robot control through the PLC using Studio
5000 with AOIs and AOPs. Integrators can
create their own RC8 programming with general-purpose software such as Visual Basic, C
++ or Java for robot control and interfacing,
says Mark Anderson, East Coast regional
sales engineer manager, DENSO Robotics.
“The packaging industry, in general,
doesn’t want to learn a robot controller. They
want to know how they can use their PLC to
talk with the robot controller without having
to deal with proprietary software. With the
RC8, they are free to use the language and
logic they prefer,” Anderson says.
DENSO’s WINCaps 3 off-line programming
software is used to program and layout the
work cell in a virtual environment, and then
remotely monitor cell operations in real time.
CAD drawings are imported to create a 3D
simulation for predicting robot performance.
An Easy Teach feature replaces keyboard
entry and the operator moves the robot by
clicking on the surface of the virtual model.
DENSO’s ORiN2 (Open Robot/Resource
Interface Network) creates the interfaces
between the robot controller and peripherals
via a network to integrate vision devices and
“Any general-purpose software can be
used to write provider software programs for
controlling the communication with a device,”
The ORiN2 contains a provider software
program designed to communicate with
Cognex software. This allows Denso’s controller to attach to the customer’s controller via
Ethernet cable for communicating with the
camera. The vision can then be configured
using Cognex’s calibration wizard.
DENSO isn’t the only robotic solutions
provider aiming to simplify controls. Yaskawa
Motoman offers a unified control solution
that handles robot programming and control
with the same controller that runs the case
packing, cartoning or palletizing system.
Customers can use one software package
with one control system to manage robot
motion and configure cam and servo linear
motion functions of the packaging line.
Yaskawa will demonstrate the Motoman®
MH12 robotic case packer with MLX200
robot interface at PACK EXPO Las Vegas
2015. The system is programmed and man-
aged on an Allen-Bradley ControlLogix® PLC
with Rockwell’s RSLogix™ 5000 ladder logic
programming software, utilizing Function
Blocks and AOIs that are very familiar to PLC
programmers, says Dean Elkins, senior gen-
eral manager, Yaskawa Motoman.
“The unified controller becomes a means
of eliminating processors and simplifying
language, where the robot control becomes
a kernel of the overall control solution,” says
For high-speed primary and secondary
packaging, Yaskawa features the MPP3S or
MPP3H delta-style robot with an MP3200
machine controller handling all major line
functions. Yaskawa’s front-end programming portal, Motion Works IEC, achieves unified control programming and supports IEC
61131-3 object-based PLC programming
standards. Programmers use Function Blocks
to configure the robot kinematics, control the
position and spacing of products on a sync
belt, and manage line mechatronic motions.
Tools include a PackML kit for monitoring
machine readiness, and an OEE screen for
throughput and efficiency reporting.
“Many motion engineers understand the
Function Block programming, whether on an
IEC device or in programming with RSLogix.
The Motion Works IEC portal gives you all the
tools you need for programming in Function
Blocks, which are very easy to understand
and populate,” Elkins says.
Yaskawa has deployed Universal Robotics’
Neocortex® ™ artificial intelligence vision
solution for depalletizing. The learning software is integrated with and programmed
through Yaskawa’s INFORM 3 robot programming software. Drawing from an array of
Kinect® sensors, Neocortex software learns
and saves data points on box sizes and their
positions on a pallet. It then generates a 3-D
point model of the box geometry and stores it
in the cloud-based solution. The model then
guides the robot into position “reporting the
off-set difference between a taught point and
a seen point,” says Elkins.
The system simplifies destacking in an
environment where a variety of cases may
be jumbled and off kilter. In identifying any
number of stock keeping units (SKUs), the
system avoids the need for a complex camera configuration.
“Neocortex gives you product orientation
and spatial recognition, so it can determine
where something exists in space and help
drive the robot to that point. The system can
make important software decisions on what
cases need to come off the pallet from a pri-
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