KUKA to/from OMRON PLC vie EtherCat

  • Hi! This is the firts time I exchange data between KUKA and a OMRON PLC. If I've understand right I need the EL6695 EtherCAT bridge sided to the EK1100 on the extension BUS X44.On the KUKA side I need to install, from the ESI directory, Kuka_EL6695prim.xml (primary) and on the OMRON side I need to install Kuka_EL6695sec.xml
    Both files are storend in "C:\Program Files (x86)\KUKA\WorkVisual 6.0\DeviceDescriptions\ESI" adn ..\ESISec directory.

    For best firmware compatibility is better to purchase the EL6695 directly from KUKA.


    I just want to know if this is entirely correct... thanks...


  • you are on the right track... but... there are things to consider:


    using EL6695-1001 (that is the part number from KUKA) is required if using FSoE... in other words if the ECAT bus connection is not just used for standard data exchange but also for safety signals (this is robots safety interface). In tht case your PLC will have to be a safety PLC.


    unless something changed recently, i don't think KUKA has official support for safety PLCs other than ones from companies that made the bus:


    Siemens (made ProfiNet/ProfiSafe)

    AB (made EthernetIP/CipSafety)

    Beckhoff (made EtherCat/FSoE)


    occasionally users were successful making it with other PLCs too but one should consider this an uphill battle.

    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

  • If your robot has other safety interface so you do not care about FSoE, connecting EL6695-1001 as you planned will not work - because that will create additional safety interface through FSoE.


    In that case it should suffice to use the FSoE bridge in reverse (primary connects to PLC, secondary connects to KRC), or use different bridge (like EL6692 or EL6695 from Beckhoff).


    If your Omron PLC can be configured to act as a EtherCat slave, then it is possible to create connection without bridge (as long as PLC does not need to control any slaves). The reason for using bridge is that KRC is always working as EtherCat master. Usually PLCs are master as well. But master-master and slave-slave connections do not work.

    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

  • I see... I must ask if the OMRONPLC can be configured as slave. In that case what about the configuration? Where is the PLC connected? On second port of the EK1100 I suppose... and wich .xml need to be imported un both KUKA and OMRON?


    Thank you so much becuse it could cost me hundreds euros for nothing...

  • yes... ports are marked as "in" and "out"...


    EK1100 ports are primary side of the bridge

    EL669x ports are secondary side of the bridge

    you can connect several slaves to one master by daisy chaining bus nodes. order however must be matched in master configuration (topology).


    suppose you have 3 robots and a PLC:

    then each node would have own ECAT bus

    Master->Slave1->Slave2->Slave3....


    or something like this

    PLC->Slave1->Slave2->Slave3-->Slave4->Slave5->Slave6...

    KRC1->Slave11->Slave12->Slave13-->Slave14->Slave15->Slave16...

    KRC2->Slave21->Slave22->Slave23-->Slave24->Slave25->Slave26...

    KRC3->Slave31->Slave32->Slave33-->Slave34->Slave35->Slave36...


    then you can replace some of the slaves with bridge.

    for example for PLC-KRC1 we can have one bridge such as Slave3-Slave12 (one side is primary the other is secondary)

    for PLC-KRC2 we can have another bridge, such as Slave1-Slave25

    for PLC-KRC3 we can have another bridge, such as Slave6-Slave32


    and even if you needed direct data exchange between robots 1 and 3 (without passing data through PLC) you can add another bridge such as Slave15-Slave31


    When you only have one KRC and PLC, and also PLC is acting as a slave, then you only have one bus such as


    KRC->Slave1->Slave2->Slave3-->Slave4->Slave5->Slave6...


    but PLC cannot have any slaves. any PLC IO would need to be added as local IO to the PLC.

    where PLC would be one of the slaves.

    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

  • I'm sorry I didn't get it. Let's mantain KRC and PLC as master... If I do not need FSoE I put in my KRC hardware EK100 and EL6692. On EK1100 I'm connected to X44 EBus and I'll use "Beckhoff EL66xx.xml" to configure the IO to exchange data with PLC (for example 128 Bytes Input and Output)


    On EL6692 I connect the PLC in wich I use the same "Beckhoff EL66xx.xml" to configure the same IO Map of 128 Bytes


    I know... maybe it is difficult to understand for me because I do not use OMRON PLC and my client will implement it... but he doesn't know KUKA so... :smiling_face: :smiling_face:

  • that should work... based on that connection select correct ESI:

    on the robot side use 'EL6692 EtherCAT Bridge terminal (Primary)'

    on the PLC side use 'EL6692 EtherCAT Bridge terminal (Secondary)'

    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

  • well... that is one side of the bridge... what about the other?


    PLC also need to connect to bridge (be master of the secondary side). Messages can cross the bridge only when both sides are configured with matching settings (IO block size), and each is talking to the bridge on its own.

    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

  • This morning I've reached BECKHOFF support and they told me that I need a customized ESI file from KUKA like the one they give me for the EL6695-1001
    I'm awayting the answer from KUKA.

    The Italian support doesn't have a practical example of an application made with this EL6692 with OMRON PLC.

    The strange thig is That KUKA imself sells EL6692 module... the only reason that I've choose EL6692 is that EL6695-1001 is not available within 8 months

  • Makes sense...


    As far as I know the EL6692 form KUKA is not special, it is the same one you can get from Beckhoff. And therefore device description file should be also from Beckhoff, not from KUKA. If the product was customized in some way, it would have special part number (like EL6695 which in case of KUKA variant is EL6695-1001. the suffix indicates different product)


    KUKA does support EIP but this is a paid option, not included as standard feature.

    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

  • Hi!
    Currently I want to do a communications between KUKA KRC5 and Omron NX PLC. I will have 3 robots and 1 PLC. To do the communication, I will use EL6992 for each robot. What you already did is really similar with what I want to do.


    I have some questions for you:
    1. What type of KUKA Controller that you were using? Is it KRC4?
    2. What type of Omron PLC that you were using?

    3. How many robot that you were using in this system?

    4. Until now, is there any communication problem after your system running?


    Thank you.

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