Wittmann, Austria - IFR-Partner
W8 Robots with open control architecture
Usually removal robots for the plastics industry are autonomous and in themselves closed systems, which integrate all internal components, like decentralized control cards, servo modules, as well as teach-in user interfaces. Common removal robots simply provide digital in- and outputs for external communications. In the best case, flexible controls of connected automation systems can be realized. Today's common office automation visualizes the advantages of connectivity and free data exchange. This desire also came up for robot controls.
During the new development of their high-performance R8 robot control, WITTMANN put an emphasis to provide, as a standard, flexible interfaces for higher-level communication with computers or injection molding machines.
With the R8 control, an IPC based robot control was presented which offers besides the specified EUROMAP 67 interface to molding machines, additional hardware based in-/outputs for the connection of automation systems, and additionally CanOpen real time interfaces, an Ethernet interface and USB port.
Via the CanOpen real time interfaces time critical information can be transferred, for instance the connection of incremental encoder inputs for the following of objects on moving conveyors. Or additional servo modules integrated into automation systems, which can be directly addressed and controlled from the WITTMANN R8 control. Up to 12 servo modules can distributed to various axis of robots and automations systems. Another typical application for real time signals is given through the signal and position exchange of robot and injection molding machine, as implemented with the BATTENFELD B6 control. This very direct and optimized integration provides numerous additional possibilities for the expedited removal of molded parts and thereby the increase of productivity between machine and robot.
The standardized Ethernet interface on the other side allows the transfer of larger, less time critical data and therefore makes for a flexible communication port for miscellaneous purposes.
The open protocol VNC via Ethernet permits the transmission of entire screen contents of the WITTMANN R8 TeachBox to a remote PC or the user interface of a molding machine. Thereby the entire, non safety critical functions of the robot control are accessible on remote terminals and can be used.
The connection of the WITTMANN R8 control to an optional email server enables the automated transfer of actual error messages, as well as the set up information about mode changes from the automatic mode of the robot. In addition users can send an email with the complete command buffer and the error list, as well as the current teach program. This information can be sent to up to 25 addressees at the same time.
Internet remote maintenance
The transfer of error messages via email presents the first step towards an automated remote monitoring system. A further and practical complete remote maintenance can be accomplished with the combination of the VNC viewer and the optional software module WITTMANN R8 CLI. Through the VNC viewer the entire TeachBox can be viewed and operated. The R8 CLI module permits the selective request for all system relevant parameters and conditions of the robots. In addition miscellaneous variables in the teach program can be edited.
In the conjunction with VNC the R8 CLI module is ideal for applications, in which an error analysis and correction needs to be done immediately or for the prompt support of users.
Connection to an ERP system
The R8 CLI module can furthermore be used for the automated connection to an ERP system. The WITTMANN R8 control offers users a multitude of advantages and highest flexibility for the long term usage of the robot. Through the intuitive programming interface of the WITTMANN control all functions are immediately available and accessible and require minimum training requirement for familiarity.