Significant changes in consumer behavior, including the e-commerce boom and the demand for more product choice, plus shorter product lifecycles, are requiring manufacturers to respond to continually evolving production requirements. In response, ABB Group said it has developed more than 20 new robot, software, and digital products in the past year to help customers of all sizes increase productivity and quality through enhanced flexibility and simplification.
At Automate 2022, which will be held from June 6 to 9 at the Huntington Place Convention Center in Detroit, ABB will feature a selection of its latest innovations. They include industrial and collaborative robots, software intended to reduce programming complexity, and robot controllers with motion-control technologies that allow easy integration of additional hardware, sensors, and other peripherals.
“ABB has continually pushed the boundaries of technology to create new business models for its customers,” stated Joe Chudy, U.S. general manager at ABB Robotics. “Our Automate exhibit will showcase a number of these innovations, many of which have opened up robotic automation to a broad group of first-time users.”
“Now, more than ever, businesses of all sizes need to embrace the flexibility afforded by robotics to efficiently adapt production to satisfy their customer’s most pressing needs, especially as reshoring becomes a prominent means to address ongoing supply chain backlogs,” he added.
ABB to show AMRs from ASTI acquisition
At Booth 1832, ABB will provide full-motion demonstrations of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) it acquired with ASTI Mobile Robotics last year. The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company claimed that it is the only vendor “to offer a complete portfolio of flexible automation.”
The exhibit will include two EBOT 350 AMRs for goods-to-person processes in e-commerce, logistics, automotive, or manufacturing sectors. It can also perform hundreds of applications related to warehouse management, order picking, and kitting, said ABB. The EBOT 350 features a 350 kg (771 lb.) maximum payload, 120 mm (4.7 in.) stroke lifting height, and a speed range up to 2.2 m/s (4.9 mph).
In addition, ABB will show the UniBOT 1200, the smallest ASTI towing mouse, featuring a 600 N towing capacity and a speed range up to 1.2 m/s (2.6 mph). It is suitable for applications such as assembly and subassembly, interaction with robot cells, “milk run” processes, and heavy load transportation, according to the company.
ASTI also provides software for vehicle navigation and control, order and fleet management, and cloud-based traceability systems.
Robot welding in Detroit
At Automate, ABB plans to demonstrate a collaborative robot welding cell. The GoFa CRB 15000 is designed to work alongside people and to be easy to install and use for repetitive tasks.
The cobot will perform live arc-welding demonstrations. Booth visitors will be able to use ABB’s customizable two-button Lead-Through Programming function to tack and weld small parts. By moving the robot in the desired weld path, visitors can create their own weld programs and watch GoFa replicate that path in live welds.
Also equipped for welding, ABB will show its newest large robot, the IRB 5710, which uses the OmniCore V250XT controller. Launched in March, the IRB 5710 delivers enhanced speed, accuracy, flexibility, and a more robust design, including integrated process cabling, said the company.
The OmniCore V250XT controller includes ABB’s TrueMove and QuickMove motion-control technology, improving production capacity with faster manufacturing times, said ABB.
FlexPainter saves money, the environment, says ABB
ABB described the IRB 5510 FlexPainter with the ABB Ability RB1000i Connected Atomizer as a flexible and accurate medium-sized painting robot that can provide shorter cycle times, process optimization, and a digital platform to ensure premium paint quality and uptime.
It added that the connected, sensor-equipped, robotic paint atomizer allows real-time smart diagnostics by providing an environmentally friendly, turnkey system for increasing uptime and eliminating defects.
The IRB 5510 FlexPainter can increase transfer efficiency by 10%, reduce paint loss inside the atomizer during color changes by 75%, and reduce compressed air consumption by 20%, saving customers millions of dollars, said ABB.
RobotStudio brings AR and VR to Automate
ABB noted that its RobotStudio simulation and programming software allows robot programming to be done on a PC in the office without shutting down production, allowing users to perform tasks such as training, programming, and optimization without disturbing production.
The tool is built on the ABB Virtual Controller, an exact copy of the real software that runs robots in production. This allows very realistic simulations to be performed, using real robot programs and configuration files identical to those used on the shop floor, said the company.
RobotStudio also includes augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) functions.
With a history stretching back more than 130 years, ABB Group connects software to its electrification, robotics, automation, and motion portfolio, The company has about 105,000 talented employees in more than 100 countries.
ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation provides systems for industries ranging from automotive and electronics to logistics. The unit claimed that it has shipped more than 500,000 robots. ABB Robotics employs more than 11,000 people at over 100 locations in more than 53 countries.
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