Mastering Motoman robots for water jet cutting

Automotive engineering Underbody protection

The robots that cut textiles for the automotive industry need to undergo frequent maintenance as a result of the high processing speeds.

Mastering Motoman robots for water jet cutting

Cell description

The customer produces textiles for the automotive industry, as used for cladding vehicle interiors, for example. The textiles are pressed onto a so-called laminate and then cut out with the robot. The cutting process is carried out in cutting cells. Two Motoman robots are mounted on the ceiling of each cell and cut the pieces from the laminate with a water jet along a 3D contour.

The customer operates six cutting cells in Germany and a further eight cutting cells elsewhere in Europe. They use not only Motoman robots with the old XRC controller, but also model NX100 controllers.

Task definition

The robots need to undergo frequent maintenance because of the high processing speeds. The robot gears, motors and hands are replaced. With the maintenance work the mastering of the robots is lost and all the processing programs need to be re-taught. The processing programs are very complex and comprise hundreds of points in space.


In the cutting cell, a base plate was securely attached to the crossbeam of the cell centrally between the two robots. The LaserLAB is screwed into the base plate following maintenance work. A special measuring ball with a 3/8" left-hand thread is screwed onto the water jet nozzle. The central point of the ball represents the robot TCP exactly. Using the loop:in software, the robot is now mastered automatically.

Customer benefit

The customer is now able to master his robots by automated process following maintenance work (e.g. after replacing motors, gears and hand axes). The complex and extensive robot programs are then still in alignment and do not need to undergo re-teaching.