SIEMENS Using SIMATIC S7-1500 to Control KUKA Industrial Robot

Aug 15, 2023

SIEMENS Using SIMATIC S7-1500 to Control KUKA Industrial Robot

The KUKA. PLC mxAutomation feature pack provided by KUKA Robot GmbH facilitates users to use SIMATIC controllers to control KUKA robots using basic and motion commands from the KR C4 controller. This application example introduces how to use SIMATIC S7-1516 to control robots and provides an overview of the usage of the included functional blocks.

Industrial robots are becoming increasingly popular. At present, this type of robot is increasingly widely used in machines and factories. Its standardized mechanical system has been fully developed and highly flexible in motion control, making it an ideal choice for expensive specialized mechanical equipment. Therefore, mass production can be achieved without the need for expensive modifications to machines and factories.

However, factory control systems and robot controllers are two completely different systems. The communication between these two controllers can only be carried out at bit level, and the robot's motion control program is permanently stored in the robot controller, from which the factory control system cannot call. Therefore, robots find it difficult to respond flexibly to special factory events. In addition, the programming of factory control systems and robots is completely different, so these two systems cannot be supported by the same person. Therefore, interface and coordination issues are inevitable.

This application example introduces how to use the SIMATIC S7-1500 controller to fully control KUKA industrial robots. To achieve this, the KUKA.PLC mxAutomation module library can be used in the TIA Portal, which provides all necessary functional blocks.


The SIMATIC S7-1500 controller communicates with the KUKA industrial robot through a PROFINET connection. The SIMATIC controller and robot complete all command and status information exchange through this connection.

The SIMATIC controller uses the KUKA. PLC mxAutomation module library to fully control KUKA industrial robots. KUKA industrial robots include KUKA KR C4 robot controllers and mechanical systems of robots, as well as physical robots. The decoder for the KUKA.PLC mxAutomation module library command is installed on the robot controller. The decoder receives commands from the SIMATIC controller and executes them on the robot's mechanical system, including motion conversion.

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