We automate your production processes based on your ideas and contribute the robot specific know-how. Depending on your requirements we supply development and manufacturing of the complete machine or of subsystems. We provide following expertises:

Mechanical engineering

Conceptual Design

Using 3D simulation tools like Adept ACE, we visualize an initial solution and refine it in close cooperation with you. We choose the appropriate robot type in terms of reachability, cycle time, precision and other parameters. We also specify the constraints for the subsequent development. The early visualization creates a common understanding of the specific task and helps to avoid misunderstandings.

Technical Design

Robots can easily master 3-dimensional tasks. Therefore, we design in 3D since more than 20 years , using SolidEdge today. Right from the beginning of a project, we take all the robot specific requirements into account, including other engineering disciplines, such as electrical, optics or software engineering. Also, we follow new technology developments and apply the latest manufacturing methods to design powerful machines at fair market prices.

Some production methods we use:

  • Milled and formed parts, produced in modern CAD/CAM based workflows
  • High performance structures of CFRP composite, together with our partner AT GmbH
  • Additively  manufactured parts, e.g. "3D printing" of metal or plastic

CAE and FEA

Various CAE-based calculation methods like FEA simulation with ANSYS ensure the success of a development project by enabling us to predict the behavior of a design in a very early stage of development. This allows us to optimize a design without the need to build and analyze a number of prototypes, which saves a significant amount of time and cost while delivering reliable and highly optimized products. 

We use ANSYS for more than 15 years and optimize our machines with respect to:

  • Structural mechanics:
    Deformation of robot tools, robot bases and kinematic structures under the influence of static and dynamic loads.
  • Vibration behavior:
    Determine Eigenfrequencies, modal characteristics and vibrational response behavior
  • Topology optimization:
    Load-optimized design for very lightweight structures with defined boundary conditions to meet a predefined set of performance targets (e.g. maximum deformation)
  • Thermal design:
    Simulation of heatsinks and cooling systems in mechatronic assemblies
  • Multi-physics:
    Simulation of coupled systems to optimize e.g. thermal stress in optical assemblies or Eigenfrequencies in preloaded systems

Production

We manufacture mechanical components at our premises and coordinate manufacturing and procurement with our network of specialized suppliers. We assemble all components such as servo driven grippers, measuring systems, positioning systems or complete production lines and commission them in our assembly area, which is well-furnished with robotic accessories and measurement equipment. Performance tests ensure the high quality of each and every system prior to delivery.

Lifetime Service

You can rely on us in every phase of your production process. We offer regular inspection, maintenance and retrofitting of your robotic system. If you have new requirements regarding your existing machine, we realize the necessary modifications. Our experienced specialists are available for you, to react promptly and unbureaucratically in case of system failures. An emergency team will take care of your problem or we provide necessary spare parts quickly. Usually the system is operational again within only a few days.

Mechatronics

Interdisciplinary Engineering

We develop, design and simulate multidisciplinary using up-to-date CAx technologies that allow easy data exchange between the various departments such as mechanics, electronics and computer science. Out specialists understand technology challenges even beyond the scope of their own fields of expertise and work closely together across all engineering disciples.

Board Development

We develop custom PCBs for the integration in mechanical systems, e.g. for direct control of actuators, sensors or servo systems. Standard components are 8-/32-bit microcontroller by Atmel and ST, also FPGAs and CPLDs by Xilinx and fieldbus systems such as Profibus, DeviceNet, AS-interface and EtherCAT. Our preferred electronics design tool is Altium Designer 15 featuring integrated circuit simulation for analog and digital signals at frequencies of up to 5 GHz on multilayer boards. Altium also generates complete mechanical and thermal models of the PCB, which we can use in further simulations.

Multiphysical Design

We use ANSYS for multi-physics FEA simulations in order to validate of the desired functionality of mechatronic systems from an early stage. This allows the development of suitable structural components satisfying all requirements, identifying and avoiding potential stress points in the process. For example, to ensure the reliability of an electrical subsystem installed at critical a location, where it is exposed to high levels of mechanical and/or thermal stress, detailed models are verified using the CAD system and heat flow simulations in ANSYS, avoiding thermo-mechanical stress and component failure.

