OPC-UA Communication between FANUC robot and Allen-Bradley HMI (without PLC)

  • Hi everyone,

    I want to be able to establish a connection between my CRX Fanuc Robot and an Allen-Bradley HMI without using any PLC. The goal is to utilize the "HMI Device (SNPX) (R553)" option on the robot so that it acts as an OPC-UA Server and have an Allen-Bradley HMI that acts as the OPC-UA Client so that I can access the robot I/Os and Registers.

    Has any of you done something similar (with other HMI companies maybe)?

    I am being told that Allen-Bradley HMIs can be OPC-UA clients when used with Kepware!? What implication does this have knowing that I want a "stand alone" HMI (no plc)?

    Thanks in advance.

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  • I am being told that Allen-Bradley HMIs can be OPC-UA clients when used with Kepware!?

    That sounds like you would not be able to have a "stand alone" HMI. I think this means

    HMI-> Kepware -> Robot



    with Kepware running on a server or PC. We have used Kepware like this as a middle-man between a robot and an ERP system because the ERP system did not support OPC-UA.

    • Helpful

    I've done a small amount of testing of OPC-UA in RoboGuide. It's pretty simple and straightforward. I did find that, even if the Fanuc has the SNPX option installed, the SNPX option does not support OPC before version 9.0, or maybe 9.1 -- I don't recall precisely.

    The trick is finding an HMI that acts as an OPC-UA client withouta PLC. I haven't seen one. Most of the "standalone" OPC-UA HMIs I've seen are actually software running on stock PCs, often using a web-page front end with the OPC-UA client running "under" it, or even a web page with the OPC-UA client running in JavaScript as part of the web page.

    Most "off the shelf" solutions seem to rely on "middleware" like KepWare, or OpenAutomation, or another competitor.

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