What You Need to Know About Vehicle-0 Base Frames

Before the long production process that puts wheels on axles and wipers on windows, cars begin life as a collection of 3D planning documents. While these plans include physical details like lines, curves, and process points, they also includes something you can’t see in real life: the origin point.

The origin point is the arbitrary center of the vehicle from which everything else is referenced. The spots on the vehicle where processes will take place are also referenced from this point. If the origin point (0, 0, 0) is on the hood, for example, then there might be a need to have a spot weld done on the door at (0, 5, 0), relevant to a coordinate system starting at the origin.

This concept becomes more complicated when robots get involved. Each industrial robot in the production process has its own, separate origins and coordinate systems which are used to calculate their instructions and positioning in 3D space. And during robot programming, it’s these origins—rather than the vehicle’s origin—that are sometimes used as a base. But smart manufacturers are doing things a different way: using vehicle-0 frames instead.

Using vehicle-0 base frames for your robot programs prevents a lot of common problems that occur on the factory floor. This is because unlike other options, vehicle-0 frames reference the part itself—so even if real-world factory conditions differ or diverge from the simulated environment, it’s easy to get things back on track. For example, if a robot is programmed with its own origin as a base frame, any change to the factory means that the part’s position relative to the robot has also changed and instructions based on an expected distance between the two will no longer give the right results. But if your robots are programmed using vehicle-0 base frames, processing instructions are written using the part itself as a reference. That means that no matter how factory conditions change, your program only needs to be re-aligned according to the new position of the part.

For these reasons, vehicle-0 base frames are quickly becoming a standard for manufacturers that mean business. But despite the opportunity for optimization, there are some challenges posed by the implementation of vehicle-0 base frames. For one, it can be difficult to find where exactly the vehicle-0 frame is when re-orienting things or teaching a robot. The origin point isn’t necessarily visible on a part, and may even exist only as abstract points in 3D space. That means that finding the origin point and relaying its location to a robot is a challenging task.

The usual method for finding vehicle-0 base frames involves a process called laser measurement. Using extremely precise measurement tools, specialists find exactly where the vehicle is relative to the robot. From there, calculations can determine where the vehicle’s origin point is located in physical space. When the alignment is complete, processes will be completed in the right place. It solves the problem—but only after an expensive and time consuming process.

Robolive® provides a new path for manufacturers wanting to harness the power of vehicle-0 base frames. Our solution uses the robot itself as a measuring device, so you can reap all the benefits of using the vehicle-0 base frames without the hassle and extra expense of laser measurement. And even if you don’t currently use vehicle-0 base frames as a standard, RoboLive® can be used to update existing robot programs to use them.

Vehicle-0 frame determination isn’t only way RoboLive® can help you optimize your robotic production processes. Integrated into the local network, the software can automatically retrieves the actual process data from robots, connect it with planned nominal data, and generates insights and understanding of the manufacturing process. With visualization tools, production timelines, and automatic documentation, it’s a one-stop solution that will save time, reduce waste, and improve quality for manufacturing operations of any size.

If you’re ready to take your factory into the modern era, our team is standing by to help. Reach out any time for a free consultation, or get started right away with a demo installation.

A New Addition to the RoboLive® Team

Last month, Product Manager Samer Hammoud started work as the newest addition to the RoboLive® team.

Samer’s prior experience in automotive manufacturing makes him uniquely suited to the role, and he hopes to use his expertise to get RoboLive® in the hands of those that need it most. “My goal is to establish RoboLive® as the industry standard for big car manufacturers and their suppliers,” Samer said. “With my role, I want to accomplish growth.” His previous experience includes work in Mercedes-Benz and Nissan facilities in both Europe and North America, so he’s familiar with the automation challenges that RoboLive® addresses. 

In his personal life, Samer loves to travel and speaks multiple languages, a talent that will be an asset as RoboLive® continues to expand into factories around the world. Collaboration and global expertise is especially important to the RoboLive® team as we continue our mission to deliver cutting-edge software solutions that meet the changing needs of modern manufacturing professionals.

While he is an expert in his field of automotive engineering, Samer also has a strong background in business administration that he’ll use to support the growing RoboLive® team. In addition to assisting with the project’s development, Samer assists with the sales and support processes, and introduces RoboLive® to stakeholders at trade events.

Samer has already gotten started with the RoboLive® team in Schöppenstedt, Germany, but his work providing RoboLive® consultations and demonstrations will see him traveling around to major manufacturers and shows. He most recently represented RoboLive® with our team at the Hannover Messe 2023 trade fair, where attendees were able to see firsthand the impact that the software has on a rapidly changing manufacturing landscape. “In terms of Industry 4.0,” Samer said, “I’m contributing my part to the transformation of the automotive industry.”

Hannover Messe 2023

After a long week of networking, learning, and fun, we’re back from Hannover Messe 2023

This annual show, one of the most important trade events in Europe, is a 1 week celebration of all things industry. Covering subjects from materials to logistics and beyond, and bringing together over 250,000 attendees from around the world, Hannover Messe was a chance to bring the benefits of RoboLive® to an even wider audience.

While Hannover Messe is a broadly-focused show, each year does focus on specific themes. Among this year’s key topics was Industry 4.0, the digital transformation currently revolutionizing manufacturing. Of course, it’s a subject our team of robotics professionals is uniquely suited to discuss.

Our solution RoboLive® combines analysis, documentation, and visualization tools into a comprehensive software solution that increases productivity and improves production quality. It’s a development that’s taking factories around the world into the modern era, with our software helping keep operations in line at major automotive and components manufacturers. Manufacturers and system integrators alike benefit from RoboLive® on a daily basis—and everyone we met was certainly excited to see it in action at Hannover Messe. From our vantage point in the Lower Saxony “Digitization” pavilion, we were able to meet with dozens of manufacturers and give demonstrations showing just how powerful RoboLive® is. We also took part in the show’s “Startup Speed Dating” event, a meet and greet session designed to give up-and-coming innovators a chance to connect.

Now that the show is winding down, our team is ready to get back in action providing the automation solutions that keep robotic production processes running smoothly. It’s been a long road from our first exhibition last year at Control 2022 in Stuttgart, and we’ve enjoyed every step along the way. Feedback from stakeholders is how we continue to improve RoboLive®, and it’s how we can continue making our contribution to the digital transformation of manufacturing automation.

Hannover Messe is just the beginning of an action packed year for the RoboLive® team. We’re set to appear next at Hamburg’s 2023 Auto Summit in May, and again in the United States for the FABTECH trade show in Chicago—check out our schedule for a full list, and view our HM23 exhibitor profile if you weren’t able to attend the show for yourself.

Of course, you don’t need to wait for a public appearance if you’re eager for a closer look at RoboLive® . We’re happy to provide live demonstrations or custom consultations at your convenience. Get in touch with our team today for more information, and follow our LinkedIn for the latest RoboLive® updates and news.