Smart gripper, smart integration

Robot programming is made easy by the ready-to-connect communication modules from Zimmer Group. You place them in the robot controller and, depending on the module, connect them with the controller via cable or wirelessly. The Comfort app, which is coordinated to the robot manufacturer, makes it possible to control and operate the gripper conveniently and directly via the respective robot control panel – easy to set up and featuring all the necessary commands for smooth automatic mode.

With programming tools from Zimmer Group, robot applications can be put into operation quickly, easily and without extensive programming knowledge. Zimmer Group also provides downloadable function blocks for all the most common manufacturers for direct programming in the PLC.

The standardized, wireless IO-Link communication module enables interference-free and reliable communication, entirely without cabling. All IO-Link gripper components can be used and are compatible with a wide range of controllers via the uniform interface. As usual, power is supplied over the connecting line. Energy can be buffered as desired, while information is exchanged wirelessly, directly and without delay, between the controller and gripper.

1 | 2 Robot or machine

Whether lightweight robots, industrial robots, cobots or machines, at the beginning there is the automatic, programmable production machine. In connection with the corresponding effector, it must manage the production, handling or installation of workpieces, either independently or in collaboration with people.

3 | 4 End effector

All gripper systems are possible, depending on the requirement and production process. After successful configuration, the end effector is controlled directly and automatically via the PLC/robot controller. Conventional connection of grippers (either IO-Link or digital I/O) or use of the multi-functional end-of-arm platform MATCH is possible.

5 | 6 | 7 SCM / BCM

Connection via cable (SCM communication module) or wireless connection (IO-Link wireless of the BCM series) are both possible. The Smart Communication Module is used as a gateway for the end effector and translates the IO-Link communication system to digital I/O and vice versa. It communicates directly with the robot controller here. This guarantees easy control of the end effector.

8 | 9 Software

Using intuitive software (Zimmer Group HMI and guideZ, expertZ and monitorZ software blocks), definition and programming of gripping parameters are easy and user-friendly. A temporary network connection to a standard laptop is generally set up for configuration of the end effector, which is no longer needed afterward. Our new guideZ for Robot interface does it even better: here, a laptop is no longer necessary at all and all settings can be configured directly from the robot using the Comfort app. 

Comfort APPs  PLC modules


Of course, integration of a Zimmer Group IO-Link gripper always involves implementation of the control. The programmable logic controller (PLC) can communicate directly with our grippers by means of an extension through a standard IO-Link master. The standardized protocol, simple, fully defined interface and fully documented PLC blocks create a universally usable package. But what if use of a PLC is not planned, or if it seems too big and elaborate for the planned automation task? The SCM module as a gateway between the IO-Link gripper and robot controller is the solution. Rounded out by the guideZ wizard and Comfort app on the robot, direct integration is possible. We have put together packages for a variety of robots. 

13 Teach pendant

Using the robot control panel or teach pendant, direct control and operation of the gripper or robot are possible with a Comfort app coordinated to the robot manufacturer. The Comfort app offers a convenient solution for setup operation of the end effector as well as automatic mode.

Easy integration of intelligent grippers in PLC environment

A step-by-step guide

Example configurations of DIGITAL-IO

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