Integrative Engineering

For demanding applications we develop highly integrated powerful modules, even complete servo systems with integrated precision gears or direct drives. Maximum power density is achieved by integrating motor, brake, dual encoders and servo amplifier into a very small unit, which can then be controlled from a real time servo network with minimal wiring. Likewise, we interface dozens of sensors and other I/O signals to a custom PCB at the robot tool and connect it to an AS-i or EtherCAT fieldbus to reduce overall weight and wiring and increase system reliability. Integrating a vision camera and a powerful lighting module with a sophisticated thermal design is a further example of application specific integrative engineering.

Electrical Engineering

Electrical Design

For the electrical design of control cabinets and complete machines we use the widespread generally used system EPLAN P8.
In consultation with our team of various engineering disciplines we plan the appropriate electrical components.
The design and update of our electrical planning is made detailed and precisly until acceptance of the machine by the customer. Upon request we continue to update the electrical planning after delivery.
This guarantees short maintenance downtime and uncomplicated fault localisation.

Plant Wiring

To ensure reliability, freedom of movement and the highest possible service life, we are aware of the importance of adequate internal and external cable routing for our robot systems, applying the knowledge and experience we have gained over 35 years. We use torsion-resistant electrical wiring which is especially designed for robot applications and the extremely demanding operating conditions associated with them. In order to reduce the overall number of wires, we use fieldbus systems such as AS-Interface, Profibus, DeviceNet, EtherCat etc. depending on our customers’ preferences.
Furthermore, using components from the customers’ preferred manufacturers lists allows lower stock levels for maintenance and repair. This policy also increases our customers’ ability to perform maintenance and service on their own, thus substantially reducing MTTR.

Safety Circuits

Besides ensuring a maximum level of operational safety, the personal safety is a priority, when operating industrial robots, large linear axes or laser systems. With many years of experience in industrial automation, we integrate important and mandatory security functionality according to DIN ISO 13849.

Switch Cabinet

Our electrical engineers work closely together with our mechanical and software department, in order to streamline design and manufacturing of our electrical cabinets and installations. This ensures a high level of integrity and flexibility and shortens delivery time, even for highly complex systems. All our electrical cabinets are manufactured in close cooperation with our customers in accordance with DIN EN 60204 (VDE 0113-1).

Software

Simulations

Right from the start, during the conception phase of a project, we simulate kinematics, reachability and cycle time to define driving parameters and constrains for the overall system design. The simulation environment also acts as a testbed for software development until the actual hardware becomes available. Developing and verifying the code early on saves valuable time during commissioning of the system later.
Besides our CAD software SolidEdge, we use Adept ACE for robotic simulations.

Robot Programming

We commission turnkey systems or contribute any subset of work packages for joint projects.
Our core competence is the development of motion control code for a variety of kinematics on different platforms (including Omron Adept, Stäubli, Beckhoff,...). Depending on the application, the software contains additional modules: typically, a number of sensors and actuators need to be connected through bus systems. 2D and 3D vision systems are used to determine the location of work pieces. In addition to these tasks, we optimise the servo control parameters for robots and drives in order to reduce cycle time and increase durability.
Our graphical user interfaces usually include product databases and implement interfaces to the customers IT infrastructure.
We will find a suitable solution for every task in our wide repertoire or we will tailor a bespoke system for you. In addition to that, we also take on support and optimisation of existing robot systems from other vendors.

Absolute Precision

Many applications require the calibration of the robots and mechanisms to guarantee the consistency of CAD- and machine coordinates, which is essential for synchronised robots.
We measure and calibrate robotic systems using Leica Laser Tracker or other appropriate vision systems.
During setup of the robots and the machine components the kinematic model gets refined and aligned step by step with real measured data. For accurate positioning of the robots the values of the refined kinematic model are used by the controller software, e.g. DH parameters, compensation of gravity and further nonlinear coefficients.

Mathematical Algorithms

All phases of our projects are supported by mathematical algorithms, calculations and analysis. The kinematic simulation and the transformation of CAD data into robot coordinates are the basis for path-planning. Values of sensors and vision systems are processed in real time by the robot control system to allow quality management as well as compensation of disturbances. At series start-up and at ongoing production we use mathematical methods to derive statistical informations about the processes from realtime data. This helps to identify the root cause of concealed problems like hidden material defects or building vibrations.
To develop our mathematical solutions we mainly use Mathematica by Wolfram Research. For the implementation of real-time measurements we use our internally developed software libraries as well as purchased software.

