Simplify Industrial Applications with Collaborative Robots & EtherNet/IP Communication Protocol

Simplifying industrial applications can seem like an arduous task for yourself and your team. Maybe you have introduced collaborative robots to simplify repetitive tasks within your facility, but you are finding that your applications require multiple cobots running in tandem.

Running many systems and technology at once to create your end-product can soon become complicated. Rather than running disjointed machines and programs, you can simplify processes down using EtherNet/IP communication protocols. In this post, we will dive into how you can simplify your collaborative robot applications using a technology designed to offer communication between systems. EtherNet/IP communication protocols combined with Techman Robots could be the answer to your woes.

What is EtherNet Connection?

You may have heard of EtherNet communication protocols such as EtherNet/IP, Ethernet TCP/IP, Modbus TCP/IP, and Profinet. As you can see, there are a few different types of EtherNet protocols being used in the industrial world. Generally, industries such as manufacturing use EtherNet technology for process control and automation applications. However, any industry experiencing repetitive movement within applications can utilize this technology when it fits the use case.

EtherNet technology allows for different systems and machines to connect over one network to allow for easy communication. With many industrial settings running control systems and machines of great variety, you can imagine why such a technology has become a game changer for efficiency.

EtherNet/IP is a specific Ethernet protocol created by Rockwell Automation derived from TCP/IP communication protocol.  This technology is widely used in the United States and other regions of North America at large. Ease of use and speed makes EtherNet technology the ideal choice for communication in industrial settings with built-in connections to IT systems.

How is EtherNet/IP Connection used with Techman Cobot?

EtherNet/IP can be used in many automation applications including process control. One specific system that works well with this communication protocol is Techman Robots.

While there is no-built in EtherNet/IP within Techman Robots, users are able to incorporate EtherNet/IP technology by installing hardware behind the control box. The EtherNet/IP PLC can connect to Techman Robots as an EtherNet IP slave to get IO statuses and send an IO command.

Since this technology can connect multiple systems on one network and allow for communication between systems, multiple collaborative robots can be used at the same time in one application. This increases output capabilities and increases process efficiency. Imagine the quickness and ease that a specific application could experience. One example of using two robots within one application can be seen below:

The use of EtherNet/IP protocols is simplified through the use of Techman’s native workflow: TM Flow. Utilizing a laptop or tablet, you can program your application without utilizing hard-to-learn coding. Simply create a project, and input drag and drop variables. JHFOSTER offers training to help you quickly and easily learn the ins and outs of TM Flow.

By using EtherNet/IP protocol and Techman Robots, you can automate applications such as:

  • Pick and Place
  • Packaging and Palletizing
  • Testing
  • Assembly‌
  • Machine‌ ‌Tending‌
  • Surface‌ ‌Finishing‌
  • Inspection‌
  • Injection‌ ‌Molding‌
  • Polishing‌
  • Screw‌ ‌Driving‌
  • Lab‌ ‌Analysis‌ ‌and‌ ‌Testing‌
  • Gluing,‌ ‌Dispensing,‌ ‌and‌ ‌Welding‌

How Can I Install EtherNet/IP on my Techman Robot?

Implementing collaborative robotic technology doesn’t have to be hard. The steps to installing EtherNet/IP on your Techman Cobot are very simple.

  • Install hardware using the control box
    • Remove the control box cover and cable from your Techman Robot
    • Identify the card slot and install the Mini-PCIe card and cable
    • Affix the card using screws
    • Then, you will want to remove the red box cover using a screwdriver and install your network plug
    • Now, simply plug in your cable and reinstall the control box cover
  •  Enable EtherNet/IP in TM Flow
    • Using TM Flow, head to your settings page
    • Click on the connection icon
    • On the next screen, select “EtherNet/IP Server”
    • Finally, enable EtherNet/IP
  • Configure Devices
    • Using RSLinx Classic, head to “Communications” on the toolbar
    • Select “configure drivers”
    • In the next screen, select “ethernet devices” and push “add new”
    • Name your driver
    • Configure your driver
    • Next change your IP address after configuring
  • Create a Project and Test
    • Configuring your project will require Studio 5000 Logix Designer and TM Flow software. The project will be specific to your need and application. If you don’t have an expert on your team specialized in this technology, JHFOSTER can assist in training your team!

Contact JHFOSTER to Begin Using EtherNet/IP alongside your Techman Robot

For more information on how EtherNet/IP and Techman Robots could increase efficiency in your industrial applications, contact the robotic experts at JHFOSTER today. Our experienced, knowledgeable specialists are standing by and ready to help you select the right technology for your application. They are even able to assist in installation and can train your staff! Contact us for more information about the efficiency you could experience with collaborative robotic technology.