ABB High-Speed Alignment Software Promises to Accelerate Six-Axis Robots by 70%

ABB says its new software uses vision technology to increase accuracy by 50% for electronics assembly and picking applications.


Demonstration of ABB's High Speed Alignment software, which uses Visual Servoing technology to enable a robot to reach the target position with accuracy levels down to 0.01 to 0.02 mm.

Manufacturers are always looking for gains in quality and throughput. ABB Robotics this week launched its High-Speed Alignment software, which it said uses computer vision to increase the speed of six-axis robots by 70% and their accuracy by 50%. The company said the improvements for electronics assembly will “significantly reduce time to market.”

“Sales of smartphones, wearables, and other high-tech devices are growing, and advances in electronics are gathering pace,” stated Liang Rui, managing director for ABB’s Robotics' electronics business line. “As devices become smaller and more powerful, new automation solutions are required to quickly and accurately place components, ensuring that production can keep pace with demand while maintaining the highest levels of product quality.”

ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation provides systems for industries ranging from automotive and electronics to logistics. The unit of ABB Group said it has shipped more than 500,000 systems and employs more than 11,000 people at over 100 locations in more than 53 countries.

With more than 130 years of experience, ABB Group said its portfolio includes robots, electrification, and motion systems. The Zurich-based company, whose U.S. offices are in Auburn Hills, Mich., has about 105,000 employees in more than 100 countries.

High Speed Alignment continually adjusts motion

ABB's PC-based software includes Visual Servoing technology using one or more cameras, combined with a computer vision system, to control the position of the robot relative to the workpiece.

As a robot moves, the cameras continuously capture image data that the vision system processes to cross-check and adjust the movements to deliver 0.01 to 0.02-mm precision, said the company.

ABB said its articulated six-axis robot arms can handle complex tasks in tight spaces and perform a variety of placement tasks requiring precision. The High Speed Alignment software was intended “to find the perfect balance between speed and accuracy,” it said.

ABB High Speed Alignment software

ABB's High Speed Alignment Software makes adjustments in real time. Source: ABB

ABB claims faster deployments

The new software enables “effortless” robot commissioning and tuning, claimed ABB. Systems integrators and manufacturers can benefit from a reduction in deployment time from an entire eight-hour shift to just one hour, it said. The user interface for ABB's High Speed Alignment software is designed to be easy to use, said the company.

In addition, ABB said its software is compatible with a wide range of cameras, as well as the IRC5 and OmniCore robot controllers, allowing integrators to adapt existing installations.

“This is a breakthrough technology for the electronics assembly market,” Liang said.

High Speed Alignment software application

An example application environment for ABB's new robot software. Source: ABB

Software compatible with growing hardware portfolio

The software is compatible with ABB’s IRB 1100 and IRB 120 industrial robots. More information and access to RobotWare High Speed Alignment can be found at the company's Web site.

ABB Robotics has continued to expand its robot portfolio for electronics manufacturing with its new IRB 1300 variant and IRB 920T SCARA options. The new IRB 1300 combines a high payload of 12 kg (26.4 lb.) and a reach of 1.4 m (4.5 ft.). It can thus handle more and heavier objects at the same time, enabling more products to be produced per hour and increasing productivity, said the company.

The IRB 920T robot includes new IP54 and cleanroom options, ensuring stable production in dusty, wet, and cleanroom environments. 

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Demonstration of ABB's High Speed Alignment software, which uses Visual Servoing technology to enable a robot to reach the target position with accuracy levels down to 0.01 to 0.02 mm.

Robot Technologies