ABB to Demonstrate Next Generation Robots at Automate 2023

ABB plans to show several technologies, including two higher-payload variants of its GoFa cobots and a new series of large robots.

ABB Robotics

The SWIFTI CRB 1300 collaborative robot arm is designed to precisely move payloads up to 11 kg.
ABB Robotics is going big at Automate and Automatica, with an expanded line of collaborative robots, rebranded mobile robots, and systems for applications like painting and welding.

ABB Robotics today announced that it will display next-generation robotics intended to enable manufacturers to efficiently adapt production to variable market demands at Automate 2023. The company will exhibit at Booth 5623 in the Huntington Place Convention Center in Detroit from May 22 to 25.

Auburn Hills, Mich.-based ABB Robotics said its industrial automation, collaborative robots, and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) provide flexibility and simplicity to businesses at all levels of technical sophistication.

“We see a huge demand for automation in the U.S. as companies look to address issues such as labor shortages, consumer demand for personalized products, and the growing pressure to operate sustainably,” said John Bubnikovich, ABB’s U.S. Robotics Division president. “Businesses of all sizes, across all industries, must be able to quickly adapt their processes to succeed in this period of unprecedented uncertainty.”

“ABB Robotics has been committed to serving the Americas market with robots made in the U.S. since 2015,” he added. “The current $20 million expansion of our U.S. manufacturing facility will allow us to serve the local market at a higher level, bringing us even closer to our customers as we provide them the technology, expertise, and support necessary to transform these challenges into resilient competitive advantages.”

ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation is a unit of Zurich-based electrification and automation leader ABB Group.

ABB Robotics to demo multiple systems at Automate

ABB said highlights of its Automate booth will include demonstrations of its cobots, rebranded ABB AMRs (formerly from ASTI), and collaborative industrial robots, as well as relevant applications such as painting. In addition, it will show a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education package with a cobot training cart.

The CRB 1300 SWIFTI robot bridges the gap between industrial and collaborative robots, claimed ABB. Combining speed and accuracy with expanded load-handling capability of up to 11 kg (24.2 lb.), the system can be used in a wide variety of production and product-handling applications, said the company.

The SWIFTI CRB 1300 is powered by ABB’s OmniCore C90XT controller. It is up to five times more precise than any cobot in its class, making it suitable for tasks requiring consistent accuracy and repeatability, ABB said.


ABB has rebranded the mobile robots it acquired with ASTI, such as this T702V. Source: ABB Robotics

Cobots for welding, 3D printing, assembly

The new GoFa cobot welding package features the Easy Teach Device and Wizard Easy Programming software to empower first-time robot users to create high-quality welds without the need for in-depth knowledge of robot programming. The new package is intended to make part changing easy and for both low-volume, high-mix and high-volume, low-mix operations.

The GoFa works with power-source equipment from any of the major suppliers, said ABB.

In addition, the company will provide a live demonstration of its CRB15000 GoFa cobot for plastic additive manufacturing. The “absolute accuracy” robot wil be equipped with an MDAC1 end-of-arm tool (EOAT), the flagship smaller-format plastic filament extruder from Massive Dimension.

This display will use the 3D Printing PowerPack for ABB's RobotStudio simulation and offline programming software. The entire system offers enhanced integration capabilities and is ideal for small-scale collaborative robot applications, ABB asserted.

The Dual-Arm YuMi collaborative robotic printed circuitboad (PCB) assembly cell will show how automation can accurately populate PCBs with through hold technology (THT) components. Cobots provide a viable option for low- to medium-volume orders where insertion machines would not be cost effective, said ABB.

The company said its original cobot also offers a significant advantage over repetitive and physically stressful manual insertion of THT components.

AMRs to include VSLAM

ABB said it has transformed AMRs with the addition of visual simultaneous localization and mapping (VSLAM) technology in collaboration with Swiss-based AI specialist Sevensense. VSLAM enables a mobile robot to “see its environment and make intelligent navigation decisions based on its surroundings, without prior programming or infrastructure,” the company stated.

This next-generation AMR technology supports new levels of flexibility for production, logistics, and fulfillment through to retail and healthcare environments, said ABB.

PixelPaint System for two-tone, decorative, and decal painting

PixelPaint “revolutionizes vehicle painting technology, with 100% transfer efficiency that eliminates the need for masking and de-masking,” said ABB. The guided paint system can efficiently address the increasing demand for personalized paint designs, it noted.

PixelPaint also eliminates paint wastage and cuts cycle times by approximately 50%, enhancing sustainability and driving down costs, ABB said.

ABB offers educational package, cell

The ABB Robotics Education Package and Cobot Education Cell are part of an ABB inititative to inspire students to pursue advanced manufacturing careers and prepare for the future of work.

ABB said its Robotics Education Package offers hands-on experience to students at a wide range of educational institutions. Featuring a collaborative robot workcell, comprehensive teacher and student course materials, and a globally recognized STEM certification, the package can expose both educators and students to real-life industrial robotics applications.

In a whimsical nod to ABB’s spirit of innovation, Jessica Ragzy Ewud, a contemporary artist and LEGO master, will build a full size LEGO replica of the ABB CRB 1300 SWIFTI collaborative robot at the ABB booth with the assistance of a real SWIFTI Cobot and an ABB FlexFeeder.

She will also prepare a number of kits with all the necessary pieces and instructions for randomly selected ABB booth visitors to build miniature LEGO SWIFTIs of their own.

Editor's note: For more about Automate 2023, visit Robotics 24/7's special coverage page.

Automatica to feature large robots

ABB said it also plans to preview major product introductions on June 27 at Automatica in Munich.

New series of large robots

ABB said it will launch a new series of large robots with 22 variants. The new series is designed to improve productivity, quality, and sustainability across all market segments, including foundry, construction, plastic, electronics, food and beverage, logistics and automotive, claimed the company.

For example, the robots will meet the need for car manufacturers to produce batteries of varying sizes, from individual cells and modules to complete packages. ABB said they will also aid high-precision car body assembly, spot welding, and the ability to enter tight areas inside a vehicle to install a seat or dashboard.

Higher-payload GoFa

Small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) have expressed interest in high-payload collaborative robots that are easy to use and can be deployed quickly, said ABB. In respoonse, the company will expand its GoFa collaborative robot family with two higher-payload GoFa variants.

With this expansion, ABB said it is responding to emerging demand with cobots that provide increased flexibility, productivity, and safety for applications such as machine tending and welding.

ABB Robotics showed its latest innovations at Automatica 2022.

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ABB Robotics

The SWIFTI CRB 1300 collaborative robot arm is designed to precisely move payloads up to 11 kg.

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