Unified Robot Control Overview

Yaskawa Motoman introduces the MLX200

MLX200 – a new member of the unified controller family! The MLX200 combines the programming and controlling of the robots entirely through the PLC!

Traditionally, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are used for supervisory control and sequencing in the world of automation. A PLC tends to control all of the devices in a manufacturing cell except for the robot. The robot comes with its own proprietary controller which must be programmed using its own proprietary language. This increases the difficulty and cost of robot integration for end customers as they must either hire specialists who understand the proprietary languages or rely on the robot manufacturer or system integrator to program the system and troubleshoot problems.

The Unified Robot Controller eliminates these problems by allowing the robot to be programmed, debugged, and maintained through the use of only one platform: the PLC. With the Unified Robot Controller, the robot is programmed in ladder logic and operated through a standard HMI – no interaction with a separate robot controller is required. This makes programming, diagnosing and troubleshooting the robot simple because it is done all in “one” place and uses widely known software. The Unified Robot Controller also saves customers money by being able to troubleshoot without having to hire a third party to diagnose issues and to easily replace and store spare parts needed for maintaining the robot control system. MLX200, created by Yaskawa Motoman, is the best way to program Robot Applications through PLCs, and the only solution on the market today that truly offers unified controls architecture.


Time for Automation

Most manufacturing plants have seen the use of robotic automation as a necessary evil, but there are many manufacturers that have shied away from robotic automation in the past due to the expense and the complexity of robot “ownership”. They have heard that, in the world of automation, owning a robot is a myth, and the only person that truly “owns” the robot is the robot manufacturer. This is due to complex proprietary languages that differ for each manufacturer and require specialized knowledge and training to program applications and diagnose problems. With MLX200, the entire system is programmed through the PLC using ladder logic. This allows customers to leverage their existing personnel – many of whom are already proficient in programming PLCs – to develop and maintain robotic automation solutions and also prevents the need to develop hand-shaking protocols between the PLC and a traditional robot controller. MLX200 is the all in one solution to streamlining the use and ease of industrial robots.

Download the MLX200 Datasheet

The Robot Language Obstacle

Traditionally, Programmable Logical Controller’s (PLC’s) have been able to control almost all devices in a manufacturing environment except for a key component of flexible automation – the robot. The robot was controlled with its own controller which was written in a language that is proprietary to each robot manufacturer. If you have 5 robots from 5 different vendors in place, this can mean having to learn 5 different languages! Not to mention the time and trouble of trying to diagnose any problems that can occur while using and teaching automation! With the MLX200 unified robot controller, you will be able to program, diagnose, and troubleshoot the robot as well as run the conveyors, tracking, picking etc. all with one language – the PLC programming language. There is an abundance of PLC programmers compared to robot specialists which will save your company time and money in the long run from having to hire “specialists” to fix and maintain the robots on the automation floor.

Read the Article from Packaging World




With the MLX200 unified robot control, maintenance and programming is a snap. For starters, all of the troubleshooting, programming and diagnosing is done in one place. With traditional controllers, there was a process of “chasing” the problem. The unified robot controller not only keeps everything in ONE place with ONE software, it significantly decreases the number of cables, communication nodes and controls that are used in the traditional robot and PLC control. By decreasing the number of components, the number of failure points as well as the number of spare parts required also decreases. This fact alone will save you time and significantly increases your return on investment.

Watch the Video Tutorials

The Solution – MLX 200

MLX200 is the solution for unified robot control. MLX200 eliminates the proprietary robot controller and brings robot control into the Allen Bradly PLC. All robot programming is done in Ladder Logic using RSLogix™ 5000. Robot teaching, alarms, setup, etc. is all done through Factory Talk® HMI from Rockwell Automation. Along with this, the robot servo controls are provided in a panel mount configuration that can be easily integrated with the rest of the system. As such, MLX200 makes programming, diagnosing and troubleshooting the robot simple because it is done with one set of software tools. Lastly, MLX200 saves companies money by being able to troubleshoot their own problems without having to hire a third party and by being able to easily replace and store spare parts needed for maintaining the robot. All in all, the MLX 200 is the solution that many automation customers have been searching for.

Contact Yaskawa Motoman to Get Started!


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