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Robot controller can supervise entire machines

28 June, 2017

Schneider Electric has announced a robot controller that can control multiple delta robots and Scara robots, as well as third-party six-axis robots. The PacDrive 3 controller also provides discrete and motion control functions, allowing synchronised control of production lines from a central point, as well as providing integrated safety and simplifying machine topologies.

Schneider is also offering a range of easy-to-clean, stainless-steel delta robots that can be used in washdown applications. The robots offer payload capacities up to 50kg, and working radii of 800–1,600mm.

The controllers offer a single point of access and a programming environment for controlling entire machines and multiple robots. They can be integrated with other control and diagnostic systems on production lines. They support the use of decentralised drive technologies that can optimise floor space, and cut building costs and installation times.

Schneider sees the combination of its controllers and robots as an alternative to multi-vendor installations, giving users a single point of contact for build, assembly and support. It says that this will simplify the introduction of robotics, and ensure compatibility of the various components on a line.

Schneider Electric's stainless-steel delta robots can be used in washdown applications

In many existing production installations, the company points out, each mechatronic element has its own controller, PLC or safety system, linked via a variety of hard-wired signals, splitters, fieldbuses, Industrial Ethernet networks and gateways. This can introduce communication delays, resulting in a lack of synchronism that can affect the performance of high-speed production lines.

In addition, the many different interfaces and programming environments make remote connections for diagnostics and control, as well as integration with plant supervisory systems, cumbersome and costly.

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