Experts in Man & Machine
05.12.2016

Robotic Connectivity

Stäubli Robotics Breaks New Ground with Three Connected Solutions

Focus

Connected objects find many applications in the field of industrial robotics. As close as possible to its industrial customers, Stäubli Robotics develops solutions based on 3 axes.

Connected things are taking over our lives. They are used in numerous applications in the industrial robotics environment. Stäubli Robotics has developed three types of solutions to best meet the needs of its industrial customers.

“Connected things are not limited to Internet connectivity. They include all remote communication methods,” points out Christophe Rocchini, support engineer at Stäubli Robotics.

Stäubli Robotics is attentive to its customers, focusing on anticipating their sales and manufacturing needs as it develops innovative solutions using connected technology. Research in three different areas has allowed the company to develop three connected solutions.

Remote Communication

“The goal of the first development was to improve remote communication, using a robot to carry out assistance tasks, for example,” explains Rocchini. Thanks to this robotic solution, hotline technicians can take over control of the robot remotely. Technicians log in, view the interface, and can then work remotely or help the operator fix the problem.

The innovative connectivity solution offered in the TX2 and CS9 line marks a new phase in Web-based robotics technology. The CS9 controller has a built-in server so it no longer needs specific software: a standard browser provides remote access to robots. Giving customers access to real-time production data over the Web via standard communication vectors presents numerous advantages. It greatly reduces costs and completion times for remote monitoring, assistance, and diagnostic operations, thereby boosting productivity.

Interface with Other Machines

Second benefit of Stäubli’s connectivity services: a new generation of robots able to interface with the machines and peripherals in their own ecosystem. Today, when a robot is working in its environment, it must be able to interact with all the other peripheral equipment (machines, presses, etc.) regardless of the communication protocol. “Our innovative solutions have always allowed the various machines to share data in real time, whether through traditional inputs/outputs, field busses, or more sophisticated communication tools like TCP/IP,” says Rocchini.

Stäubli robots do not require their own protocol; they can communicate using a wide array of communication vectors, which means they can adapt to the language used by any type of machine in any industry. The TX2 line of robots (with CS9 controller) goes one step further. All connection options are based on real-time Ethernet field bus protocols, providing unrivalled communication speeds, extreme flexibility, a high level of reliability, and user-friendly implementation.

Full Control of the Line

The third Stäubli innovation uses the uniVAL drive and uniVAL PLC solutions. “For many robot applications, it seems our customers are looking for a solution to program their robots using the tools they already know how to use,” points out Rocchini. In this case, the answer is a programmable PLC that can simultaneously control the robot’s operations and movements as well as the production line.

With uniVAL drive, customers can control the robot directly at its joints, using an axis controller. This means the robot can be integrated into the full architecture of the machine. “This solution is particularly beneficial for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that distribute standard machines worldwide,” explains Rocchini. Customers can offer a standard solution that is user friendly, upgradable, and compatible with the entire Stäubli robot line. The solution works with the leading real-time Ethernet protocols on the market.

Testimony from Siemens

Arno Schönhals . Business Development OEM – Industrial Automation Systems

The Siemens answer to Industrie 4.0 requirements is the “Digital Enterprise” Software Suite with Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) as an integral part. Siemens therefore offers a complete automation portfolio for digitalization.
Besides the consistent communication of the systems the creation of efficient interfaces between automation system and connected equipment is important.
In Cooperation with Stäubli a solution for programming of Stäubli Robots with the Automation Engineering Framework TIA Portal was realized. Through this significant advantages arise along the complete Lifecycle of plants for the programmer, the plant operator as well as for plant service.

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