Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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ABB and B&R integrate robotics and control into automation solution


November 26, 2019
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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ABB and B&R partner on robotics and automation solutionABB and B&R partner on robotics and automation solution. Photo: ABB

B&R, a unit of ABB’s robotics and discrete automation business, has modified its automation portfolio to integrate ABB robots.

The company says that merging robotics with machine control into one unified architecture will enable manufacturers to pursue mass customization and optimize their “lot size one” processes.

B&R will now be able to supply machine builders with machine automation and robotics from a single source. Machine builders will be able to buy their robots from B&R along with all their control, I/O and drive components.

“The integration of ABB’s robot fleet into the B&R portfolio makes us a true one-stop-shop,” says Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s robotics and discrete automation business. “This will help manufacturers increase their flexibility, at all levels including machines, to support shorter product cycles and to make much smaller lots of greater variety.”

Machine builders can choose from a wide range of ABB robots, including articulated arm, SCARA, delta and palletizer robots in various sizes and with various payloads.

Since the robot will no longer require a dedicated controller or control cabinet, all interfaces between the machine and the robot are eliminated. All axes and sensors will now communicate on a common network.

For example, the result of a quality inspection with a B&R vision camera can be converted into a control command for the ABB robot in less than a millisecond, so defective workpieces can be removed from the production process without manual intervention or slowing the manufacturing process.

Instead of programming a robotics application in one development environment and a machine application in another, there will only be one environment. With B&R’s mapp Technology software components, developers can set up and configure the machine application, including robotics, without any knowledge of special robotics languages.