ABB Robotics: New articulated robot, linear gantry combination
ABB Robotics, supplier of industrial robots , developed a hybrid system integrating articulated robot automation with a linear gantry, delivering a unique combination of cost efficiency and performance benefits, including greater safety and asset utilization. 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, ABB announces today.
With a 330 lb (150kg) payload and large scalable work space, the IRB 6620LX offers greater versatility and cost effectiveness compared to customized linear handling systems, the company says.
The linear axis can support two robots and can 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 8 ft to 13 ft (2.5 m to 4 m) and in length from 6 ft to 108 ft (1.8 m to 33 m). The design 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 company explains. 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.
ABB says 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, ABB Robotics 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 powerful ABB IRC5 robot controller.
ABB Robotics provides industrial robots, 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. Products are said to help manufacturers improve productivity, product quality and worker safety. ABB has installed more than 160,000 robots worldwide. www.abb.com/robotics
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– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering , www.controleng.com.