Robots Impress at IMTS


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I have seen some incredible demonstrations of technology this week, but this live robot at the Siemens booth (E-5010) was really impressive! Siemens has collaborated with KUKA Robotics, and a KUKA robot is articulating parts—simulating the operation on a CNC machine tool. Key to this development is the machine builder’s ability to integrate mxAutomation from KUKA directly through the Siemens Sinumerik CNC platform, thereby allowing the operator of the machine to run both the machine tool and robot from the single control panel.
The sequence of the robot is entirely engineered within the Sinumerik 840D sl CNC, then transferred by the 840D sl’s PLC function to the mxAutomation interpreter on the KR C4. All program changes to a six-axis robot can easily be input on a second channel of the CNC and fully operated. This scenario provides the ability to not only run a machine tool’s automation sequence more efficiently, but also make more changes on-the-fly to minimize machine downtime, with no special knowledge of robot programming language. During the operation of the machine tool, all changes made can be visualized directly on the CNC screen, further minimizing operator actions. 
Siemens is programming an 840D sl CNC to allow an attendee to jog the robot, command the gripper and otherwise simulate integrated actions with a machine tool.