TruPath Controller Drives Motoman Robot Direct From CAM Providing Complex, Machining Finishing Processes
Yaskawa America, Inc.
Dayton, Ohio — Flexible Motoman robots can now replace more expensive CNC machines for a wide range of manufacturing applications that require machining or finishing of complex surfaces or paths. The TruPath robot controller drives a Motoman robot directly from CNC-generated CAM tool paths in real time, with no conversion from machine G-code or point-to-point robot teaching required. Programming is fast and easy, using an interface that is familiar to machinists.
“Teaming Motoman robots with the TruPath controller by Direct Controls gives us a real competitive edge in applying robots to complex machining applications. Motoman robots can do five-axis milling at a fraction of the cost of a five-axis CNC milling machine,” said Roger Christian, Motoman’s Vice President of International Sales and Marketing.
Designed for path following versus point-to-point movement, the TruPath controller provides precise and repeatable path and positional accuracy of ±0.254 mm (±0.010”). Rapid servo update rates enable the TruPath controller to close position and velocity servo loops 12-50 times quicker than a standard robot controller, resulting in faster, smoother and more accurate position and path following.
Dynamic look-ahead capability enables the TruPath controller to anticipate upcoming curves, stops, acceleration changes and singularities – a big advantage when machining complex surfaces, trimming carbon fiber composites or cutting foam models.
CNC machine tools are generally limited to five axes, but many robots have six axes. Whereas software conversion packages that merely translate CAM output (M and G code) into robot languages lack the ability to specify the motion of a robot’s sixth axis, the TruPath controller can specify the sixth-axis orientation as function of tool path type. For example, a fan pattern paint spray nozzle can be oriented normal to the tool path direction.
The TruPath controller is an open architecture, true Windows®-based PC with a dual-core processor. Dual operating systems allow the TruPath controller’s solid RTX operating system to direct the robot while simultaneously allowing Windows to run multiple productivity applications, including CAM, PC, shop floor management or simulation software.
Use of the TruPath controller with Motoman robots offers a quick and easy way to develop molds and create parts for prototyping applications. At the recent IMTS show in Chicago, TruPath was used to directly control engraving and mold creation operations using a six-axis Motoman DX1350N robot.
For more information on the Motoman DX1350N or other products and services, visit the corporate web site at www.motoman.com, call 937.847.6200 or write to Motoman Inc., 805 Liberty Lane, West Carrollton, Ohio, USA 45449. For more information on TruPath, contact Direct Controls Inc., 1135 South 1680 West, Orem, UT 84058, call 801.426.9313 or visit www.directcontrols.net.