ATI ToolChanger : devicenet vs I/O pass through integration ?

  • Hello,

    KR500-2-MT + KL1500-3

    KRC2 2005

    KSS 5.6

    Devicenet with 1 BK5250 coupler and several DI/DO/AO modules

    We are upgrading our cell for stone milling.

    We are moving to a multiple spindle system and we plan to use a QC-310 tool changer from ATI.

    The tool changer is controlled through a signal module which can be shipped in 2 flavors :

    - "DB10" > devicenet capable control module (mini connector)

    - "VB7Z1" > basic pass-through control module (26-pins amphenol cable)

    I don't see if there is a preferred way to go : should I integrate the tool changer as a new devicenet device ? Or simply extend my existing I/O fieldbus with additional modules to map the I/O required by the tool changer control module ?

    Would you advise one way more than the other ?



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  • Are you trying to run DN to the ATI "Master" unit, or through it to the Slave unit (and beyond)?

    If the former, then I would tend to go with using DN to the ATI -- it's simply fewer wires to go wrong or wear through. And since you need to use SuperFlex or OmniFlex cable to run over a robot wrist, going with fewer conductors is cheaper, and more flexible.

    But I generally recommend against running DN through an ATI on the electrical contacts -- I spent years trying to make that work reliably, and it was so painful, ATI eventually made a special pass-through module to resolve the electrical issues.

    (Note, this isn't an ATI issue, it's endemic to tool changers and the nature of DN)

  • I think DN runs on the MFC card. But I must double check that. Does it make a difference ?

    Absolutely, my point is to control the ATI QC310 Master/Slave "coupler" through a (DN or not ?) signal/control module on the master.

    I have no DN node/device downstream the ATI coupler (ie. on the tool/spindle side).

    I just need to pass a small bunch of I/Os (mainly fo the spindle tool holder sensors).

    So my point was exactly this : would it be more simple to wire this as supplementary DN node or to map the 26-pins to supplementary KL terminals on my existing Beckhoff field bus.

    If I go through extending my system with DN vs Beckhoff field bus, would you also recommend to go DN for the few proximity sensors I need to wire on my tool stands ?

  • Of course it makes difference. MFC implements only basic DeviceNet functionality to allow low cost integration of I/O. If you plan on using advanced features such as coupling, MFC will not do, you need to get LPDN.

    but in your specific case, his is not an issue this time because you mention that there is no DN node after tool changer.

    about your point... not sure what you find more simple. adding IOs to existing coupler is usually simpler. but devil is always in the detail and need to be considered case by case (location, wiring, cost, power arrangement and utilization etc.)

    1) read pinned topic: READ FIRST...

    2) if you have an issue with robot, post question in the correct forum section... do NOT contact me directly

    3) read 1 and 2

  • My personal preference would be to use DN everywhere, but that's mainly because I'm comfortable with DN on KRCs, and I like to minimize the wire distance of discrete signals.

    Buying additional DN nodes may be more expensive than simply running some multi-conductor cables. And using DN at the ATI will require you to mount a DN node (with sufficient discrete I/O points) out on the robot wrist, which could present volumetric issues (plus that DN node would probably need an IP rating, unlike those "sliced" Beckhoff units you've been using -- those are not intended for being mounted "in the open").

    So, at the end of the day, it really comes down to your personal cost/benefit comparison.

  • Thanks for these expert advices.

    I've just checked the KRC2 and there is no LPDN card.

    To provide discrete I/Os back on the tool side, downstream the DN signal module of the ATI changer is another issue.

    I think I feel more comfortable extending the existing fiel bus right now, even if it means more wiring.

  • Okay, no LPDN card means that the robot must be using the DN port built into the MFC card. Which is fine, but dictates which files you need to change in order to add the nodes. So it's good to have that known.

    Now, when adding lengthy cabling to a DN bus, one issue will be termination -- on any DN bus, there must be exactly two termination resistors, and they must be placed at the ends of the longest cable distance (electrically). So, since you will be adding a few meters of DN cable, you will almost certainly need to relocate at least one of your termination resistors.

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