OLP Study – Assessment of robot offline programming (OLP) systems

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Template for car body simulation layout from the standard Visual Components Works Library.

In short

In this study on robot offline programming (OLP) systems, Fraunhofer IPA carried out a broad market survey and then investigated hands-on functionalities offered by the leading providers. The experts identified all aspects of robotic manufacturing covered by OLP systems as well as key differentiating functionalities and current strategies for the coming years.


In detail

Firstly, we selected more than 30 assessment criteria for OLP features and performance in order to answer the following questions:

  • How many robots does the OLP system support? Is there a library available?
  • Is there a connection between the robot controller and the OLP?
  • How long does it take to program a robotic process path?
  • Can we simulate a whole factory? Are there features for production optimization?
  • What does the simulation of physical interaction during the process look like?
  • How do we integrate own or specific software packages?
  • What are the costs? What is the pricing model? Is there a data protection policy?

We gathered information on more than 20 OLP systems to evaluate the assessment criteria. 

Secondly, we selected the OLP systems with the most advanced features and the best performance for a practical evaluation. We designed three scenarios reflecting a wide variety of OLP use-cases from the automotive production chain to welding in small and medium-sized companies. We implemented the scenarios in each of the selected OLP systems, thus allowing us to validate and extend the information. 

As a result, we generated an extensive description of the state-of-the-art with great detail on all major features provided by OLP systems and validated these through hands-on testing. We ascertained the most relevant OLP systems, their advantages, drawbacks, and key differentiators. We also summarized the main trends that may determine future market leaders.


Project duration


Further information

Expertise Robot and assistive systems – Welding and machining