Looking for ways to be competitive, Gillett Evernham Motorsports (GEM), which is in its eighth full season as one of NASCAR's premier racing organizations, fielding cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series, turned to DELMIA V5 Robotics solution for its 3D welding simulation tool.
"I have an 'open wheel' mindset that constantly pushes our teams, whether racing or engineering, to go further, faster, with better technology," claims Mark McArdle, vice president and managing director of competition for GEM. "DELMIA Robotics has enabled our design engineers to drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to design fixtures and program our robots to weld our suspension components."
The solution provided GEM with the ability to model the fixturing for the part and place the fixturing with the part to be welded within the 3D model, thereby allowing the welding robot to simulate its tool path. All reconfiguring and iterations can then be done in the virtual environment of the robotic cell, where the only investment is the software operator's time.
As GEM is not a high volume shop, robot uptime is not a big issue. However the ability to create the program for the robot and then download to the robot versus manually programming the robot is a notable savings in this high tech lean environment. A 100-step program can often take 10 hours to physically teach, tweak, maneuver, and adjust the robot. When utilizing V5 Robotics, GEM design engineers estimate that the programming time has been cut by 40% today and could be cut by up to 50% (five hours) when GEM has realized all the capabilities of the software.
For GEM design engineers, the visual analysis aspect of the solution eliminates scrap, anticipates tolerance and clearance issues, leading to the additional benefits that there is no need to continually re-machine fixtures to incorporate changes, no machinist time is wasted, and no CNC time is used.
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