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ABB to showcase ‘broad range’ of welding technologies at FabTech 2017

ABB says it will feature “a broad range of advanced robotic welding technology designed to enhance safety, quality and productivity” at FabTech 2017

Metal Fabricators of all sizes are adopting robotic automation to maximize throughput, reduce costs and remove people from repetitive tasks and challenging environments.

The exhibit highlights the elevated level of collaboration, digitalization and simplification unique to ABB, which helps achieve these goals while providing fabricators the flexibility to efficiently adapt production as manufacturing continues to trend from mass production to mass customization.

Collaboration comes in the form of YuMi, ABB’s dual-arm collaborative robot that can operate very closely with humans due to its “inherently safe construction”, according to ABB, and is specifically designed to meet the flexible and agile production needs of small parts assembly and material handling applications. 

Simplification is the capability of ABB robots to be integrated with the technology and control of all the major welding power supply and component manufacturers.

Ethernet connections between the robot and power source place the control of all welding process components on to the ABB Teach Pendant, simplifying the control and programming of the entire system.

Digitalization is fundamental to ABB’s new robotic inspection system with integrated 3D vision, which utilizes digital scans to detect defects on manufactured parts with an extremely high level of accuracy.

The digitalization inherent to ABB Ability monitors the status of all welding system components, delivering timely and actionable information to drive better decisions that help manufacturers increase operational performance along the manufacturing value chain.

ABB’s inspection system

ABB’s Robotic Inspection System with integrated 3D vision is the first robot-integrated inspection solution that digitizes and simplifies quality control while improving cycle times.

It consists of a 3D white-light scanning sensor mounted to the arm of an ABB robot, relying on the agility of the robot to provide the precise movements necessary for the sensors to access most areas of both simple and complex parts from the optimum angle.

The sensor technology rapidly records and compares highly detailed geometric and surface data with digital CAD models, enabling the automated inspection of manufactured parts and pieces, helping factories to reduce cycle times while raising quality and reducing the risk of quality control errors.

ABB says the “turnkey” inspection and quality-control system is ideal for automotive original equipment manufacturers, aerospace companies and customers in other sectors such as metals and plastics.

The inspection demo components

The sensor is mounted to the arm of an ABB IRB 4600 robot, simulating the inspection of a metal component spot welded by an IRB 6700 Lean ID Robot.

An IRB 2600 robot shuttles the part between the inspection and spot welding robots.

IRB 4600: A highly productive general purpose robot optimized for short cycle. The IRB 4600 enables more compact manufacturing cells with increased production output and higher quality.

IRB 6700 Lean ID with ABB Spot weld gun: A model from the IRB 6700 family of medium-heavyweight robots displaying a spot welding configuration with an ABB spot weld gun. LeanID is an Integrated Dressing design that provides easier programming and a smaller footprint. The spot welder features Spot Servo Equalizing functionality.

IRB 2600: A compact robot with a high payload capacity. The design has been optimized for targeted applications like arc welding, material handling and machine tending.

ABB’s other exhibits

IRB 1660ID: ABB’s latest compact robot for arc welding and machine tending applications. The demo features a Miller Continuum MIG Welding function package, Tregaskiss welding torch and Scansonic vision for weld joint tracking.

IRB 2600ID: Featuring Fronius CMT (Cold Metal Transfer) welding equipment and a META vision camera. CMT utilizes extremely low heat and an exceptionally stable arc compared to MIG/MAG welding, allowing users to achieve optimum results when joining different materials, like steel and aluminum.

IRB 2600: With a Lincoln 450 function package, Binzel torch and Servo vision.

IRB 1660ID: With SKS Welding package.

YuMi Luggage Tag Etching: ABB’s YuMi collaborative robot is tending a Trumpf TruMark 1110 laser etching machine, and presenting personalized luggage tags to booth visitors. The TruMark 1110 stands out for its high quality marks and space-saving design, and is ideal for labeling applications such as barcodes and data matrices in automated assembly lines.

ABB Ability: A wide range of optimization and automation solutions that bring increased quality and precision to even the most complex manufacturing processes. From software that streamlines production to predictive maintenance that lowers operating costs, ABB Ability enables manufacturers to know more, do more, do better, together. A key feature is the myABB Portal, a single online entry point where ABB customers can access information and services for their entire base of ABB equipment.

FabTech 2017 is scheduled for November 9th to 12th at McCormick Place in Chicago. ABB will be at booth B-23025.