ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI) featured over ten advanced technology demonstrations at IMTS 2014, including new robots, turnkey manufacturing cells, and enhanced technology designed to increase manufacturing productivity for operations of varying sizes and industry sectors. Highlights included:
IRB 1200 Robots: an entirely new small robot family that provides flexibility, ease of use, short cycle times, and a unique combination of a compact footprint and a large work envelope. It is designed for a wide range of material handling, machine tending and small parts assembly applications.
The IRB 1200 is innovatively designed with no offset in axis two, delivering a longer stroke that allows the robot to be placed very close to the work piece and still be functional. Combined with other signature features, the longer stroke enables up to 15 percent smaller work cells and 10 percent shorter cycle times than comparable robots. The demo will feature two IRB 1200 robots, highlighting the accurate coordination of complex motion patterns enabled by the MultiMove™ function embedded into IRC5 controller.
Ann overview and demonstration of the IRB 1200 robot.
FlexMT: a flexible, pre-engineered system designed to load and unload machine tools using vision guided robotics. Designed for both small batch and high volume production, the FlexMT increases spindle utilization by up to 60 percent over manual machine tending. The system can handle most any size and type of part, and is compatible with a wide range of machine tools, including horizontal and vertical lathes, machining centers, 5-axis machines and grinders.
A look at Flexible Machine Tool Tending with Husqvarna.
High Speed Industrial Part Handling Cell: demonstrates the capabilities of the higher payload 6 kg and 8 kg IRB 360 FlexPicker robot models, bringing the fast cycle time pick-and-place performance used in the food and pharmaceutical markets to heavier-part industrial applications.
The cell features Integrated Vision, capturing accurate part locations for pickup and set-down; and a Servo Gripper that allows the handling of multiple part sizes with a single gripper. The FlexPicker is the most widely used delta robot in the industry, with over 6,500 installations worldwide.
Robotic Bin Picking Cell: Designed in collaboration with Midwest Engineering Systems Inc. (Pewaukee, WI), an ABB Value Provider, this cell, which features an IRB 4600 robot, combines SICK PLB 3D vision for the precise localization of randomly orientated parts in bins and boxes, with gripper accuracy that allows the parts to be placed in known orientations and positions.
The cell features RobotWare software and SICK bin picking software, integrated in the IRC5 robot controller for simplified programming and operation. Midwest Engineering provides custom machines, integrated systems, and automation/robotic solutions to manufactures around the world.
CNC Machine Tending Cell: Designed by VersaBuilt (Boise, ID), the cell uses vise soft jaws to move parts in and out of the CNC machine, with no custom robot programming or robot fixturing required. The soft jaws enable a new tended part to be setup in approximately 10 minutes, with the system able to run unattended for 24 hours. The demo at IMTS featured an IRB 140 robot. VersaBuilt makes innovative machine tending products for the manufacturing industry.
IRB 6700 Robots: The three robot cell includes one model in material handling dress and two models dressed for spot welding. The material handling robot is simulating load, unload and part presentation for the welding robots. The spot welders feature Spot Servo Equalizing, which allows spot welding gun equalization without mechanical equalizing hardware, reducing the investment cost and improving productivity.
The IRB 6700 is available with LeanID, a new Integrated Dressing (ID) designed for easier programming and a smaller footprint. It has also been built to withstand the harshest working environments and is available with ABB’s ultimate Foundry Plus 2 protection system. In addition to enhanced speed, payload and accuracy, the power consumption has been lowered by 15 percent, total cost of ownership has been reduced by up to 20 percent, and maintenance has been optimized, doubling the time between service intervals.
Customer Service Kiosk: a presentation of the organization and network that allows ABB customers to maintain their robotic equipment in peak operating condition. ABB Customer Service offerings include free 24/7 technical phone support, quick delivery of spare parts, and comprehensive field services, featuring preventative maintenance programs, programming, system service and onsite support. CS also offers complete programming and operational training, and the repair, reconditioning and re-commissioning of pre-owned robots.
Several smaller demos included:
Foundry Prime Protection: an enhanced level of protection, working effectively without a complex protective covering against the heat, water, chemicals and dirt typically found in harsh foundry environments.
Integrated Force Control: Technology that makes robots more intelligent and able to handle process variations with real‐time external inputs — much like a human would when handling a delicate item or precise dimensions.
Integrated Vision: A powerful smart camera system that makes vision-guided robotics applications faster and easier to deploy than ever before.
ABB Ltd. (Zurich, Switzerland) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people.
ABB Robotics is a leading supplier of industrial robots, also providing robot software, peripheral equipment, modular manufacturing cells and service for tasks such as welding, handling, assembly, painting and finishing, picking, packing, palletizing and machine tending.
Key markets include automotive, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, machine tools, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. A strong solutions focus helps manufacturers improve productivity, product quality and worker safety. The company has installed more than 200,000 robots worldwide.
ABB Inc., 1250 Brown Road, Auburn Hills, MI 48326, 248-391-9000, Fax: 248-391-7390, www.abb.com/robotics.
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