ABB to Show the Latest Collaborative Robots for Metal Fabrication at FABTECH 2023

ABB's exhibit in Chicago will include the first North American appearance of its GoFa 12 cobot welding cell.

ABB Robotics

ABB will show several cobot welding applications at FABTECH 2023.
ABB Robotics plans to show how its GoFa 12 cobot arm can help shops of all sizes automate welding with minimal programming experience and still attain high precision and repeatability.

ABB Robotics yesterday announced that it will highlight next-generation collaborative robot technologies to enable metal fabricators “to efficiently weld and cut parts with unmatched simplicity and precision” at FABTECH 2023. The company said it will show its GoFa 12 cobot, which is designed for small to midsize enterprises, fabrication job shops, and first-time users of robotic welding equipment.

”With an emphasis on flexibility, accuracy and ease of use, ABB’s mission is to provide the benefits of the automation industry’s most comprehensive and integrated portfolio of industrial and collaborative robots to metal fabricators of all levels of technical sophistication,” stated John Bubnikovich, president of ABB’s U.S. Robotics Division, in a release. ”Businesses of all sizes must continue to manufacture the highest quality components as they manage labor shortages and the growing demand for customized products.”

ABB will show its systems at FABTECH Booth B17053 from Sept. 11 through 14 at McCormick Place in Chicago. It said the GoFa 12 is its most accurate and highest-payload collaborative robot, able to handle up 12 kg (26.4 lb.) with a reach of 1,270 mm (50 in.).

The cobot also offers tool center point (TCP) speeds of up to 2 mps with 0.02-mm repeatability—double that of comparable systems, claimed the company. In addition, the GoFa 12 is IP67-certified against moisture and dust ingress, offering fast and accurate automation for a wide range of metal fabricating applications, said ABB.

ABB GoFa 12 has a long reach

GoFa 12 has a long reach for a collaborative robot, suitable for tasks such as palletizing, noted ABB. Source: ABB Robotics

ABB to provide multiple demos at FABTECH

GoFa (5-kg model) Collaborative Robot Arc Welding Package

ABB Robotics said this package “simplifies creating and executing welding sequences, empowering first-time robot users to create high-quality welds without the need for in-depth knowledge of robot programming.”

The main innovation of the Cobot Arc Welding Package is its Easy Teach Device, which uses lead-through programming and interactive buttons to determine weld points, said the company. The device is a hardware interface between the robot and users, enabling non-robot experts to program welding sequences without the need to interact with a FlexPendant.

Using the Easy Teach Device, users can automatically generate the programming code by simply guiding the robot's arm along the welding path, explained ABB. The package makes it easy to change from part to part and is suitable for both low-volume, high-mix and high-volume, low-mix operations, it asserted.

The compact and lightweight system works with all major power supply brands. It contains all the components necessary to quickly set up and begin welding, according to ABB.

ABB GoFa (5-kg model) Cooper Cobot Welding Package

ABB Robotics and Lincoln Electric have co-developed a robotic Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) Package featuring an ABB GoFa 5-kg (11-lb.) collaborative robot and Lincoln welding equipment. Known as the “Cooper Cobot Welding Package,” the robotic welding cell includes proprietary software to make it easy to program and set welding parameters.

The software features built-in welding libraries, so all a user needs to do is enter the material type and thickness, and then move the robot to the beginning and end of the weld. All the welding parameters and the travel speed of the robot are then set. Upon pushing a button, the robot is ready to weld, the companies said.

BullsEye 10 TCP with GoFa (12-kg model)

The new BullsEye 10 is a fully automated TCP with customized pre-defined programs that enable precise calibration during production execution. ABB said this latest 12-kg (26.5-lb.) BullsEye release, which includes a “revolutionary codebase and state-of-the-art sensor technology,” can be used to calibrate tools with a variety of shapes.

While earlier versions of BullsEye were restricted to welding MIG (metal inert gas) tool designs, BullsEye 10 also works with cutting tools that do not have a consumable wire electrode, said ABB.

Plasma Cutting with GoFa (5-kg model)

At FABTECH, ABB boasted that it will demonstrate the cobot’s ability to inexpensively cut a part in the least amount of time with the best cut quality possible.

Until recently, only a CNC could provide the necessary level of accuracy for plasma cutting. With GoFa’s precision, fabricators can now robotically cut various shaped materials in three or more axes of motion, the company said.

FlexArc U2 Welding Cell with ScalableArc Programming Platform

ABB noted that Scalable Robotics’ technology enhances its portfolio of “no-code” applications that reduce the need for specialized programming knowledge. The ScalableArc platform allows a welder to teach a task to the robot by pointing to where the weld should be applied, with the robot learning the path on its own.

The platform features a 3D camera in a protective box attached to end-of-arm tooling (EOAT). It also uses a touchscreen interface to guide the welder through the scan, teach, validate, and tuning steps.

ABB added that the FlexArc U2, a member of its line of standard, pre-engineered industrial robot welding cells, can simplify the transition from manual to robotic welding.

About ABB Robotics

Zurich, Switzerland-based ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. said it has built on more than 130 years of experience to be a leader in electrification and automation technologies. The company said it has about 105,000 employees worldwide focused on connecting “engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered, and operated.”

ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation is a leading supplier of industrial automation, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), and software. The division said it helps companies of all sizes and sectors—from automotive and electronics to logistics—become more resilient, flexible, and efficient. ABB Robotics employs about 11,000 people in approximately 53 countries, and its U.S. headquarters are in Auburn Hills, Mich.

How to create linear and circular welds in 30 seconds with ABB's Cobot Arc Welding Package.

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ABB will show several cobot welding applications at FABTECH 2023.

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