Michigan Technological University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN20 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Page: 86
ISBN: 978-84-09-17979-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2020.0047
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Coordinated robots are used in manufacturing to assembling components made of multiple sub-components utilizing a single robotic cell or an assembly line. This allows for reducing the time to assemble parts as they have the ability to combine multiple operations. In an industrial automation environment having coordinated robots, it is efficient to control the process execution utilizing a programmable logic controller (PLC). Having a PLC and HMI setup will help declutter the work area as it eliminates the need for Teach Pendants for routine operations.
It is important to educate future engineers on how to establish a coordinated robotic work cell. To demonstrate a coordinated robotic cell a scenario is created in which two FANUC industrial robots are engaged utilizing the handshaking protocol. The robots share a conveyor to simulate the industrial environment for material handling operations. The program execution and conveyor operation are controlled by an Allen Bradley L32E Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). To have immediate control of the operation a Human Machine Interface (HMI) screen is utilized to control the process. This setup well reproduces industrial environment frequently met for material production and handling.
The demand for engineers with a versatile knowledge base that encompasses skills in industrial robotics, advanced controls, and programming is of high demand. Educational institutions need to respond to this demand by preparing graduates with the skill sets that are relevant to the current industry needs. The proposed setup replicates the real industrial environment for material handling and teaches the students to interconnect and coordinate various pieces of industrial hardware to accomplish the very common in industry task. This setup is very versatile and can enhance laboratory exercises in the courses related to industrial robotics, advanced controls, and mechatronics. Not only students learn how to configure individual components such as industrial manipulators, various sensors and actuators, PLCs, and HMIs but also to integrate all these components in one advance mechatronics solutions with advanced communication capabilities.
The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it provides an overview of how to design, build and program coordinated by the PLC robotic work cell replicating real-life industrial setting. Secondly, the detailed layout of the components, programming functions, and description of the implemented communication protocols will allow educational institutions across the globe to replicate the proposed system in order to enhance the hands-on educational experience for their students and therefore prepare future engineers to implement their knowledge on day one once join the workforce
Robots, PLC, automation.