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New SLIO MECHATROLINK-III Interface: Modular, Flexible, and Fast

16. September 2019

With the new SLIO 053ML MECHATROLINK-III interface, Yaskawa offers a new way of integrating up to 64 modules of the reliable SLIO system into MECHATROLINK III networks. With such a large selection of modules, the interface guarantees a high level of flexibility. The potential of this new development is evident in the Yaskawa 'Singular Control' solution, for example. This enables robots, servo drives, inverter drives and I/O systems to be controlled from a single controller.

With the new SLIO 053ML MECHATROLINK-III interface, Yaskawa provides a new means of integrating up to 64 modules of the reliable SLIO system into MECHATROLINK III networks. (Source: Yaskawa)

When it comes to rapid, time-critical applications, the integration of decentralized I/O systems into the real-time MECHATROLINK-III Ethernet bus has so far been limited due to the lack of suitable modules. With the new SLIO 053ML MECHATROLINK-III interface, Yaskawa now offers a powerful alternative for the efficient integration of up to 64 input and output modules of the SLIO system. 

Thanks to the new coupler, the flexible device can now also be used for MECHATROLINK III networks in accordance with IEC 61158/IEC 61784. Compared to the classic Ethernet or Modbus TCP coupling, the SLIO components also enable significantly faster signal transmission.

This extremely compact I/O system also boasts a fast backplane bus, single-channel diagnostic LEDs, fixed wiring and a modular design. For example, both digital and analog inputs and outputs and counter modules are available.

‘Singular Control’ solution 

The advantages of the SLIO MECHATROLINK-III interface are clear to see when in operation: For example, the new coupler combines I/O systems with robots, servo axes, and inverter drives to form a MECHATROLINK III-based 'Singular Control' solution. The entire system can then be controlled by a single controller and programmed in just one software environment. This can increase flexibility and machine throughput without having to change the application program or integrate new controllers into the system.

The solution is based around the MP3300iec RBT compact machine controller, a particularly powerful model from the current MP3000 product range. Uniform application programming takes place via a single software tool (MotionWorks IEC) with standard PLCopen and Yaskawa-specific function blocks, which are available free of charge and greatly simplify system programming. The integrated functions also include visualization tools, camera systems, conveyor tracking, a group toolbox and much more besides.  

Effortless integration of robots into existing architectures

Users and mechanical engineers can use this 'Singular Control' solution to integrate robots into existing architectures without the need for a programming device (teachbox) or a proprietary robot programming language. The movement sequence of the individual axes of the robot or of delta-specific and customer-specific kinematics is calculated in the firmware of the controller. The programmer can concentrate on the application without having to worry about the underlying complex technology. Currently, the Motoman robots with controllers from the DX200, YRC1000 and YRC1000 Micro series can be integrated into the machine architectures via mouse click, allowing the programmer to control them with the standard PLCopen function blocks.