I've purchased four KUKA KR4 R600 robots with C5 micro controllers running KSS8.7. I've purchased KUKA.ConveyorTech 8.1 with my robots, and I will elaborate on that below. I'm working with WorkVisual 6.0.
So, first of all, I have not yet received my robots, so I'm not able to test anything just yet - I'm trying to prepare as much as I can beforehand because I'm on a tight schedule.
The intended operation is as follows: Three of the robots are to be picking from one conveyor. The position and orientation of the workpieces are given by a vision system (non-VisionTech) which is running on an IPC and sending information for each workpiece to a PLC, which will distribute a given workpiece to a given robot. Now, I have been advised to purchase ConveyorTech over PickControl, but I am having my doubts that ConveyorTech will be able to fulfill the requirements of the system. The main concerns I have are:
- Load sharing. Specifically, when one robot is unable to pick an item, PickControl will allow for the next robot to pick it instead, whereas with ConveyorTech, this is something to be implemented in the PLC. However, it is not important that all items are picked, since they will roll back into the feeder if they are not picked, but I presume the load sharing properties of PickControl will give a nicer flow.
- External vision system. I've not been able to find out in the ConveyorTech manual, how to "marry" a workpiece's position and orientation (given by the vision system), with the tracked workpiece in ConveyorTech (given by the sync switch). It is critical that the workpieces are picked with the correct orientation of the tool because of later processing. Does anybody know how to do this in practice?
Additionally, with PickControl it seems that it is not quite straightforward to integrate an external (non-VisionTech) vision system in PickControl - does anybody have any experience with this?
- Object types. The workpieces are of different types, which contain information on how they should be handled in a later operation (by the same robot). After reading the PickControl manual, I understand that you can assign object markers to the items to be picked, which might be able to specify what I'd like to have attached to each item. Does anybody know of a similar thing in ConveyorTech?
All in all, the good thing about ConveyorTech is that it seems a lot easier to set up than PickControl - I'm just unsure that it will be able to perform the way I want it to, despite it being the recommendation from KUKA.
So, you guys. Does anybody have advice on the three points highlighted above, or advice on the choice of ConveyorTech vs. PickControl for this specific use case?