Siemens Digital Industries
Simatic Robot Library graphic representation

Universal Robots to Integrate with Siemens’ TIA Portal

April 6, 2021
The move will help machine builders place cobots into their production flow easier and cheaper.

There’s been an ongoing outcry in the global manufacturing community for more seamless, less proprietary-oriented robot implementation. Universal Robots (UR), a collaborative robot manufacturer, has made that process easier by developing an interface for its cobots for Siemens’ Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) Portal. The TIA Portal is a database for automation systems that include edge computing, AI, AR, blockchain and 5G technologies—and now UR’s cobots.

Siemens’ plan is to enable users to program robots in the TIA Portal using the Simatic Robot Library, as well as to make use of standard operating concepts based on the Simatic Robot Integrator and Simatic HMI. This will also give users access to Siemens’ Simatic technology, data analysis and other automation opportunities.

The cobots will be a part of the Simatic Robot Library, which will allow users to program UR cobots from within the portal itself.

“Being part of the Siemens TIA Portal is of interest to UR, since it opens an additional channel for UR cobots to the market,” said Bernd Meier, UR's director of global key accounts & OEMS, in an interview with Machine Design. “Siemens has a very high market share in programmable logic control (PLC), and by that, a lot of Siemens customers can control UR cobots in the selected environment.”

Users of the portal will be able to teach their cobots tasks such as jog mode and path point creation without any specialized programming knowledge for each robotics brand, which is a particular crutch for small- to medium-sized manufacturers.

The portal, Meier pointed out, also allows for a pre-deployment simulation, virtual reality (VR) planning, post-deployment data analysis and predictive maintenance.

“The TIA Robot Library will offer standardized instructions on the Siemens side, which will be converted to UR specific machine instructions to operate our cobots,” he said. “For service-related topics, UR is offering a web-based customer portal called myUR.”

According to its website, Siemens worked with robot manufacturers ABB Robotics, Comau, Epson, FANUC, Kawasaki Robotics, KUKA, Panasonic Industry, STÄUBLI, Techman Robot, Yamaha and YASKAWA for this specification.

About the Author

Marie McBurnett | Senior Editor, Machine Design

Marie McBurnett is senior editor for Machine Design, covering robotics, 3D printing and design software.

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