We would like to set up all our PLCs and Fanuc Robots onto an Ethernet system, and get rid of the old-fashioned hardwired I/O going between all four PLCs and robots. The question came up asking if we would want managed or unmanaged switches.
I am not sure which to use and why you choose one over the other. If it helps, here is a list of what we have for the particular cell we are looking at converting over to Ethernet.
- Four separate cabinets, each with its own Q Series PLC. One of the PLCs has CC-Link going to remote I/O.
- Four separate Fanuc Robot controllers. Each has an Ethernet option.
All the PLCs and robots are talking by hard-wire interlocking. (Many failure points - the robots do not talk directly to each other but only to the PLCs; the PLC is more like a traffic cop that looks at the robot outputs and then sends outputs from the PLC to inputs of the proper robot).
We would like to add possibly four HMIs to the cell, remove three of the four PLCs, and have the robots on Ethernet to PLCs and each other. We would like to integrate remote I/O with Ethernet blocks, and also send data onto the server for production counts.
Any advice from anyone with experience in this is appreciated!