Owning a Comau for Hobbyist and Learning

  • All,


    I'm fully retired now and have developed a serious interest into robotics. I'm not looking to get into any career related to robotics but more the hobbyist approach. I have a huge 900sqft space with totally professional rewired 240v electricity throughout.

    I have a chance to purchase a 2009 Comau Smart NJ4 170-2.5 robot with less than 3000hr for almost as cheap as what I could get a smaller robot for. Yes, I'm aware of the dangers of being a novice and working with an large industrial robot, I promise I plan to treat this endeavor with the greatest respect for safety. I didn't survive Iraq and Afghanistan to loose my life or limbs to a robot.


    I've been researching the various robots, Kuka, Fanuc, Motoman, etc and all those manufacture have a big following on this forum and in the industry. There are plenty of tutorial on YouTube for those robots but not much on Comau. Even the Comau info on this forum is light but I've read allot of the posts and I'm still trying to get throw the 200+ page C5G manual.

    Those of you with experience with Comau and other robot could you please chime in on the below questions. I have to make a decision to go for the purchase of the Comau or not in the next few days.

    1. What is the learning difficulty level of the Comau C5G controller as compared to let say Kuka or Fanuc? I guess I'm asking which is the easiest to program?


    2. Are there other forums with more content for Comau robots?


    3. How easiest is to integrate various hardware such as Siemen into a C5G and software such a MoveIT, Mimic, and MATLAB?

    4. How forthcoming is Comau Support when it comes to software upgrade for legacy product?

    5. How easy is it to get answers to questions from Comau Support if you own a older robot?


    6. How does 2009 C5G controller compare to other manufacture controller from the same era when it come to tech level. I know some of the older Kuka controllers used Win95?


    I'll stop here because this post is long winded already but any advise would be appreciate and take it easy on me because I am a novice but I'm willing to learn.


    Thanks All

  • AD
  • Hi, fraza44.


    As You could see by yourself, this section of the forum isn't so crowded as others, so I think You really shouldn't expect responses in short periods of time here.


    That said, I think I can try to help with some answers:


    Quote

    1. What is the learning difficulty level of the Comau C5G controller as compared to let say Kuka or Fanuc? I guess I'm asking which is the easiest to program?


    Compared with same generation controllers as that ones You cited, I personally think COMAU is more barebones in some regards.


    But if You intention is play with the robot, I think this will be a good choice, since PDL2, its programming language, is very robust and You can do lots of fancy stuff with it.


    C5G has two main generations, if I can say this way. The first one, circa 2009, with non-touch teach pendants, and the second one, circa 2013, with touch teach pendant and newer interface.


    And now there is the newer C5G Plus controllers, but we can consider them another product.


    Quote

    2. Are there other forums with more content for Comau robots?


    I don't think so. There was an old forum, but last time I've took a look, it was deactivated. But there are some small public groups on Telegram, if You use it.


    Quote

    3. How easiest is to integrate various hardware such as Siemen into a C5G and software such a MoveIT, Mimic, and MATLAB?


    To "talk" with other equipment, you normally need the proper combination of hardware and software options installed on the robot to achieve this. COMAU with Siemens PLCs, for example (through ProfiBus or ProfiNet protocols), is a well known combo inside many industries, so if this controller has the right options, it will not be a problem. And if the robot don't have these options, You can buy them from COMAU themselves, or from some resellers on internet, since this is an old controller.


    About MoveIT and the other packages, I'm not so sure, but I read somewhere else about someone moving a COMAU arm using ROS, so it is probably doable as well.


    Quote

    4. How forthcoming is Comau Support when it comes to software upgrade for legacy product?


    I don't know, but the main point is: is the controller "upgreadable"? i'm not sure if You can install newer software on a 2009 C5G.


    Quote

    5. How easy is it to get answers to questions from Comau Support if you own a older robot?


    Depends. Sometimes the answer fast, sometimes You will need to wait a couple of weeks, sometimes they don't answer at all.


    Quote

    6. How does 2009 C5G controller compare to other manufacture controller from the same era when it come to tech level. I know some of the older Kuka controllers used Win95?


    Talking about KUKAs, KRC1 (1996) and KRC2 (2000) use Win95 as a middleware between the user and the RTOS. KRC2 ed05 (2005) and KRC4 KSS 8.1/8.2 used Windows XP, newer versions used Windows 7, and finally, Windows 10 IOT.


    COMAU uses an RTOS from the same "family" from KUKA (VxWorks), but without Windows. User interface is built with other libraries, but can also be customized.


    There is a tool called WinC5G that works as a interface between a regular PC and the COMAU robot itself. Some people dislike it, but I personally think it is very handy.

  • Hello Fraza

    I was working with Fanuc and KUKA but COMAU is best for me programming it..

    If you want communicate with siemens via Profinet or with PC via TPC protocol its easy..

    Comau support is fine but you must anoing them over and over.. I have also contact in linedIn for man from comau

    for safety you can add input for safety speed so also in auto mode robot will go slow..

  • massula  Vladarius, guys thank you for all your input. Unfortunately my deal for the Comau fell through because of very high shipping cost. I had a certain budget and the shipping cost just to me way over budget.


    I'm located in Florida and the Comau are on the other side of the country in California. This is just to bad because the seller really has two nice NJ4 170 robots with less then 3000 hour which pretty much makes them brand new.


    Paying what I felt was really high shipping cost would have broke my budget and I would not have money for all the other related expenses like a phase converter and transformer to convert my workshop 240v single phase to 480v 3 phase. I was also planning to have some type of steal base manufactured to mount the robot on and there were other expenses.


    Another problem was the seller not providing documentation and contacts for persons who may have had knowledge about the robots. Three time he told me he would get some kind of detailed information on the robots and he never did. He just kept sending me thing related to closing the deal but never any detailed info on the robots.

  • massula  Vladarius, guys thank you for all your input. Unfortunately my deal for the Comau fell through because of very high shipping cost. I had a certain budget and the shipping cost just to me way over budget.

    Unfortunately, there are lots of hidden/embedded costs to acquire industrial machinery. I hope You can find soon a good deal near of Your location.

  • Comau are the best I've found to date as far as low hours and pretty much being in new like condition. I've been searching for months.


    I tried to avoided Fanuc because of the reputation of the company not being very helpful when it comes to their older out of date robots and Kuka just seem like it would be allot harder to learn and program not to mention Kuka tend to be more expensive on the used mark.

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