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ABB to Showcase “New Era of Robotics” Built on the Pillars of Collaboration, Simplification and Integration at Automate 2015

POSTED 03/11/2015

Demos include advanced systems for small parts assembly, laser welding, high speed picking, customer service and operational software

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – ABB Robotics will showcase “A New Era of Robotics” built upon the three pillars of collaboration, simplification and integration at Automate 2015, March 23-26 at McCormick Place in Chicago (Booth # 571). The themes are represented by numerous aspects of the Automate demos, including the collaboration of ABB Customer Service teams and programs that assure that all robotic systems operate at peak performance over their entire lives; the simplification afforded by software advancements that have reduced programming complexity and created an intuitive human machine interface for production operation; and the integration of sophisticated robot controllers with leading motion control technologies that allow easy integration of additional hardware, sensors and other peripherals. 

The ABB Automate 2015 booth features the following demos:

IRB 1200 Robot with the ABB FlexFeeder:  the IRB 1200 small robot family provides flexibility, ease of use, short cycle times, and a unique combination of a compact footprint and a large work envelope. It is designed for a wide range of material handling, machine tending and small parts assembly applications, and is innovatively designed with no offset in axis two, delivering a longer stroke that allows the robot to be placed very close to the work piece and still be functional. Combined with other signature features, the longer stroke enables up to 15% smaller work cells and 10% shorter cycle times than comparable robots.

The demo also features the new ABB FlexFeeder, an ultra-compact flexible parts feeding system designed for small parts assembly applications such as consumer electronics, computers and communication devices. The FlexFeeder, in combination with ABB’s Integrated Vision, allows the sorting of an array of components, ranging from 3 -30 mm, without having to change the feeder each time a different component is fed into the system. It utilizes a pneumatically actuated mechanical system to present randomly positioned parts in a way that makes it possible for a vision equipped robot to pick the parts accurately.

IRB 6700 Robot with Scanner Laser Welding System:  the IRB 6700 robot equipped with state-of-the-art Trumpf PFO (Programmable Focusing Optics) welding technology, enabling welding-on-the-fly coordination of head mirrors and robot motion without the use of a PC.  The revolutionary new function package displays dedicated user interface screens on the robot FlexPendant for quick start-up, and program geometry offsets for monitoring and control of the laser system. The PFO technology is the fastest robotic laser welding system available, with the direct control of both the laser process and robot motion significantly reducing conventional robotic laser welding cycle times. The cell demo simulates the welding of automotive seat back assemblies.

The IRB 6700 is the seventh generation of large ABB robots; in addition to enhanced speed, payload and accuracy, the power consumption has been lowered by 15%, total cost of ownership has been reduced by up to 20%, and maintenance has been optimized, doubling the time between service intervals.

High Speed Picking:  the new Standard Double-Picker Cell function package featuring the 8 kg and 1 kg IRB 360 FlexPicker delta robot models. The 8 kg IRB 360 FlexPicker provides a robust solution for handling heavier individual products, larger end effectors, and larger product groupings in multi-pick applications. When picking multiple products in a single pick, the 8 kg model has the ability to handle up to 400 units per minute. The standard cell can also accommodate the IRB 120, 1200, 140 and 1600 6-axis robot models.

The expanded FlexPicker portfolio now includes 1 kg, 3 kg and 8 kg payload variants at the standard 1130 mm reach, and 1 kg and 6 kg variants at the extended 1600 mm reach. The 1 kg and 3 kg FlexPickers are available in an IP69K rated stainless variant, and the 6 kg and 8 kg models are available with IP67 protection suitable for most hygienic applications. The FlexPicker is the most widely used delta robot in the industry with over 7,000 installations worldwide. 

Software Product Demo Cell: featuring an IRB 120 robot connected to six separate technology stations, presenting a future vision of how programming, commissioning, operating and supervising robots will work seamlessly from any device, anywhere, at any time. The tools are designed to maximize the productivity and simplify the user interface of ABB robotic systems across all applications. The six stations include:

  •  Programming: RobotStudio 6.0, ABB’s industry leading software tool for programming, configuration and virtual commissioning. The demo highlights the RobotStudio interface with an all-in-one touch PC.
  •  Virtual Reality: experience the virtual environment of a robotic cell through an Oculus Rift 3D headset. RobotStudio comes to life through the same equipment used in 3D gaming!
  •  Commissioning: displays how wireless industrial tablets can be used as user interfaces to robots, featuring Apps for calibration, editing, and jogging. Also includes a T10 device with wired safety functions.
  •  Operation: demonstrating an ABB CP600 operator panel controlling the demo robot. The CP600 is a proven line of panels in seven sizes that also allows for integration with ABB PLCs and Drives. It also features ABB Panel Builder, a user-friendly tool to create customized user interfaces.
  •  Augmented Reality: a peek into how next generation gaming devices can be used to assist shop floor commissioning people by displaying virtual content overlaid on reality.
  •  Remote Service: an advanced diagnostic tool available with the ABB Robot Care maintenance program that continuously monitors robot systems, generating an automatic alert if the robot condition changes or a problem arises.   Remote Service generates a predictive maintenance plan based on actual usage, greatly increasing system uptime. The demo robot is connected to an iPhone 6 Plus via the MyRobot online portal.

Several smaller demos include:

  • Palletizing POD: a portable operating display featuring an IRB 120 robot palletizing and depalletizing small boxes on and off a mini pallet. The demo simulates the palletizing and programming capability of ABB’s larger robots in a smaller display. 
  • Integrated Force Control: technology that makes robots more intelligent and able to handle process variations with real-time external inputs—much like a human would when handling a delicate item or precise dimensions.
  • Integrated Vision: a powerful smart camera system that makes vision-guided robotics applications faster and easier to deploy than ever before.
  • myABB Portal: a single online entry point where ABB customers can access information and services for their entire base of ABB equipment. Available information includes suggested spare parts, associated documents and drawings, and exhaustive ABB contact information.

About ABB
ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 140,000 people.

About ABB Robotics
ABB Robotics is a leading supplier of industrial robots - also providing robot software, peripheral equipment, modular manufacturing cells and service for tasks such as welding, handling, assembly, painting and finishing, picking, packing, palletizing and machine tending. Key markets include automotive, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, machine tools, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. A strong solutions focus helps manufacturers improve productivity, product quality and worker safety. ABB has installed more than 250,000 robots worldwide.