KUKA KRC4 + TwinCat 3

  • Hello everyone,


    I am a "medium advanced" PLC programmer in Beckhoff but completely new to robots and KUKA. I am having a hard time with implementing a KUKA KRC4 in my Beckhoff PLC and seeking for help. I want to explain you my situation.


    We got a brand new KRC4 with KSS 8.6 which we purchased a few months ago. On the other side I have a computer with TwinCAT where the Ethercat Drivers are installed for the network adapter. In between I got an EK1100 with a EL6695. So the setup is as following:


    KRC4 <-> EK1100 <-> EL6695 Master <-> EL6695 Slave <-> Computer


    So the computer is connected to the secondary side of the EL6695 and the KRC4 on the primary side. I want to write a program in my Beckhoff PLC where I want to execute movements of the KUKA. It will be only "basic" movements. When I can move the KUKA to certain positions, that will be absolutely enough for me.


    I have the following questions:


    1. I found out that there is a EL6695-1001 from KUKA and a EL6695 from Beckhoff. The first one from KUKA supports also FSOE, while the one from Beckhoff can only transfer non safety data. I dont need to implement safety functions in my PLC. As long as the emergency button on the SmartPAD and the one connected to our KRC4 works, I'm fine. The mxAutomation documentation from Beckhoff only mentions the EL6695-1001, which makes me a little bit unsure. Can I use the normal EL6695 from Beckhoff if I dont need FSOE?


    2. I also found out that KUKA provides a mxAutomation package which can be purchased. Beckhoff on the other side also provides a mxAutomation library. When I purchase these two, I assume that after establishing the connection, I can use the library to move the robot through my PLC. But, I also read that there are other ways outside mxAutomation. Do I really need mxAutomation only to move my KUKA to certain positions?


    3. Is there some documentation which explains which IO's has to be mapped in the EL6695 to make this thing work? I know that this might depend on if I use mxAutomation or another solution at the end.

    Thank you!

  • So the setup is as following:


    KRC4 <-> EK1100 <-> EL6695 Master <-> EL6695 Slave <-> Computer


    So the computer is connected to the secondary side of the EL6695 and the KRC4 on the primary side.

    What is the role of this computer? Is it Ethercat controller or device? Ethercat bridge is used when connecting two Ethercat networks that already have controller ("master"). bridge acts as device ("slave") to both of them (it serves two masters). If your computer is acting as device, this will not work. On each network there must be master-slave relationship where one master can have one or more slaves.


    1. I found out that there is a EL6695-1001 from KUKA and a EL6695 from Beckhoff. The first one from KUKA supports also FSOE, while the one from Beckhoff can only transfer non safety data. I dont need to implement safety functions in my PLC.

    stop thinking about your own needs. robot has needs too. and robot needs safety interface. what is the safety interface that your robot was shipped with? Where did the PLC come from - it does not show up in your connections:

    "KRC4 <-> EK1100 <-> EL6695 Master <-> EL6695 Slave <-> Computer"


    2. I also found out that KUKA provides a mxAutomation package which can be purchased. Beckhoff on the other side also provides a mxAutomation library. When I purchase these two, I assume that after establishing the connection, I can use the library to move the robot through my PLC. But, I also read that there are other ways outside mxAutomation. Do I really need mxAutomation only to move my KUKA to certain positions?

    two...? what two?


    you need to read the documentation and talk to KUKA sales guy. when you buy robot, you should order it with mxAutomation. mxAutomation is available with interface/library for different PLC brands (AB, Siemens, Beckhoff). that library need to be installed into PLC programming software. then you get access to mxAutomation instructions (function blocks).


    I also read that there are other ways outside mxAutomation. Do I really need mxAutomation only to move my KUKA to certain positions?

    most robots do not use mxAutomation. KSS is quite capable or controlling robot on its own - without mxAutomation. mxAutomation is just an option that allows writing programs in PLC instead of on robot HMI. it is meant for people familiar with PLC but with little or no experience with robots.


    3. Is there some documentation which explains which IO's has to be mapped in the EL6695 to make this thing work? I know that this might depend on if I use mxAutomation or another solution at the end.

    check the manual.

    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

  • Quote

    What is the role of this computer? Is it Ethercat controller or device? Ethercat bridge is used when connecting two Ethercat networks that already have controller ("master"). bridge acts as device ("slave") to both of them (it serves two masters). If your computer is acting as device, this will not work. On each network there must be master-slave relationship where one master can have one or more slaves.


    I forgot to mention that I will connect an EK1100 to the computer and run my PLC program on the computer. I will connect some IO terminals to the EK1100 and then go into some pneumatic vents. The computer will be an EtherCat master with TwinCAT 3. So it will be Computer <-> EK1100 <-> EL6695 Slave ...


    Quote

    stop thinking about your own needs. robot has needs too. and robot needs safety interface. what is the safety interface that your robot was shipped with? Where did the PLC come from - it does not show up in your connections:

    "KRC4 <-> EK1100 <-> EL6695 Master <-> EL6695 Slave <-> Computer"

    With PLC I meant my computer which will work as a PLC. I am not very familiar with the KRC4. Actually I am working on reading all the documentation. The KRC4 was used before my project from other colleagues. Right now it is in a working condition, so there are external emergency buttons connected to X11. I pushed the buttons and they are working, I can see it in the user interface. In WorkVisual I can see "CIB SR Safety Module (SION-CIB-SR)".


    Quote

    two...? what two?


    you need to read the documentation and talk to KUKA sales guy. when you buy robot, you should order it with mxAutomation. mxAutomation is available with interface/library for different PLC brands (AB, Siemens, Beckhoff). that library need to be installed into PLC programming software. then you get access to mxAutomation instructions (function blocks).

    I spoke with my team and they told me, that there was already a KRC4 with KSS 8.3. So the KRC4 was upgraded to 8.6 and we got the new hardware and software from KUKA. The robot was not replaced and is still from earlier. Therefore it wasnt ordered with mxAutomation. With two I mean buying mxAutomation from KUKA and mxAutomation Library from Beckhoff (TF5120) for TwinCAT.


    Quote

    most robots do not use mxAutomation. KSS is quite capable or controlling robot on its own - without mxAutomation. mxAutomation is just an option that allows writing programs in PLC instead of on robot HMI. it is meant for people familiar with PLC but with little or no experience with robots

    As far as I understand now one way would be to map PLC IOs with the EL6695 to the KUKA IOs. Can I use these IOs then to trigger commands inside my robot program? For example when I would write a program inside my KUKA like (only conceptual description):


    If IO1 = TRUE then execute MOVEMENT1

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