B&R is relying on the fieldbus-independent openSAFETY safety protocol to implement extended "Safely Limited Speed (SLS) at the Tool Center Point (TCP)" safety functionality, a technology that allows the entire range of serial robot types to be monitored in the safety application. This represents a further extension of safety functionality available since 2011 that allows the safe monitoring of all joints on a six-axis articulated arm robot.
Implementing safe speed monitoring requires safe axis position information. This data is supplied by an ACOPOSmulti servo drive with integrated SafeMC safety functionality and transferred over the openSAFETY protocol. Using the positioning information received, TÜV-certified SafeROBOTICS function blocks included in the safety application calculate the absolute velocity of all joints, the tool mounting flange and the TCP. The safety functions themselves are executed directly on the drives. In addition, openSAFETY allows users absolute freedom when it comes to selecting a control system matched to all of the requirements of the application.
This new extended functionality is based on a parameter block made available by B&R that can be used to configure virtually any kinematic chain whatsoever for generic serial robots. No longer restricted to certain types of robots, users are now free to define and configure their own customised kinematic systems. Up to 11 separate joints can be defined, with the possibility to include up to 20 interlinked joints using directional couplers so that mechanical couplings can be incorporated between individual joints as well.
For further information about the fieldbus-independent openSAFETY safety protocol please visit www.ethernet-powerlink.org.