By Gilles Renard, Robotics Engineer at Kawasaki Robotics
In my previous roles, I mostly worked on FANUC robots. I was comfortable and didn’t think I needed to know much else. Then I joined Kawasaki and discovered a whole new world of access thanks to a different, more freeing programming language.
It made me realize I could make our robots do a whole lot more than I could make them do before. Kawasaki has a very open programming language that has a lot in common with computer software. If you like having lots of commands to build different functions, you’re going to love the Kawasaki software.
As you get started with Kawasaki Robotics software, here are 10 tips to keep in mind that will help to quickly gain fluency in this new and exciting language.
1. Create Robotics Programs Offline
K-ROSET is our sim software that lets users troubleshoot, learn and improve. Create robot programs offline and see a 3D version of your robot run your program. Our LITE version of the software is a free way to start using basic features of K-ROSET. You can contact us anytime to get the free version.
2. Access Comprehensive Notes
Kawasaki Robotics has a web page filled with robot manuals, software manuals and training and marketing content. Everything is vetted by our headquarters in Japan, so you can be sure you’re completely up-to-date as you absorb the material. To get access, get in touch with your Kawasaki sales rep.
3. Get More For Less
Long-time Kawasaki Robotics customers know this well, but newcomers are often surprised to learn just how many software options are packed in without requiring additional cost. Collision detection is a big example of one such option. It does exactly what you think: slows and stops the robot before making contact, preventing damage.
4. Monitor the Location of the Robot Tool with Work Zones
Automatically turning on an output lets the controller know that the robot has entered an area of the system, which proves useful when multiple robots are in the same zone. They’re able to tell each other where they are.
5. Get More Consistency with Direct Speed Control
DSC lets you control movement speed in mm/sec instead of as a percentage. So if you want your robot to go 130 mm/sec when it goes to dispense or approach a pick position, you can do that. It’s great for a constant and controlled speed.
Whenever You Have Questions, Bring Them to Kawasaki
All of us at Kawasaki Robotics only know one way to do business: stress-free, collaborative, and with mutual respect. As you build your long-term robotic process automation strategy, we’re always here to help however we can.
6. Solve Singularity Positions
A major problem industrial 6-axis robots have is when joints 4, 5 and 6 are aligned. This is solved with a single line of code in the program that locks joint 4 to zero degrees for specific motion paths. This solution isn’t very well known, but it works wonderfully.
Fun fact: tips 3 through 6 are all included standard in the Kawasaki controller!
7. Capitalize on Background Programming
All robot programs, regardless of brand, go line by line. But at Kawasaki, we also use background logic that runs on the side of the main programs. Handle communication with the PLC, run error handling on the side, and in general, enjoy more logic overall. When people say Kawasaki programming is flexible, this is a big reason why. It’s also why we typically say yes when a customer asks, “Can I do this?”
8. On I and On E
These functions monitor input in the entire robot motion. For On I, as soon as the input turns on, the robot runs a different function. On E is the same, except it’s on error. So as soon as any error happens in the controller, that specific function is run. If there’s a collision or the program faults out, this function talks to the PLC and gives an explanation for what happened.
9. Got a USB Stick or Ethernet Connection? Grab Your Robot Backup.
All programs, system settings and robot configuration, saved in a single text file. You don’t need a special license to read the backup, either. Just take the drive, plug it in and read every program, error log and robot config that’s in there. It’s about 500 kb per text file. Then, plug the backup into your next robot to speed up integration in a big way.
10. HMI Screen, Standard
Every Kawasaki teach pendant comes standard with an HMI screen. It’s usually a costly device like an external PC or table touchscreen on the outside of a cell. But here, that functionality is on the teach pendant itself with the teach pendant touchscreen.
Ready for a Whole New Programming World? Talk To Us!
Kawasaki software might be the most open and possibility-filled option on the market. To see all the additional things our robots are capable of thanks to their programming, your application.