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Entry type: FAQ Entry ID: 109475194, Entry date: 06/08/2015
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How do you control a KUKA robot with a SIMATIC controller?

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The KUKA.PLC mxAutomation function package provided by KUKA Roboter GmbH enables users to use a SIMATIC controller to control a KUKA robot with KR C4 control at an elementary basic and movement command level.

The robot or robot controller is incorporated as remote IO into the hardware configuration of the SIMATIC controller via PROFINET by means of a GSDML file. This permits you to use all the advantages of the PROFINET standard for data exchange between robot and SIMATIC controller.
 


Fig. 01

The robot is addressed in the PLC program through function blocks which are provided as a block library along with the KUKA.PLC mxAutomation function package. The function blocks are similar in behavior to the generally applied PLCopen standard, which is also found in the motion functions integrated in the SIMATIC CPU. The robot can be switched on and monitored via the function blocks of the block library and elementary motion commands, like point-to-point movements and linear or circular movements, can be transmitted to the robot.

For the robot controller which handles the control of the robot kinematics the KUKA.PLC mxAutomation function package includes a command interpreter which is installed on the robot controller and forwards the robot commands from the PLC program to the path planning of the robot. This therefore makes all the kinematic and safety-related functions of the KR C4 robot controller are available and the robot movements are executed by the robot with the usual precision and independent of the load of the SIMATIC CPU.

KUKA.PLC mxAutomation can run on all KUKA robots with KR C4 controller and thus supports the complete spectrum of robot performance from the smallest KR AGILUS with a payload of up to 6kg to the largest KR 1000 titan with a payload of up to 1300kg.
 


Fig. 02

The KUKA.PLC mxAutomation function package is particularly suitable for all kinds of handling applications and simple contouring when the robot movements are to be event-oriented and flexibly adapted to the task to be executed.

The user has the following advantages when using KUKA.PLC mxAutomation:

  • Connection of all function components like SIMATIC CPU and robot controller via PROFINET.
  • Robot programming requires knowledge in PLC programming via the mxAutomation function library.
  • Machine and robot control melt into one unit so that the robot can be completely integrated into the machine operating concept. Even teaching the robot, which is the manual travelling to robot positions and storing of target points in the SIMATIC controller, can be done via the Human Machine Interface (HMI) of the SIMATIC controller (Single Point of Operation).
The KUKA.PLC mxAutomation function package is available from KUKA Roboter GmbH with controller-specific block libraries for the following SIMATIC families:
  • STEP 7 V5.4 for the SIMATIC S7-300 and S7-400 controller family
  • STEP 7 (TIA Portal) for the SIMATIC S7-300 and S7-400 controller family
  • STEP 7 (TIA Portal) for the SIMATIC S7-1500 controller family

Here all the controllers of the different families can be used with one IO address area of at least 254 bytes per robot. Depending on the IO map up to five robots can be controlled via the KUKA.PLC mxAutomation function package on one SIMATIC controller. The command interpreter of the KUKA.PLC mxAutomation function package can be used on all KUKA robots with KR C4 controller as of software version V8.3.

In addition, the product SINUMERIK Integrate Run MyRobot is available for the SINUMERIK numerical controller via which the control and operation of a KUKA robot via the KUKA.PLC mxAutomation function package can be integrated in a SINUMERIK controller.

Additional Keywords
mxA, GSDML file, GSD file, GSD, Distributed IO, Kinematics, Teach In, Point-to-point movement, PLCopen

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