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For robot accessories to work efficiently, they frequently need to connect to factory networks. Robot accessories specialist RSP found the easiest way to achieve this was with the ready-made Anybus products from HMS Networks.
The number of industrial robots operating in factories worldwide continues to rise. To use robots efficiently and maximise productivity, companies attach robot accessories to the robots to enable the robots to perform different tasks.
RSP (Robot System Products) specialises in developing, producing, and installing the required robot accessories. When RSP started to develop a new range of tool changers, it needed to meet its customers’ expectations and provide a tool changer capable of connecting to the factory networks. However, developing the required networking technology is a complicated task outside RSP’s expertise.
Happily for everyone, RSP found Anybus solutions from HMS. HMS helped embed an Anybus communication interface into the tool changer enabling connectivity with the factory’s network and allowing RSP to remain focused on making world-leading robot accessories.
“Our strength lies in the specialised knowledge gained from working with industrial robotics for almost 20 years,” explains Henrik Hofström, marketing manager at RSP. “This specialised knowledge enables us to make robust, versatile industrial robot accessories that help our customers improve robot flexibility and increase productivity.”
The requirements for a smart and connected industry affect every step in the automation process. So, when RSP was developing its Moduflex series, a new line of tool changers specially designed to carry heavy payloads, it needed to move with the times and provide a modern tool changer that could connect to automation networks.
To maintain the tool changer’s compact form, RSP preferred to embed the networking technology within the tool changer. RSP also needed a data communication interface that allowed easy and reliable connectivity to any factory system, regardless of the network protocol.
However, developing the required networking technology is neither easy nor what has made RSP a global leader. “We’re experts in robotics, not industrial networking,” explains Mats Thunell, senior engineer at RSP. “We want to remain focused on robotics, so we didn’t want to invest the time and money to develop an in-house networking solution as that’s outside our area of expertise. Fortunately, we found a good solution with Anybus that allows both companies to focus on what they’re good at, Robotics for us and networking for Anybus.”