individuelle Special machines with or without PLC controls, rotary indexing tables, rotary indexing assembly systems, rotary indexing machines, assembly systems
What tasks do robots perform on the machine?
Loading blanks into machine
Remove finished parts from the machine
Open or close machine doors
Communicate with the machine
Blow off coolant and chips and clean parts
Downstream processes, e.g. deburring, polishing, testing or assembly
Robots play a central role in the automation of our machines. A large part is already requested with robotics.
- Carsten Placke, Managing Director of the machine tool manufacturer Placke GmbH, Germany.
Possibilities for interaction with the machine
Digital input/output signals
Often there are several, single lines, which contain either a “low” (=0 V voltage) or “high” (= 24 V voltage) signal. Since many machines are themselves controlled by a PLC, data transmission via IOs is the most common variant. The lines are routed from terminal strips of the machine controller to the robot controller.
Industry and communication protocols
More complex machines with a computing unit also frequently have interfaces at a higher level. For example, signals can be exchanged in real time via the EtherCAT and PROFIBUS industrial protocols. Modbus, IO_Link, OPC UA are also common standards for communication between robots and machines.
Robot uses control panel
It is also conceivable that the robot imitates the worker and, for example, presses keys on a control panel or can detect errors on the machine display with the aid of a camera. The advantage is that no additional effort is required on the machine; a disadvantage is that these interactions cannot always be implemented in a process-safe manner.
Common signals for communication between robot and machine using the example of a CNC
Roboter Input/Output Connector, IO-Nr, Pin
CNC IO-Nr, Input/Output
24 V: CNC indicates that new part is ready for pickup and can be gripped by the robot 00 V: no new part on CNC fixture ready for pickup or available
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