Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

ABB showcases vision of digital factory of the future at automatica

ABB announced a new, intelligent design approach to its robotic solution portfolio at automatica 2018, which it says will provide customers with more flexibility and a better return on investment in automation.

The new approach will allow the portfolio to be easily tailored to a wider range of needs, both for today’s dynamic markets and future opportunities.

“The needs of our customers in all industries are changing and will continue to change. ABB is helping them prepare for the future,” said Sami Atiya, President of Robotics and Motion for ABB.

“Mass customisation is no longer a trend – it is the ‘new normal’ for many sectors and requires a higher level of flexibility that we are helping our customers to meet.”

ABB’s first offerings under this approach include a new single-arm YuMi robot and OmniCore™, an entirely new robot controller family. Both are designed to increase manufacturing flexibility through human robot collaboration while unlocking the full potential of the digital factory.

The ABB Ability™ offering and Connected Services are both built into the new controller, as well as ABB’s SafeMove2 safety software solution, which can convert any connected industrial robot into a collaborative one.

ABB is also showing a new virtual meeting tool for its RobotStudio® virtual commissioning and simulation software and new Condition Monitoring and Diagnostics (CMD) application preview for its ABB Ability™ Connected Services.

The CMD uses a machine learning-based advanced algorithm to detect behavioural anomalies in large robot populations and provide predictive maintenance and optimisation guidance.

Per Vegard Nerseth, Managing Director of Robotics for ABB, said: “Our customers are increasingly interested in exploring the potential of collaborative automation and digital solutions to improve their flexibility and performance.

“At the same time, they increasingly need purposeful, tailored solutions for unique applications. We are transforming our portfolio to meet this need today, and – more importantly – for tomorrow. Today we witness the dawn of a new era in robotics.”

The company will present a number of such industry-focused solutions at automatica, especially for the important automobile manufacturing markets.

The paint shop is one of the most expensive parts of automotive production. One of the highlights of ABB’s stand will be a new ABB Ability™ Connected Atomizer, the world’s first sensor-equipped paint atomiser that can use real-time data to optimise the automotive painting process while the paint is being applied, which can eliminate touch-ups and downtime.

ABB will also showcase a new final trim and assembly solution developed in cooperation with Volkswagen AG that uses advanced vision guidance and SafeMove2 software to automate the assembly of a car door.

Without collaborative automation and digital technologies, this task would have been impossible to automate without first stopping the vehicles from moving through the factory.

In addition to automotive, the ABB booth will also feature the latest robotics solutions to help fulfilment centres and warehouses manage the soaring volumes and increased complexity of today’s intralogistics. An ABB eFulfillment solution can sort and stack products being prepared for shipment with greater flexibility and a smaller footprint than traditional, expensive tower sequencing systems.

automatica runs from June 19th to 22nd in Munich, Germany.