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Safe communication with KUKA and KEB

25 September 2018

Industry 4.0 combines production with the latest modern information technology and automation systems. This is based on intelligent, digitally linked systems that connect plant and machinery. KUKA and KEB Automation have developed a solution that demonstrates how this works in practice.

In this field, KEB Automation is offering a new solution for implementing connectivity to KUKA robots in various applications. With the C6 HMI LC, KEB now offers the possibility to both exchange data and to control and program the KUKA robot. The KEB system combines display, using an HMI, and control, via a PLC – in a single machine. This simplifies the complexity of the system and reduces costs. EtherCAT, as a powerful fieldbus, also facilitates connection to the robot.

Working from individual customer requirements, KEB offers several implementation solutions to suit a wide range of applications:


Using the C6 HMI LC, the user is able to display information – such as the current position of the robot – via a corresponding display concept and can exchange data between the robot and the HMI.


The function module library “mxAutomation” from KUKA, which is based on PLC open standards, allows programming, diagnosis and manual operation of the KUKA robot via FB modules of the PLC. The library introduces almost all KUKA programming language commands into the PLC. Motion control of the axes is then performed by the robot itself.


In addition, the KEB solutions enable integration of safety controls to the system. The C6 Safety PLC from KEB uses “Safety-over-EtherCAT” as a secure fieldbus protocol for data transmission and communication with the robot, whereby safety functions can be implemented via the robot.

To see an example of KEB and KUKA systems working together, please visit:

For more information, please visit or visit us on stand 105 at the Robotics & Automation show (10-11 October 2018) at the ArenaMK in Milton Keynes.

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