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mxAutomation for Sinumerik CNC is a joint development between Kuka and Siemens for operating both a machine tool and robot from a single control panel. The system includes PLC function blocks to completely configure and program Kuka robots directly in the PLC, and an interpreter on the robotic control system to receive and execute the PLC commands.
Kuka created plug-in function modules for the Siemens Step 7 PLC engineering software and provided robot knowledge to Siemens for the creation of the second channel logic on the CNC. The motion sequence of the robot is engineered within the Siemens Sinumerik 840D sl CNC in Step 7, then transferred by the CNC’s PLC function to the mxAutomation interpreter on the KRC4. The KRC4 integrator and mxAutomation convert the robot language into the same commands used for multi-axis machine tool functions. According to the company, a single I/O language is used for integrating robotics on the CNC, enabling the operator to run both the machine tool and robot from a single screen on the control.
All safety functions and test functions for load and unload, brake test, gripper, robot communication, and safe robot operation are provided through the Siemens Profinet and Profisafe platforms.