Location:Perth WA

Customer: OLP Robotics

Industry: Industrial robotics



Perth-based OLP Robotics is a robotic integrator specialising in industrial automation for a wide variety of industries. This includes industrial robots that undertake various tasks and cobots (collaborative robots) that are used alongside humans.


Traditional industrial robots are labour-saving devices that are suited to many tasks, particularly those that are repetitive, dangerous or critical to be of high quality. They need to be fenced off from people and are usually mounted to the floor or other permanent surfaces.


The more recent addition to industrial automation, cobots, work alongside people and provide precision and labour savings. Unlike traditional industrial robots, cobots are fitted with extremely sensitive sensors that act as a built-in safety system, allowing them to operate alongside humans. If the cobot is interrupted by a physical collision with an object, a protective stop mode is activated until an operator removes the obstruction and resets the machine for it to continue on its original path.


They are also lighter than traditional automation systems and often portable.


Founded in 2013 by Russ Melville and Kingsley Dyson, OLP Robotics (OLPR) has recently placed its focus on cobot welding systems due to an increasing need in the market. OLPR’s founders have significant welding expertise from previous roles, so it was a natural step to focus on this process, especially with the growing skills shortage in this field. The business currently employs four people but is planning to grow.


Cobots working alongside humans

Cobots are designed to operate close to humans as they perform their tasks, and unlike traditional industrial robots, they are an affordable solution to automate processes to support employees.


In partnership with the world’s best-selling cobots, Universal Robots (UR), OLP Robotics started selling cobots in 2020. The focus is on welding cobot systems because the technology is particularly suited to welding tasks and is a specialisation of OLP Robotics.


Cobots have many applications for welding and other tasks in many industries ranging from construction to agricultural equipment. Any business that undertakes metal fabrication work could benefit from a welding cobot in the workshop.


“Cobots do not replace workers but work alongside them. They help alleviate the skills shortage of experienced welders in many industries. They are mobile and smaller than traditional robots but can be used in light or heavy industries,” said OLP Robotics’ Director Russ Melville.


“An experienced welder is still the ideal person to operate the welding cobot, but it can do some of the more repetitive tasks and those requiring the highest level of precision, freeing the worker up to do other jobs. It also keeps the operator out of the heat and dangerous fumes that are invariably inhaled while welding,” added Melville.


Demmeler partnership

The Demmeler welding and fabrication system, distributed exclusively in Australia by Leussink, an Illawarra based engineering firm, is the ideal partner product for a cobot.


“When we started selling UR welding cobots we knew we needed to pair them with a precise welding bench and that’s when we met with Leussink and trialled their Demmeler table system. Straight away we knew it was a fantastic combination because it made it so easy to accurately jig any work and repeat it over and over again with precision,” said Melville.


Cobots can be mounted on a welding table, linear rails (to extend the work envelope), or similar steady surface, but benefit from being used on a precise object like the Demmeler welding & fixturing system.



Leussink device

Cobot programming

Cobots can be programmed in several different ways depending on the application.


One method, involving the use of the cobot’s “Free Drive Feature” involves an operator teaching the robot by physically showing it or guiding the end of arm tool, to each way point. The series of way points are then stored electronically so they can be recalled and repeated whenever required.


Another is known as offline programming (OLP) and is conducted "offline" from the robot system in a virtual environment based on a replica of the real work cell. This allows users to quickly create large and complex robot programs with just a few clicks of the mouse, as robot motion is automatically calculated based on CAD features and input settings.


The Demmeler system is ideal for offline programming as it reduces any dimensional or ‘stack-up’ error that occurs when tooling, jigs and fixtures are typically produced.


Programming a cobot in a virtual CAD world, where everything is dimensionally perfect, rarely translates seamlessly to the real world. However, once coupled with a Demmeler system, the cobots position in the real world is so precise, it essentially matches the accuracy of the digital twin in designed in the CAD software.


“You can program the cobot in the offline CAD software and know that it will transfer to the real work cell accurately. Usually, we need to run a calibration procedure because most ‘real world’ items lack precision, but with the Demmeler system this step is greatly simplified. It’s exciting to work with a highly accurate table and tooling which does not introduce dimensional errors,” said Melville.


Australian Manufacturing Week

Leussink and OLP Robotics displayed their cobot and Demmeler partnership in action at the recent Australian Manufacturing Week (AMW) held in Sydney for the first time since the COVID pandemic cancellations.


“We had a successful four days at AMW with loads of enquiries about the cobot and Demmeler system working together,” said Melville.


The Demmeler 3D workbench and welding table is a versatile jig and fixturing system for all types of welding and fabrication work. A cobot can be anchored and fixed to a Demmeler table system to ensure accuracy and versatility. The cobot can return to the same position every single time. Working in partnership with robotic experts like OLP Robotics, Leussink develops cobot-based systems for clients in a range of industries, enabling them to meet many different requirements.


Leussink has extensive experience in the design and production of a wide range of bespoke equipment and solves engineering problems for companies across a wide range of industries. Call us today on 02 4260 777 for an obligation free discussion or quote request.