OptiFact Platform From ABB Robotics Streamlines Factory Data Collection, Visualization, and Analysis

Pilot projects have demonstrated that OptiFact can help decision making and optimize factory operations, said ABB.

ABB Robotics

ABB OptiFact provides visibility into data from automated production environments.
OptiFact is factory device data analytics software that can increase uptime by up to 20%, according to ABB Robotics.

Robotics has added to increasingly complex production environments, driving demand for tools to enable plant managers to collect and use data gathered as a side product of automation, said ABB Robotics. It has released its new modular OptiFact software, which is intended to streamline data collection, visualization, and analysis in automated facilities.

The number of robots sold worldwide has almost tripled over the past decade, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). “Digitization, the acceleration of sustainable manufacturing, and the pandemic have all contributed to the increased demand for automation,” said ABB in a release.

“Across industries, we see a dramatic increase in the digitalization of manufacturing as companies seek to increase the flexibility, efficiency, and sustainability of their operations in the face of changing consumer behaviors and long-term global skilled labor shortages,” stated Marc Segura, president of ABB Robotics. “At ABB Robotics, we are enabling this shift with software products that businesses need to accelerate their growth in today’s fast-changing market.”

OptiFact analyzes data to provide agility

OptiFact is designed to enable users to collect, manage, and analyze data from hundreds of factory devices, including ABB robots. Factory operators can use the platform to determine key performance indicators (KPIs) including cycle time and overall equipment efficiency (OEE), said ABB.

By speeding up diagnostics and decision making, OptiFact can increase production-line uptime with less engineering effort, claimed the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company. This ensures that manufacturers can keep up with customer demand, it said.

OptiFact can help businesses of all sizes imagine new digitally enabled processes, realize them on the factory floor, and simplify operations to increase productivity and flexibility, asserted ABB. Manufacturers can use it to determine the root cause of production errors and use ABB’s RobotStudio Cloud to make adjustments to the program and develop an improved solution, the company said.

RobotStudio’s desktop, cloud, and augmented reality (AR) viewer are intended to help users adapt existing robots or plan new deployments of ABB industrial robots for new tasks. ABB said features such as Automatic Path Planning allow robots to determine the most efficient paths and avoid collisions with existing obstacles.

“Offering a true 'what you see is what you get' user experience with 99% accuracy between the robot’s digital twin and its real-world deployment, RobotStudio speeds design and commissioning time by up to 50%,” said ABB. 

Application-specific, AI-driven technologies such as ABB’s Item Picker offer features to facilitate robotics deployments, it added. “Best-in-class motion control cuts the power requirements of pick-and-place operations by up to 17%, speeding tasks by 13%,” ABB said.

In addition, ABB said its VSLAM (visual simultaneous localization and mapping) uses artificial intelligence for accurate navigation in dynamic indoor environments.

ABB OptiFact is intended to facilitate production decision making.

ABB OptiFact is intended to facilitate production decision making. Source: ABB Robotics

Different environments increase productivity

Several production facilities have deployed OptiFact, reported ABB. At one highly automated automotive factory, it collects and analyzes process cycle times and other KPIs, providing visibility into operations and saving up to 25% of experts’ time, it asserted.

As a result, ABB said its customer has deployed more than 580 robots in its operations.

OptiFact has also proven its value for small and midsized enterprises (SMEs), said ABB. Another pilot demonstrated the platform’s ability to identify bottlenecks in production lines involving up to 20 robots. The customer’s digital team integrated OptiFact in just two months from first contact to final delivery.

Once deployed, OptiFact simplified data collection and the visualization of KPIs and programmable logic controller (PLC) alarms. By addressing operational inefficiencies, the facility increased production time by up to 20%, ABB said.

ABB offers six months of free access

ABB is holding a public preview competition, in which 20 winners will receive free access to OptiFact for six months. They will gain access to customer support to test the platform, collect data, monitor equipment, and improve production efficiency.

In addition, ABB offered more information about how its digital solution suite can accelerate automated businesses and the potential benefits of OptiFact at its website.

ABB Robotics said it makes it easier than ever for businesses to collect, manage, and analyze data from hundreds of factory devices from one centralized location, with its OptiFact software platform.

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ABB Robotics

ABB OptiFact provides visibility into data from automated production environments.

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