TwinCAT automation software, available from BECKHOFF Automation , now permits the integration of robots (delta kinematics, SCARA) and their interaction or synchronisation with existing motion control functions. This results in integration into the overall control system and being able to dispense with additional robot CPUs. The PC-based controller from Beckhoff Automation unites PLC, motion control and robotics on one hardware and software platform to achieve ‘scientific automation’.
TwinCAT Kinematic Transformation software integrates robot control into the TwinCAT automation software suite. The PLC, motion control, HMI and robotic functions run on one industrial PC CPU. The TwinCAT Kinematic Transformation software has the following advantages:
- Eliminates the additional CPU required for robot control
- Reduces engineering costs: configuration, parameterisation and diagnostics in one system
- TwinCAT tool adheres to global standards for configuration, programming and diagnostics
- No friction losses caused by the interaction of various CPUs for PLC, motion and robotics
- Higher performance and accuracy due to direct interfaces
- Complex communication between CPUs is no longer required
The TwinCAT Kinematic Transformation software integrates itself transparently in the existing motion control world. Robotic and motion control functions can be optimally synchronised using TwinCAT NC PTP (point-to-point axis positioning) or NC I (axis interpolation in three dimensions). All NC characteristics, such as ‘cam plate’ or ‘flying saw’ (synchronisation of a slave axis with a moving master axis) can be combined as desired on a common hardware and software platform.
The TwinCAT Kinematic Transformation software supports various parallel and serial kinematics, such as those used for pick-and-place tasks. The software is based on TwinCAT NC I and G-Code (DIN 66025). The target coordinates are programmed in the Cartesian coordinate system. The Kinematic module takes care of conversion to the associated motor position (reverse transformation). In addition, the dynamic model for torque pre-control can be calculated.
The kinematic system can be selected in TwinCAT system manager. The kinematic channel is used to parameterise the type (e.g. delta), bar lengths and offsets. Mass and mass inertia values can be specified for dynamic pre-control. The ‘flying saw’ and ‘cam plate’ functions enable robot synchronisation with conveyor belts for picking or placing workpieces. The TwinCAT Kinematic Transformation software is suitable for material handling and packaging industries.