UR develops cobot interface for Siemens engineering platform


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Siemens’ TIA portal now facilitates cobot integration into complex machines. | Photo Credit: Universal Robots

Integrating Universal Robots‘ (UR) cobots into complex machines and manufacturing environments will soon be a process machine builders and systems integrators can handle through Siemens’ TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) portal. UR said this will be done through an interpreter interface and will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The TIA Portal engineering framework supports users in planning extensive manufacturing automation projects. It will allows users to program their cobots directly within the TIA Portal via a unified user interface and to include them in their planning, which will now also include UR’s collaborative robots.

“Machinery and plant engineers as well as manufacturers with large production facilities will benefit from our cobots‘ TIA integration,” explains Bernd Meier, Director of Global Key Accounts & OEMS at UR. “Thanks to the new interface, they will soon be able to apply our cobots’ functional diversity, precision and repeatability within complex production lines, benefitting from all aspects of digitalized automation – from digital planning and integrated engineering to transparent operations.”

With the TIA portal’s integrated design, users can now independently implement the UR cobots within major production lines and teach them functions such as jog mode or path point creation. In November 2020, Siemens presented the Simatic Robot Library as an addition to this application The new library allows users to download programming examples and use them to control the UR cobots.

Universal Robots Siemens TIA

“We are welcoming Universal Robots as a new partner just in time for the start of the new Simatic Robot Library’s piloting,” said Tobias Fengel, marketing manager at Siemens Digital Industries. “We are delighted that we will soon be able to offer our clients a forward-looking solution together with the cobot market leader.”

UR is by far the leading producer of cobot arms in the world. It sold its 50,000 cobot arm in late 2020, more than doubling its sales since 2018. UR recently named Kim Povlsen president. Povlsen, a Danish native, held various executive business and technology leadership roles at Schneider Electric, a global energy management and automation company. He replaced Jürgen von Hollen, who stepped down at the end of 2020 after four-plus years as president of UR.

“Our cobots have always been characterized by their intuitive handling,” Bernd Meier explains. “Their integration into the TIA portal via the Simatic Robot Library now accelerates their integration and implementation into complex production lines. It also makes it easier to combine the UR cobots with technologies like Edge data analyses or cloud services and include them in the monitoring of plant conditions“



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