I welcomed the morning sun of the summer solstice on my patio with a cup of coffee and laptop tuned into a live ABB robotics press event from Automatica in Munich, Germany. Marc Segura ABB Robotics Division President led off with a rousing introduction with upbeat sales numbers for both robotics and ABB. He and two  other executives discussed new products, branding, and how lack of workers and expertise raise the need for collaborative robots and autonomous mobile vehicles. And also the power of software.

The three highlights:

• OmniVance brand of ABB’s standardized, ready-to-deploy application cells that deliver the next generation of modular production, simple programming and set-up.

• OmniVance FlexArc Compact Cell makes welding easier, faster and more efficient while saving space.

• OmniVance Machining Cell increases productivity in up to eight different applications, while Software radically improves set-up time, calibration and functionality.

I like these ideas of modularity, flexibility, and application aware.

Built with robots, controllers, software and other peripheral components, OmniVance application cells are ready-to-deploy modular solutions that can be easily integrated into production lines. With the ability to support smaller batches, they meet the growing demand for low volume, high-mix production solutions while readily responding to changing manufacturing needs. Both products are part of ABB’s strategy to deliver flexible production cells and software that can rapidly switch between different product types and easily integrate with Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR). 

OmniVance FlexArc Compact saves space and brings greater flexibility to welding applications with the smallest footprint in its class. The cell can also be easily integrated with Autonomous Mobile Robots, while up to four fixed robots can be added to the cell to increase production capacity without the need to change its structure.

The OmniVance Machining Cell and Machining Software bring greater flexibility and simplicity to a range of applications including sanding, polishing, cutting, and surface finishing. Able to perform up to eight different applications in a single cell, the new technology can run up to 20,000 hours in harsh conditions without needing maintenance. Reducing set-up time by 92%, the new Machining Software is the first in the market to offer auto-calibration and path-tuning in one tool, reducing calibration time to 10 minutes.

OmniVance FlexLoader M is integrated with an AMR machine tending solution. Inside the cell, parts detected using AI-enabled vision are selected and handled by an IRB 2600 robot. The display shows how autonomous mobile robotics present new possibilities for greater speed, flexibility and productivity in production processes by enabling parts to be transported where and when they are needed. 

A dedicated zone at Booth 231 featuring both VR and AR demonstrations on ABB’s RobotStudio/AR viewer app highlights how developments in software are helping to simplify programming and operating robots. The demonstrations will show how the tools can be used to design, test and refine entire production cells in a virtual world, to save time and disruption. 

To ensure that non-attendees don’t miss out, ABB has created a digital trade show portal

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