The International Federation of Robotics yesterday announced that ABB Robotics' PixelPaint technology won the 2021 “Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics & Automation” (IERA). ABB said PixelPaint increases efficiency in car painting and eliminates the need for overspraying, benefitting the environment.
“The jury is pleased to honor ABB’s PixelPaint technology, with the 17th IERA Award,” stated Rob Ambrose, jury chair. “The innovative solution for automated car painting combines more flexibility and customization with reduced wasted paint for the well-being of the environment.”
The IERA Award highlights and honors the achievements of innovators with value-creating ideas and entrepreneurs who propel those ideas into world-class products. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE/RAS) and the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) jointly sponsor the award, which is intended to promote stronger collaboration between science and industry in robotics.
ABB PixelPaint saves paint, time
In the past, 20% to 30% percent of the paint applied to vehicles was wasted because of overspray. By contrast, the inkjet head of PixelPaint applies 100% of the paint to the vehicle surface, according to ABB Robotics.
In addition, PixelPaint's two high-precision robots eliminate the process of masking and de-masking each car, helping to reduce bottlenecks, it said.
Previously, applying a two-tone or customized design was a time- and labor-intensive process. A vehicle had to be put through the painting line twice. With PixelPaint, customized designs can be applied in one pass, and painting speeds increased by 50%, said ABB. This can help automotive manufacturers respond to individual demands, it said.
“In today’s fiercely competitive automotive manufacturing market, vehicle producers need solutions that can help them to improve their flexibility, efficiency, and cost competitiveness while delivering a high-quality paint finish, including individualized options to meet the growing demand for non-standard and customized designs,” said Jörg Reger, managing director of ABB Robotics' Auto OEM business line.
IFR notes strong field
Other finalists included Barcelona-based INFAIMON, whose InPicker is a universal pick-and-place system for industrial applications. Berlin-based Micropsi Industries entered its MIRAI AI-driven control software, which can enable industrial robots to deal with variance in production.
Odense, Denmark-based Mobile Industrial Robots presented the MiR250, a user-friendly mobile robot to optimize materials handling workflows across industries.
“I congratulate ABB on winning the IERA award 2021 against strong competition,” said Milton Guerry, president of the IFR. “The four finalists have all presented a success story of an innovative product in robotics and automation which combine the needs of today’s manufacturers with a high degree of user-friendliness.”