Wittmann redefines robot control

image The IPC based R8 control from Wittmann (Vienna, Austria) facilitates complex interactions between robot and injection molding machine and helps to increase the productivity of any work cell.

The completely revised path planning module TruePath – that has been introduced with the R8 control – is optimized for the typical needs in regard to robot movements that are related to the injection molding machine or downstream work cell requirements. Apart from demolding movements that are executed within the mold area, the regulation algorithms are designed for leading to less vibration and quickest operation. Every robot movement is made with a view to the ideal entrance and exit angles as well as to the respective speeds – and this leads to the most efficient movements and least movements time. Beyond that, TruePath is offering the possibility of an overriding speed change at any time without leaving the path.

imageThe SmartRemoval function is monitoring all relevant processes in a parallel and anticipatory way – no matter whether the actions are performed by the robot or by the machine. The software is calculating the optimal removal process in communication with the machine control. The mold opening movement is used as the computation base for calculating the acceleration of the kick-stroke. This is leading to a shortening of the part removal times of up to 15%.

Using the EcoMode function leads to a reduction of the energy consumption as well as the noise level, and to a long-term conservation of the robot mechanical operations. The robot control analyzes the actual cycle time and the holding time above the mold. Afterwards speed and acceleration outside of the mold area are reduced to minimize the holding time of the robot during the following cycle. Slowing the traverse axis speed, for example, preserves the robot bearings life over that longer axis of travel and for the non-cycle time critical sequence.

The Soft Torque function enables the removal of molded parts not only via pure position control and motion, but instead to have the part being pushed “approximately” by the ejectors into the end-of-arm tooling of the robot. The kick-stroke of the robot allows to itself to be actively pushed back and automatically compensates forces (motor torque) in the opposite direction. The mechanical components will be preserved on a long term basis as influential forces are almost entirely absorbed and more harsh impact prevented. This helps for set up techs who are not comfortable to teach in the lead and lag of parts ejectors and robot back stroke motion control. It makes the set up more friendly and preserves axis, bearings, belts, etc.

image For guaranteeing much more machinery protection within the robot work envelop, the FlexSafe function allows for the definition of up to 255 robot operating areas via the R8 control.

Critical areas – e.g. the tie bars, safety guarding of the injection molding machine, water lines and manifolds, or any downstream automation equipment (as conveyors, granulators, chutes, etc.) – can therefore be protected from the impact of operating errors. All the axes of the robot, even optional (pneumatic) additional axes, are included when the R8 control is scanning the safety areas.

The extended function PartTrack permits the following of positions of moving objects, as it can be found for example in conjunction with a conveyor belt. For this, PartTrack uses an incremental encoder interface. A sensor or an optical system for the upstream selection of objects are giving the initial signal for the following and picking-up of the respective part. Setting up the system is comparatively simple, because the conveyor belt has not to be placed in a certain angle to the robot axes, but its orientation and can be chosen in any order.

The R8 control is available for the entire product line of WITTMANN robots, covering standard and side entry robots as well as SCARA robots.

For further information contact: WITTMANN Robot Systeme GmbH