ABB has introduced an integrated PLC and robot controller for robot cell applications in a single unit. Combining ABB's flexible AC500 PLC with its IRC5 robot controller, the newly integrated unit eliminates the cost and space of a separate PLC cabinet and greatly reduces the time associated with the set-up and operation of robotic production cells.
With up to three local I/O boards plus bus communications for remote I/Os, the integrated controller provides a single point of control for a range of production cell functions, including peripheral production equipment such as grippers, feeders, and ancillary machines. All of the main communications standards, including DeviceNet, PROFIBUS DP, CANopen, and Modbus TCP are supported, as well as wireless communications.
Since its launch in 2006, the AC500 PLC has been used by OEMs and plant operators that need a flexible system that can be expanded to meet changing requirements. Using the Control Builder software, programmers have a unified development environment that includes all six IEC61131-3 programming languages and tools for configuration, debugging, and visualization.
To help simplify programming and operation, a software framework is included, removing the need to set up a communication infrastructure between the robot controller and PLC. The framework includes interactive displays on the FlexPendant, the robot controller interface device. This enables system integrators and end users to concentrate on the higher-level specifics of a system installation or reconfiguration.
The IRC5 controller with the integrated AC500 PLC is available immediately.