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Think about all the things that can be done in 1 second – the list is pretty short. Then cut that time in half. Gianluca Torrielli, Segment Manager Automotive, Murrelektronik Italy, tells us that that is the amount of time it takes for a KUKA robot to change tools – made possible by the MVK Metal module from Murrelektronik.

KUKA robots are known worldwide. The legendary orange robots can be found in manufacturing facilities all over the globe. The company offers a unique product range that features all different kinds of robots that can be used in the most diverse industries.

The automotive industry is famous for its cutting-edge use of robots. They contribute to the optimization of the industry and flexibility in the production. Multiple robots work together in different capacities: to transport of heavy parts, increase precision or shorten intervals.

Today, the body shops at large automotive manufacturers are fully automated. Tasked with assembling the many different components that make up the body of the car, the robots have to change out their equipment hundreds of times a day during assembly. In order to be able to do this extremely fast, flexible automation systems are necessary to keep the tool change times and restart times to an absolute minimum.

The team of electrical engineers at KUKA in Italy decided that the robust MVK Metal fieldbus modules from Murrelektronik could meet these industry-defining expectations and create a powerful automation solution.

The fieldbus modules, running on PROFINET, support Fast Start Up technology which means that everything from powering up to transferring data is done in less than 500 ms. All of the parameters are predefined which allows the flow of data to remain small from the moment of start-up. This prevents unnecessary information from being transferred to the control. The MVK Metal modules communicate actively with the control and tell it when they are available without waiting for the cycle to find them. This greatly accelerates the process.

Murrelektronik’s MVK Metal modules are connected with Push-Pull cordsets which are easy to handle and can be quickly assembled without any tools. These connectors are pre-wired, fully molded and have been electrically tested which prevents wiring errors and protects from external interferences. The module itself is housed in a zinc die-cast which is resistant against welding sparks, oils and lubricants. It is also fully potted which protects against and shocks or vibrations.

Diagnostics are also very important to the team at KUKA and another reason why they chose Murrelektronik. The MVK Metal fieldbus module provides single channel diagnostics with LEDs that show the status of the connection and the power source. Because the diagnostics are based on the individual channels, the module is able to shut down the affected channel and not the entire module during errors. This is a huge help in avoiding down time.


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