Robotics Industry News
ABB introduces articulated robot, linear gantry combination delivering greater working range, cycle times and flexibility
ABB Inc. Posted 02/19/2010
Overhead mounted system to increase robot utilization and reduce costs for many machine tending, material handling and assembly operations
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – ABB Robotics, a leading supplier of industrial robots, has developed a hybrid system integrating articulated robot automation with a linear gantry, delivering a unique combination of cost efficiency and performance benefits. The new IRB 6620LX is a 5-axis overhead robot arm mounted on a linear axis, providing improved flexibility, faster cycle times and an extended working range for machine tending, material handling, assembly and many other industrial applications.
With a 150kg (330 lbs) payload and large scalable work space, the IRB 6620LX offers greater versatility and cost effectiveness compared to customized linear handling systems. The linear axis can support up to two robots, and provides the ability to serve several stations or machines simultaneously or in programmed coordination, resulting in high productivity and machine utilization. The ability of the system to perform value-added processing tasks in addition to “basic” material handling increases robot productivity while reducing the overall capital investment.
To merge the articulated and linear technology ABB removed the first rotational axis from the robotic arm, enabling it to be mounted either upside down or sideways on the linear axis. The linear gantry acts as the first axis of the robot, providing the same agility as a standard 6-axis robot. The linear axis can range in height from 2.5 to 4 m (8 to 13 ft) and in length from 1.8 to 33 m (6 to 108 ft), and saves floor space by elevating the robot(s) over the work area. This inherent flexibility allows the system to be adjusted to serve different applications, and enables quick and easy changeovers for improved production uptime.
“The new IRB 6620LX will make it possible to access and manipulate work pieces in the tightest work spaces,” said Joe Campbell, vice president of sales and marketing, ABB Robotics, North America. “The system will foster the development of improved logistics and production concepts while providing tremendous cost savings and ROI opportunities.”
For many applications only one robot will be needed to replace the numerous complex material handling components typical of standard linear systems, offering further cost savings and reduced maintenance. The IRB 6620LX can be readily fitted or adapted to existing production lines and the support legs can be configured to suit the system specs and available floor space.
The use of standard, well-proven technology guarantees the highest possible performance and reliability. The unparalleled speed and acceleration on the linear axis secures the shortest possible cycle times with highest possible accuracy, even at large distances and with a full payload. The high performance is delivered as a result of sophisticated mechanical engineering and ABB’s state-of-the-art motion control technology, TrueMove™ and QuickMove™.
In machine tending applications the IRB 6620LX offers better handling possibilities compared to conventional solutions as it can access machines either from the top or the side. In addition, overhead rail mounted robots provide open access in front of machines for manual operation, maintenance work, handling of short batches and quick changes. As a result, personal safety is improved, as the robot is not present if there is a need to operate machines manually.
The IRB 6620LX’s five-axis robot arm is available with ABB’s proprietary Foundry Plus 2 protection, which includes IP67 for the entire arm. The linear gantry axis features IP66 protection as standard. Additionally, the IRB 6620LX is well suited for applications such as powertrain assembly, heavy arc welding, grinding, heavy process applications, and packing and palletizing.
The new robot is available with the well established and powerful ABB IRC5 robot controller.
About ABB, Inc.
ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 117,000 people.
About ABB Robotics
ABB Robotics (www.abb.com/robotics) is a leading supplier of industrial robots – also providing robot software, peripheral equipment, modular manufacturing cells and service for tasks such as welding, handling, assembly, painting and finishing, picking, packing, palletizing and machine tending. Key markets include automotive, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. A strong customer focus helps manufacturers improve productivity, product quality and worker safety. ABB has installed more than 160,000 robots worldwide.