Drives and Controls Magazine
‘Breakthrough’ robot software delivers a 70% speed boost
Published:  10 May, 2022

ABB Robotics has launched a software package which, it claims, will boost the speed of six-axis robots by 70% and their accuracy by 50%, significantly reducing time-to-market, while improving accuracy levels.

The PC-based High Speed Alignment software – aimed, in particular, at electronics industry applications – uses one or more cameras, combined with a computer vision system, to control the position of a robot relative to a workpiece. As the robot moves, the cameras capture images continuously, while the vision system cross-checks and adjusts the robot’s movements to deliver a precision of 0.01–0.02mm. The software can be used with a variety of cameras

Liang Rui, managing director for ABB’s Robotics’ electronics business, describes the software as a “breakthrough” technology for electronics assembly.

“Sales of smartphones, wearables and other high-tech devices are growing and advances in electronics are gathering pace,” he explains. “As devices become smaller and more powerful, new automation solutions are required to quickly and accurately place components, ensuring that production can keep pace with demand while maintaining the highest levels of product quality.”

As well as simplifying commissioning and system tuning, ABB says that the software will cut deployment times from eight hours – effectively an entire shift – to just one hour. Minimal programming experience is needed. The software is compatible with ABB’s IRB 1100 and IRB 120 industrial robots and IRC5 and OmniCore controllers, allowing users to adapt their existing installations.

ABB’s high-speed alignment software works with a machine vision system to enable a robot to achieve accuracy levels of 0.01–0.02mm.

• ABB has also expanded its robot portfolio for electronics manufacturing with the new IRB 1300 variant and IRB 920T Scara options. The IRB 1300 combines a payload of 12kg with a reach of 1.4m, allowing it to handle more and heavier objects simultaneously, so that more products can be produced in a given time period to boost productivity. The IRB 920T Scara robot offers IP54 and cleanroom options.

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