Ponsse, a global leader in forestry machines Ponsse Plc. is a Finnish company that specializes in the sales, service, manufacturing and technological development related to cut-to-length forestry machines. Ponsse is definitely a worldwide frontrunner within the forestry machine industry as it employs more than 1,000 people, has subsidiaries in 10 countries and manufactures a wide range of harvesters, forwarders and other machines. Currently the company is manufacturing around 1,000 machines per year. In order to stay ahead of the competition, Ponsse is also commissioning approximately one new robot station per year. Previously, robot programming was done online and it took about five days. Online programming also meant that the robot had to be stopped while the programming was done. Naturally this lead to serious cost issues as manufacturing was easily delayed. Offline programming of welding robots In order to dramatically reduce the time it takes to program a robot, Ponsse has adopted an offline programming solution. The solution is the result of a close partnership with two independent and successful software developers: Delfoi and Visual Components. Known as Visual Components Robotics OLP, the solution combines Delfoi’s knowledge of offline programming with the powerful Visual Components platform. Instead of the five days that programming previously took, now the programming can be completed in just two days. And best of all, the robots don’t have to be stopped for the duration of the programming so manufacturing can continue, while the robots are programmed. Visual Components Robotics OLP (formerly Delfoi) is used for example to program the Yaskawa robots that weld the body frames of forest machines. Programs can be very complex, taking 3–4 hours to complete. Besides offline programming, typical tasks include robot weldability studies in the product design phase. Visual Components Robotics OLP is not used only when new products are introduced, but also in the refining of existing programs as Ponsse is committed to continuous development. When designing new robot cells, Ponsse also uses 3DCreate by Visual Components as a layout tool. Instead of the five days that programming previously took, the programming can be completed in just two days. And best of all, the robots don’t have to be stopped for the duration of the programming so manufacturing can continue, while the robots are programmed. For more information about Ponsse, visit ponsse.com For more information on Visual Components Robotics OLP.