Stäubli launches new software to enable robot programming through PLCs

Stäubli has launched uniVAL pi, a software solution that will enable robot programming to be implemented in the future via the PLC, using Plug & Play in Siemens TIA Portal.

A PLC, or programmable logic controller, is a type of small computer or device used to control machines in factories.

Stäubli’s new software is optionally an available communication interface, with which users can program Stäubli robots without manufacturer-specific, high-level language knowledge in their familiar environment – safely, quickly and efficiently, says the company.

As of now, all Stäubli kinematics can be ordered with the uniVAL pi option. In this configuration, the communication interface to the PLC is already fully developed.

Analogous to the already known uniVAL plc solution, which was developed for programmable logic controllers of all common manufacturers, customers only need to connect the robot to the Siemens world even with the uniVAL pi version and can get started immediately.

Whereas PLC and robot programming were two different worlds in the past, these tasks can now simply be handled centrally by the PLC programmer via the Siemens TIA Portal.

The plug & play solution brings decisive advantages, in particular uncomplicated integration of robots and faster commissioning. No interface problems or programming in VAL 3, just simple programming of the robot functionalities in the PLC – all this saves time and effort.

Importantly, the Stäubli controller continues to handle the internal path planning. This means that the excellent path behavior of Stäubli robots remains fully intact. In addition, users no longer need a backup strategy, as their data is stored centrally in the PLC.

Another plus of PLC programming is that the extensive safety functions of the new Stäubli CS9 controller remains active. These safety functions run on an additional CPU that monitors the path planning of the regular CPU and then intervenes if the set parameters are exceeded.

For example, if the robot were to move into a work area defined as a safe zone, the higher-level safety CPU takes over and brings it to a stop.

With the new uniVAL pi software, Stäubli has created a progressive solution that meets the increasing demands for simplified robot applications across all industrial environments.

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