It’s a brave new world of manufacturing – ABB at IMTS 2014

At the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago this week, ABB Robotics is addressing the needs of a market searching for new solutions.

As one of the biggest manufacturing trade shows in North America, IMTS draws more than 100,000 visitors from around the world who are interested technologies that will make their manufacturing businesses stand out in a world that is increasingly competitive. So naturally, ABB Robotics comes to this important venue each year bringing demos to address these needs.

And this year is a particularly special year for us, with new products that are a result of direct interaction with our customers around the world. Only by listening to them and designing the solutions they are demanding have we developed one of our strongest product offerings in ever. And as a way to “walk the walk,” we’ve invited our partners to come and demo their solutions in our booth right alongside ours, illustrating how seriously we take collaboration.

In particular we have almost half of the booth devoted to machine tending operations and handling of parts related to machine tending. One of our newest products, the FlexMT™, is a complete turnkey solution for vision guided machine tending. It guarantees constant and predictable output from the machine tool, and results in higher machine tool efficiency and utilization, up to an amazing 90 percent, compared with traditional machine tools which are closer to 50 percent. We have a live demo of the FlexMT and experts on hand to answer any of your questions in our IMTS booth.

In addition to the FlexMT, our partners at VersaBuilt have brought their own machine tending cell focused on smaller operations. The cell uses vise soft jaws to move parts in and out of the CNC machine, with no custom robot programming or robot fixturing required. The soft jaws enable a new tended part to be setup in approximately 10 minutes, with the system able to run unattended for 24 hours. The demo at IMTS features an ABB IRB 140 robot.

In a unique use of our IRB 360 FlexPicker‘s new higher payloads, we’ve also innovated a high speed industrial parts handling solution, which has seen a lot of interest in just the first couple of days of the show. With the higher payloads of our new 6kg and 8kg IRB 360 FlexPicker™ robot models, the fast cycle time pick-and-place performance used in the food and pharmaceutical markets is not available for heavier-part industrial applications. The cell features ABB Integrated Vision, capturing accurate part locations for pickup and set-down, and a Servo Gripper that allows the handling of multiple part sizes with a single gripper.

Another of our partners Midwest Engineering Systems, has brought a bin picking cell which features an ABB IRB 4600 robot, combined with SICK PLB 3D vision for the precise locating of randomly orientated parts in bins and boxes, with gripper accuracy that allows the parts to be placed in known orientations and positions. The cell features ABB RobotWare software and SICK bin picking software, integrated in the IRC5 robot controller for simplified programming and operation.

Along with these highlights, we also have the IRB 6700 large robots on display, along with our new IRB 1200 robot. The IRB 1200 is an entirely new small robot family that provides flexibility, ease of use, short cycle times, and a unique combination of a compact footprint and a large work envelope. It is designed for a wide range of material handling, machine tending and small parts assembly applications.  The IRB 1200 is designed with no offset in axis two, delivering a longer stroke that allows the robot to be placed very close to the work piece and still be functional. Combined with other signature features, the longer stroke enables up to 15% smaller work cells and 10% shorter cycle times than comparable robots.

If you are involved in manufacturing and are looking for new solutions that provide serious food for thought, please stop by the ABB booth (N-6251) this week and pick our brains to see how we can help you.

Categories and Tags
About the author

Stephanie L. Stanton

I’m the Trade Show and Event manager for ABB Robotics US. I joined ABB in 1995 and have been with the Robotics team my entire career. I have held a variety of roles within the business prior to joining the communications team in 2006 and have greatly enjoyed every one of them. I’ve grown up here and I love this business. When I’m not planning an event or travelling for a show, I spend my time with my family and friends and pursuing my hobby of photography.
Comment on this article