Automation technology

Automation of robot kinematics

November 23, 2023

Trend and necessity

Nowadays, many manufacturers of production and assembly machines rely on standard robots. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for these manufacturers to differentiate themselves from the competition or to clearly communicate the benefits to their customers. The actual advantage for the customer, which makes the product unique, is often lost and difficult to communicate.

More and more machine manufacturers are breaking new ground and succeeding. They rely on specially developed motion sequences adapted to the respective application, so-called task-specific (robot) kinematics. Instead of excessive mechanics and functions, they concentrate on the really important machine surfaces and technologies. Although the initial development costs are higher, this pays off in the long term - through customer loyalty and, what is particularly relevant today, faster delivery thanks to in-house production.

This innovative approach is not only used in mechanical engineering, but also in areas such as medical technology, care for the elderly and the sick, as well as in service and space robotics.

Safety aspect

In this context, the legal safety aspect of functional safety DIN EN IEC 61508 in compliance with the machinery directive DIN EN IEC 62061/DIN EN ISO 13849 should not be neglected. With the aid of the "V-model", systematic errors (failure probabilities) of integrated components and subsystems are reduced, which simplifies the realization of their complete systems for manufacturers of safety-related systems. The protection principles selected and applied for this purpose must ensure a safe working environment for all operating personnel.

Control concept

As a competent partner for a wide range of automation solutions, Berghof Automation has enjoyed an excellent reputation on the market for over 40 years. Thanks to the extensive modular control system of the Primis, Nimis and Fortis series, the powerful Linux platform, compatibility and system openness, almost all areas of application are covered. This is why Berghof has consistently relied on the open IEC61131-3 automation tool CODESYS Development System IDE for many years. CODESYS has established itself worldwide as the standard for programming industrial control systems. Berghof relies on the native CODESYS and avoids proprietary solutions that involve additional costs. Anyone interested can download the IDE free of charge from the CODESYS store.

Thanks to the powerful Berghof controllers, ranging from single-core to multi-core devices, tasks in the areas of motion control, CNC and robotics can be processed on the same devices as the PLC controller.

The Berghof PLC with integrated CODESYS runtime licenses becomes a motion controller with all the necessary components such as motion editors, kinematic transformations, standardized function blocks for robotics functions and CNC kernel.

This also applies to the area of task-specific "robot" kinematics.

The product for robotics applications with PTP (point-to-point) or CP (continuous path) interpolation contains the integrated axis group configurator with the option of simple parameterization of various kinematics. The existing motion planning enables robot positions in different coordinate systems and calculates the corresponding transformation.

The Berghof CODESYS solution supports the most important fieldbus systems such as EtherCAT and CANopen for integrating drive systems based on the CIA-402 profile and also contains ready-to-use drivers from the most common servo drive manufacturers.

In addition, the CODESYS visualization facilitates 3D simulation, testing and commissioning.

Functional safety is realized by the Berghof Safety PLC (openSafety, FSoE) and safety I/O modules in accordance with safety standards. Safety functions such as SafeMotion or safe drive and axis monitoring with EtherCAT safety modules are possible. Berghof also has the right solution for more demanding safety requirements such as safety monitoring of speed and positions for several axes or the TCP (Tool Center Point).

Berghof also offers comprehensive support and service: from consulting and designing the application to creating the software and commissioning through to training and instruction.


SoftMotion CNC + Robotic (Berghof Option S301)

Example control concept for robot kinematics

(pdf | 245 KB)