Supplement for Profinet and Profibus

A new profile for robot systems

6. August 2021, 21:57 Uhr | Andreas Knoll
Auch im Corona-Jahr 2020 konnte Profinet ein gutes Wachstum erzielen.
Profinet has also achieved high growth in the Corona year 2020. The installed base has now exceeded the 40 million mark.
© PI

The user organization Profibus & Profinet International (PI) is now expanding its technology portfolio with a profile for robot systems - in addition to the Profisafe, Profidrive, Profienergy, and PA profiles. The profile is developed by the newly founded Working Group "Profile for Robot Systems".

PI considers their core task to be the cross-manufacturer standardization of data interfaces in order to make communication in automation systems simple and interoperable. The new profile is aimed in particular at stationary robots in production lines controlled by PLCs. The robots are integrated as complete systems to increase the degree of automation and reduce costs. Because the production line is typically controlled by a PLC and the user programs the application via the programming system of the PLC, he also wants to be able to control and program the complete robot systems of different manufacturers integrated in the production line in a uniform manner via the PLC programming system.

With this in mind, PI now wants to define a uniform data interface between the PLC and the robot controllers in order to make robot programming uniform - and thus more efficient - for PLC programmers and PLC suppliers. The data interface is intended to enable robot programs to be written entirely in the PLC. This means that the PLC manufacturer only needs a single robot library based on the data interface, while on the other hand the robot manufacturer also only needs to implement a single interpreter for its robot controller. The data interface is to be used to call the robot functions and to report the required information about the robot status back to the PLC.

PI considers the PLC and robot programmers who implement a machine or production line including robots (OEM) to be the primary target group of the interface concept. However, machine operators and plant operators (end customers) should also benefit.

For implementation, all previously known robot functions are to be defined in the data interface in a manufacturer-neutral manner, with the focus on application handling. This will be based on the preliminary work of the "Standard Robot Command Interface" project group.

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