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Automation 101 - Programming Robots Made Easy

Posted by Mark Guida on September 6, 2011 10:43 AM

Welcome to Automation 101, a weekly "tips and tricks" post where we will discuss technologies and programming of today's top automation products.

Robotics have long been a part of manufacturing.  Robots were often too large for most manufactuing tasks other than welding a car's unibody together.  Most were too complicated to program for simple, repetative tasks.

Automation companies today are focusing on smaller, lower-cost actuators to meet the high precision repeatability required by most of todays small component manufacturers.  When programming a new system, simplicity of programming and functionality of the software is just as important as total product cost.  When time is money, any time saved is money earned.

Intelligent Actuator's XSEL controller programming language, or "SEL Language," is simple and easy to use, but is also very powerful.  Some of the high-function features of the XSEL controller and SEL language are:

  • Linear, Arc, and Circle Interpolation
  • Palettizing
  • Push Moves (controlled force output)
  • Subroutines
  • DXF Point Import
  • Electronic Camming (up to 16 axes)
  • Vision Guidance
  • Multi-tasking Programs

A basic system requires that you have two things, a program and position data.  A simple program with position table for a three axis system would look something like this:

Sample SEL Language Program

Sample SEL Language Position Table

This is probably not a very useful program as is really only makes two linear moves, but the framework is all there.  Getting more complicated moves out of the system is no more difficult than programming a linear move like we just showed you.  For example:

Sample Circle Interpolation SEL Progam

One thing to note is by substituting the CIR2 command with CIRS, you will be able to perform a 3-dimensional circular interpolation.  Nothing else needs to change in the program.  The ease at which highly technical progamming is created using the SEL Language makes development time much shorter, even if it's your first program.

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Topics: cost savings, manufacturing, industrial automation nj/ny, technology, automation control, electric cylinder, motion control