Siemens AG and Comau SpA have jointly engineered the Sinumerik Run MyRobot /DirectControl product. The offering from Germany-based Siemens and Italy-based Comau is designed to fully integrate robot kinematics into a CNC system.
As a result, the Sinumerik CNC (computer numerical control system) controls the articulated robot arm directly with complex algorithms. It does not need a separate robot controller because the operations are entirely controlled on a second channel of the CNC machine.
Sinumerik Run MyRobot/DirectControl both allows the CNC to control the robot arm drive system and contains safety functions typically performed by the robot controller. In addition, the robot is programmed entirely on the Sinumerik CNC operator panel.
Integrating control of the robot arm into the CNC helps improve path and positioning accuracy as well as reliability, said the companies. It can also yield enhanced dynamic response during robot-aided machining tasks. As a result, the robot is able to undertake more challenging machining assignments, and users can take advantage of the compact hardware, simple engineering, and quick commissioning, said Siemens Corp., the U.S. subsidiary of Siemens.
Among the industrial applications that can benefit from the use of Sinumerik Run MyRobot /DirectControl are additive manufacturing, fiber placement, metal cutting, carbon fiber-reinforced polymer, and laser machining.
No separate controller needed with Run MyRobot /DirectControl
The major difference between the new DirectControl technology and conventional systems
is that DirectControl performs all the functions previously assigned to the robot controller, said Siemens. This makes the separate robot controller unnecessary.
In addition, Sinumerik Run MyRobot /DirectControl performs all the same functions as the previous Run MyRobot variants. The new product not only enables more dynamic application of the robot, but it also provides more accurate control and improves capacity for robot operations to run simultaneously with machining time.
To simplify the engineering process, complete configuration for all DirectControl-supported robot arms is stored in the Sizer engineering tool from Siemens. The same high level of convenience is offered with robot commissioning. Data sets for the relevant mechanics are made available by the robot manufacturer Comau and simply imported on a channel of the Sinumerik CNC.
Sinumerik supports simulation
Sinumerik also now includes practical support for other engineering functions. Digital twins are available for DirectControl-compatible Comau robot arms to enable work in Siemens NX CAM Robotics. The kinematic 3D robot model and the virtual NC kernel Sinumerik VNCK enable sub-programs generated in the CAD-CAM chain to be completely simulated offline.
Additional benefits to this enhancement are the reduced footprint as a result of the elimination of hardware components, a lower overall investment, and reduced stocking costs for spare parts. In addition, Siemens said Sinumerik provides greater availability because of improved mean time between failures (MTBF).