How do I connect a vacuum gripper to a Kuka C4 controller?

  • I have been tasked with purchasing and connecting a vacuum gripper to a Kuka KR20 with a KR C4 controller. Right now, I am looking at either getting a RobotIQ or a Schmalz vacuum gripper. I have attached a picture of the connectors used by these grippers. However, our KR C4 controller does not have any digital I/O ports to connect the gripper too. I noticed our robot has XPP, XPN, X96 and X91 ports in its base with lines that run up its arm. It is possible to order and install a digital I/O port that uses one of these connectors in our KRC4 controller? Or is there a better way to control a vacuum gripper?

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  • asking manufacturer for help? heresy... :winking_face:

    recently KUKA finally added support for serial interfaces. but the protocol to exchange data over RS485 would still be something for you to implement unless there is a ready code sample. Normally this would be Modbus RTU but check the product documentation...

    if you are not proficient in KRL, you should make big pass around this option.

    actually the same goes for IO-Link as well.

    so if you ask me, stick with digital I/O...

    KRC4 can have EtherCat I/Os added. the most common solution is to use EK1100+EL1809+EL2089...

    configuring I/O would require use of WorkVisual. this is free software but it need to be installed and configured before use:

    1. need to create profile and import KOP files from your robot controller

    2. need to import device description files for anything 3rd party you are adding yourself and that includes mentioned I/O

    then get backup, get active project from the robot, modify it (add X44 or KEB interface if needed) , save it as new file name, deploy it to controller...

    Btw KUKA does not like missing or extra nodes on Ethercat bus - configuration must match exactly what is physically connected (that includes topology).

    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

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