Robotics has been more in the news coming my way the past six months than in perhaps the past six years. Much development shows progress, but I hope for more expansion of applications into areas of life adjacent to manufacturing. Society will face future worker shortages give the global decline in birth rates. Robotics will be necessary to fill the gap. I unfortunately will miss the Automate show next month where robots will be on display since I’ll be at the ARC Forum. But I’ll pass along news. For starters, here is an interesting advance from ABB Robotics.

ABB launches breakthrough robot alignment software, increasing electronics manufacturing speed and accuracy.

TL;DR:

  • HighSpeed Alignment software uses vision technology to deliver breakthrough 70 percent increase in speed and 50 percent increase in accuracy
  • Software adds to electronics manufacturing portfolio that includes new variant of ABB’s IRB 1300 with cleanroom option and IP54 IRB 920T SCARA robots

ABB’s High Speed Alignment software is the first to offer manufacturers the ability to increase the speed of 6-axis robots by 70 percent, and accuracy by 50 percent – significantly reducing time-to-market while increasing accuracy levels.

The PC-based software includes Visual Servoing technology using one or more cameras, combined with a computer vision system, to control the position of the robot relative to the workpiece.  As the robot is moving, the cameras continuously capture image information that the computer vision system processes to cross check and adjust the robotic movements to deliver 0.01 to 0.02 millimeter precision.

Liang Rui, Managing Director for ABB’s Robotics Electronics business line said “Sales of smartphones, wearables and other high-tech devices are growing and advances in electronics are gathering pace. 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.”

ABB’s articulated 6-axis robots are highly flexible for handling complex tasks in tight spaces and can perform a variety of meticulous placement tasks. The High Speed Alignment software was developed to find the balance between speed and accuracy.

The software is compatible with ABB’s IRB 1100 and IRB 120 industrial robots. More information and access to RobotWare High Speed Alignment can be found here.

Alongside its software portfolio, ABB robotics continues to expand its robot portfolio for electronics manufacturing with its IRB 1300 new variant and the IRB 920T SCARA new options. The new IRB 1300 combines a high payload of 12 kilograms and a reach of 1.4 meters, allowing it to handle more and heavier objects at the same time, enabling more products to be produced per hour and increasing productivity.  ABB’s IRB 920T SCARA robot includes new options with IP54 and Cleanroom, ensuring stable production in dusty, wet, and cleanroom environments. 

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