Robot Integration Dedicated or Multiple Discipline Control?

Consider the complexity and potential process integration issues that can occur when using a dedicated, special purpose robot controller. A dedicated controller requires an extensive amount of peripheral technology and hardware to operate, including:
• Separate control cabinets consuming valuable floor space.
• Complex and costly network and/or discrete interface.
• Servo drives, motors and cables that are different from those used on the rest f the line.
• Separate programming and configuration software than what is used for the line controller.

Interfacing the robot controller to the main line controller using a discrete or a network interface can result in lower system performance, additional program complexity, and increase solution cost. Other issues include additional integration, and training time and costs, extra spare parts, limited or inconsistent safety solutions, and limited ability to select best-of-breed components.

Machine builders can leverage a more practical control solution for robotics by incorporating robotic control directly into the main system’s programmable automation controller (PAC). Rockwell Automation addressed the industry’s need for one common hardware and software architecture to support multiple control disciplines with the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture framework. The Allen Bradley ControlLogix family of PACs and the Rockwell Software RSLogix 5000 programming software allow manufacturers too ingrate simple, multi-axes robot control into the main Logix control platform.

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