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‘Singular controller’ handles robots, drives and I/O systems

03 January, 2020

At the recent SPS exhibition in Germany, Yaskawa announced a machine controller that can handle robots, servodrives, inverter drives and I/O systems. When used with the company’s Sigma-7 servo systems, the MP3300iec RBT “singular controller” can supervise 32 real axes as well as up to eight robots.

Application programming of the new controller is done using a single software tool (called MotionWorks IEC) with PLCopen and Yaskawa-specific function blocks, which are available free of charge and are said to simplify system programming. Built-in functions also include visualisation tools, camera systems, conveyor tracking, and function blocks for picking and palletising. 

The controller can be used to integrate robots into existing architectures without needing a programming device or a proprietary robot programming language. The movement sequences of each robot axis – or of delta or customer-specific kinematics – are calculated in the controller’s firmware, allowing programmers to focus on their applications without having to worry about the underlying technology.

Machines that include standard motion control axes, inverter drives or I/O systems can be programmed in a single software environment. The real-time Mechatrolink III Ethernet bus is used to synchronise all of the components. If a machine's performance needs to be enhanced in the future, a larger CPU can be added.

Yaskawa’s “singular controller” can supervise most of the equipment on a machine

Machine-builders that use different architectures – robots, delta kinematics or gantry-systems – but similar functions, can exchange hardware without having to adapt their programs. This will increase flexibility and machine throughput, says Yaskawa.

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