Remote Access, Service & Monitoring for Industrial Robots & Cobots
Countless manufacturers and system integrators use industrial robots to automate tasks, enhance worker safety, and increase overall production output while reducing waste and operating costs. With industrial robots becoming more prevalent in manufacturing environments, the need for remote access, service and monitoring increases to reduce robot downtime.
With IXON you can remotely access and control industrial robots from any major robotics brand. In this article, we’ll explain all main features of our Industrial IoT platform and tell you more about our end-to-end gateway IXrouter, so you too can benefit from the flexibility of working remotely. Discover how easy remote troubleshooting, condition monitoring, analysis or programming the teach pendant (HMI) has become using IXON’s web-based platform and apps.
Tip: Experience the benefits and ease-of-use yourself and get started with our 30-day trial.
A universal Remote Access & IoT solution for industrial robots
Using IXON Cloud you get instant & easy access to your collaborative robots over a secure VPN connection from anywhere in the world. In our dashboard, you can even configure secure access to attached/integrated components that are normally accessed via VNC or HTTP.
What IXON offers to facilitate remote service, insights and monitoring for robotic engineers and operators:
- Remotely connect to your robot's controller or PLC using a VPN tunnel from your computer to the on-site robot.
- The robot's Teach Pendant HMI display can be completely accessed remotely and controlled, programmed and viewed using VNC via a secure VPN connection. Open the robot’s web server via HTTPS from your browser. This is also possible on your smartphone or tablet.
- IXON supports modern industrial protocols (such as Modbus TCP, Ethernet/IP, OPC UA) to collect data & parameters directly from the robot and store them securely in your IXON account. Use the data in customizable robot dashboards for remote condition monitoring. Web-based configuration eliminates the need for programming.
- Configure robot alarms and be notified if something goes wrong. Useful for corrective, preventive or predictive maintenance.
- Manage all your robots in one place and control who has access with role-based user management.
- Discover other features like the API and white labelling.
To connect your robots/cobots to the IXON Cloud, you use the IXrouter, an industrial VPN router and edge gateway, optimised for security and easy configuration.
Discover more benefits of an IoT platform for industrial robotics here.
IoT connectivity for industrial (collaborative) robots
The IXrouter is IXONs edge gateway and compatible with industrial robots. The router integrates your robot/cobot with the IXON Cloud to access it remotely over a secure connection. The installation is simple and each device includes lifetime free VPN / VNC access and tech support.
How to connect your robot/cobot with the IXON Cloud
To make use of the IXON Cloud you need to create a free company account and connect your industrial robots to this platform using an IXrouter. In this video, we briefly explain how to connect the IXrouter to the IXON Cloud platform in just 3 simple steps.
Each industrial VPN router has four ethernet ports to connect industrial robots (or PLCs or other peripherals), and one WAN port to connect it to the internet. There are multiple versions of the IXrouter supporting additional ways to get internet access:
- Ethernet only
- Ethernet & 4G Global
- Ethernet & Wi-Fi
- Ethernet, 4G Global & Wi-Fi
Simply choose a way to get internet access, connect your robot(s) and you’re all set and ready.
Tip: Try the easiest secure remote access solution for industrial robots. Request your Starter Kit here.
Get remote VPN access to robots/cobots
Once your IXrouter device is activated, you can log into your IXON Cloud account to establish a secure VPN connection to your robot. Choose the device you want to connect to and press the VPN button. A secure VPN tunnel is now created from your computer, via the IXON Cloud to your robot. You’ll have full network access to your robot for remote PLC troubleshooting, adjusting settings, and publishing new programming software.
Remotely control a robot’s teach pendant display (HMI) via VNC
If you can connect to the robot's teach pendant via VNC, you can operate it completely remotely using the IXON platform. After you’ve configured the VNC connection in your IXON account, you can use IXON Cloud to remotely view, configure and control the robot arms by taking over its screen.
View, access and completely control the robot’s HMI panel remotely via your browser or smartphone apps. Learn how to set this up under 5 minutes.
Data logging for robots
Cloud Data Logging is our service to collect data from your robot and store it securely in IXON Cloud, and access it through advanced and easy to use dashboards.
Setting up data collection from your robot to IXON Cloud
To collect data from your robot activate data Logging in your IXON Cloud account. IXON supports many protocols like Ethernet/IP, OPC UA and Modbus/TCP. You can configure the robot parameters you’d like to log and choose when these need to be logged (on interval, on change or using a custom trigger). After configuring and publishing the settings to the IXrouter, it takes care of the data processing.
Data from the robot is now monitored and cached locally by the IXrouter. When it meets the condition criteria the data will instantly be transmitted to the cloud for storage. Should the IXrouter temporarily lose its internet connection, the data is not lost and stored locally. As soon as the connection is re-established, the data will be uploaded.
Create a robot dashboard for analysis and remote condition monitoring
Using the drag & drop editor, you can add widgets and build multiple dashboards based on the collected robot data. Add a gauge, period, tables or graph widget to create a data report or live monitor for your robots and cobots. These dashboards present historical or real-time data for remote condition monitoring your robot. Dashboards can be shared with service partners, engineers or your customer to embrace collaboration.
Configure robot alarms for troubleshooting and maintenance
To create and receive alarms from your robot you need to activate Cloud Notify in your account. Alarms can be created based on the state or value of a parameter, such as when the robot program state is equal to “PAUSED” or the number of operation hours reaches its limit.
In IXON Cloud you can add alarms in the Cloud Notify section. Choose the variable, the priority, set the condition and instructions for the operator. Next, you define who must receive a push message or email when the alarm is triggered.
Supported robot brands by IXON
As our solution is available for a wide range of industrial equipment, it is compatible with almost any robot and PLC brand. Below you’ll find a partial list of robot brands we support.
Supported robotic brands for VPN access:
ABB robotics, Aubo robotics, Automata (Eva robot), Comau, Doosan, Epson robotics, FANUC, Hanwha, Kawasaki robotics, KUKA, Mitsubishi Electric, Nachi, Omron, OTC Daihen, Panasonic robotics, Sawyer, Stäubli, Universal Robots (UR+), Yaskawa, KEBA.
You are not the first one who connected his robot to the IXON Cloud. Our support team will help you get started. Please get in touch if you have a brand which is not listed here or send us your questions.
Try IXON Cloud for remote service of collaborative robots
Get started setting up remote VPN access, teach pendant control and condition monitoring to your robots in just minutes! Leave us your details and we’ll send you a Starter Kit with our most advanced IXrouter (Wi-Fi, Ethernet and 4G/LTE) and all necessary accessories to jumpstart your project. Set up a complete scenario for remote access and test our IoT features with your own robot.
or explore the IXON Cloud platform in our Free Product Tour.