robot or technology deployment,” he continues.

The new version of the software offers increased automation of programming activities and further optimized simulation quality. Both allow companies to exploit the potential of their robots and factory systems even more efficiently and sustainably.

In the latest version, FASTSUITE E2 also impresses with new control elements and significantly increased performance in offline programming (OLP). The focus is on basic OLP applications such as arc welding and laser cut.

The most important version innovations at a glance:

  • Standardized support for touch operations:
    Preset adaptations for many robot brands reduce the need for manual adjustments

  • Increased flexibility for multi-robot cells or multi-machine setups:
    Significantly simplified function for moving, duplicating or mirroring machining steps

  • Automatic toolpath optimization for 5-axis laser machines:
    Generation of collision-free programs with a single mouse click

  • Improvements in weld bead programming for arc welding:
    Significant reduction in programming time

Advanced touch sensing support for arc welding.

Touch operations are required to accurately determine the actual position of the weld line on the actual part (which deviates from the ideal CAD position due to manual tag welding operations). Indeed, before welding, the robot performs several detection operations (touch by nozzle or touch by wire). These touch operations are created in OLP. FASTSUITE already has the ability to automatically generate predefined touch operations.

The new version of FASTSUITE E2 extends the already predefined operations by the possibility of defining individual operations in an agile and intuitive way. The user benefits from a more efficient way of working, as the programming time to set or change touch operations is greatly reduced.

Simplified variant programming and duplication and transformation operations

Typically, parts require multiple redundant and repetitive operations. An improved FASTSUITE E2 graphical user interface, as well as the updated “transmit function”, now allow users to duplicate and transform sub-steps in an automated way – and therefore easier and at the same time safer. This means that entire spot welding, arc welding or painting programs can now be mirrored onto another work cell without having to reprogram the entire part. The result: a marked increase in efficiency, as manual programming effort is eliminated.

Automatic optimization of toolpaths in 5-axis machining

Due to the topology of sheet metal parts, alignment of the laser cutting head can lead to collisions. The new automatic tool path optimization feature of FASTSUITE E2 automatically calculates a collision-free path optimized with respect to machine dynamics. Based on toolpath analysis, the user can remove errors and collisions with a single command, creating a toolpath optimized for machine motion. This results in safe machine operation, smooth movements and ultimately better cut quality and shorter cycle times.

One-click programming for laser cutting with FASTSUITE

Simplified fillet weld

In arc welding, especially when welding thick sheets, the parts to be welded are often designed into assembly structures. These structures follow different design methods and may, for example, have gaps between the plates. This makes defining the root weld very complicated and requires manual intervention.

To simplify user interaction, a swipe gesture in FASTSUITE E2 can be used to complete the weld definition, regardless of the design method used. The root weld is safely determined by projection. Users can now create operations much faster by simply specifying the plates to be welded.

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