Realtime Systems

Application-specific sensors, e.g. those which are integrated into the robot tool, need to be extremely compact und often require real-time preprocessing of raw data, as well as a noise-resistant digital interface. For this purpose, we have developed an EtherCAT Master on an RT-Linux system and EtherCAT Slave modules based on FPGA technology. This enables Sensors, servo amplifiers and absolute encoders to communicate with the main controller at a rate of 8 kHz over a distance of 50m.
We typically use 8 oder 32 bit Atmes processors for the PCBs we design in-house. Larger autonomous systems based on intel processors mostly run RT-Linux or VxWorks.

FPGA

FPGAs are particularly well-suited for applications requiring deterministic real-time behavior combined with high performance. Small footprint, parallel data processing and low latency are the key advantages we put to work to fulfill special requirements of our customers. For demanding applications in signal processing and data transmission, we design PCBs using Xilinx ICs and sophisticated interface logic. Correct functionality of our FPGA code is successively verified by Vivado and other software tools.

Products

Adept and Staubli Spare Parts

We provide long term service and support also for aged robot systems. For this purpose we maintain our own stock of difficult to obtain spare parts for Adept Multibus and VMEBus systems. Moreover, we sell thoroughly overhauled Adept and Staubli robots, which can be used as an 1:1 replacement at existing facilities. This helps to keep maintenance downtime to a minimum.

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Yokes for single-robot inspection systems

You need non-destrucive inspection on a component which is  shaped more complicated than a planar plate? Consequently a conventional laboratory scanner is not suitable?
Simple and low-cost systems for inspection, testing or other tasks, which require synchronous positioning on both sides of the component, can be realised  with industrial robots and yoke-shaped tools. Together with our partner AT GmbH we offer highly optimised CFK-Yokes in lightweight design or also the complete robotic system. In recent years we automised a series of production tasks, where a system with two synchronised robots would not have been economical.

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Automated Ultrasonic Inspection

Typical parts for aircraft or spacecraft structures can be more than 20 meters long and require very large non destructive inspection systems. Most of these parts are not flat, but curved or complex-shaped due to aerodynamic requirements. Nevertheless, thorough quality assurance is crucial, because in space flight any small defect can cause a disastrous mission failure.
The companies Robo-Technology and Dr. Hillger present a family of fully automated ultrasonic inspection systems using synchronized robotic manipulators. This allows inspection of large and complex geometries using air-coupled through-transmission technique. The result is a so-called C image of the inner structure, revealing any defects of carbon fiber / honeycomb sandwich parts like delamination, foreign objects or insufficient bonding of the layers to the core material.
Our systems create C-scan images fully automatically at scan speeds of up to 1 m/s, reducing scan times to less than 20 minutes per square meter. Distance sensors next to the scan head alter the trajectories in real time to ensure reproduceable results even if the specimen deflects under gravity. Similarly, collision detection sensors minimize damage by stopping the robots in the fastest possible way. The same technology can also be used for smaller robotic scanners, enabling the inspection of curved parts in a lab or production environment on a very small footprint.

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Robo OPC

Due to many requests of our customers we developed our own highly optimized OPC-server for connection to adept controllers from V+ version 12.0 onwards.

Our server is optimized for high speed with minimal CPU usage and is the fastest available OPC-server for adept. RoboOPC is significantly faster than ACE OPC and is the most efficient way to exchange a very large number of variables using OPC.

Datasheet RoboOPC

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ASI-Duo

Using the AS-Interface from Robo-Technology you can easily connect a large number of binary sensors with just two wires, carrying data and power over a distance of up to 100m. In traditional wiring, every single sensor or actuator is wired directly to the controller. This becomes increasingly difficult when there is not enough room for the individual cables, e.g. on a robot end-effector. Our AS-Interface system requires only four wires to communicate with up to 124 sensors and 124 actuators. The AS-Interface bus can be accessed from a large variety of other existing field busses by means of readily available coupling modules.

Datasheet ASi-Duo

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