Lean philosophy and robot programming

When talking about Lean production one goal is to eliminate all such activities which do not increase value of a product. Such activities are called waste or scrap. Waste in a robotics process is normally the idle time (waiting) between the main programs to start. Such production stoppages are caused by set-ups or when a robot is stopped for programming.

Online teaching is sort of “waste” in a robtic process as the process is stopped every time when a robot is taught for a new job. This “waste” can take a week or two in just one work cell. And if there are several work cells the stoppage is multiplied. During the programming a robot does not add any value to a product.

According to lean philosophy online teaching should be avoided always when possible. Offline programming on the contrary does not cause “waste” as the programming does not cause stoppage of the process. Programming is done outside production with a PC without using a physical robot on a shop floor but a simulation replica of the robot.

Heikki Aalto, 12.05.2015