Rockwell Automation and robot maker Comau are joining forces to offer unified robot control products.

Engineers will now be able to program their entire machine with one system, including robot arms directly controlled by Logix-based controllers.

The Studio 5000 automation system design software dispenses the time-consuming and often difficult task of trying to coordinate traditionally separate machine control and robot systems to work together using two different software tools.

The pair claim machine builders and system integrators will gain development and deployment efficiencies through the use of digital engineering tools like Emulate 3D digital twin software which creates digital models of production lines, auto-generates machine control code, and has built in capabilities for robots.

End users can use analytics and digital twin tools to gain deeper insights into machine performance and potential production optimisation. They can also use safety and security add-ons to reduce business risks.

Operators on the manufacturing floor will benefit from being able to see both line and robot control systems on a single interface. Plant and remote technicians will only need to learn and maintain one architecture to monitor both systems. They can also use augmented reality (AR) tools to improve life cycle and service cycle maintenance.

“Industrial companies are looking for efficient ways to integrate robotics into their operations for process optimisation and agility,” said Rockwell Automation chairman and CEO Blake Moret.

Expansion of robotic applications would help companies save time and improve performance with unified robot control while collaborative development and sales offer unified robot control to both companies’ customers.