Production managers are often attracted to using robots to achieve these benefits but wonder if their company has the skills needed to get the best out of them. How can they use them to optimize operations while also taking advantage of the huge amount of data that modern factories produce?
With the latest developments in robotic technology, from hardware to software, there’s no need to keep dreaming – if you can imagine it, today’s robots can do it.
The good news is that our latest robots, combined with advanced programming and optimization techniques, take away all the stress of bringing robots into your plant. Now it’s easier than ever to imagine, realize and elevate your way from concept to a highly efficient and flexible robot installation that not only delivers real benefits to your production, but also helps to make your life easier too.
Imagine if you could visualize how your robot will operate before committing to having it on the factory floor. With ABB RobotStudio™ you can. RobotStudio allows you to build, test and refine your ideal robot installation in a virtual environment. Using the software, you can test a whole range of scenarios that can accurately model your robot and its behavior. By simulating exactly what will happen in real life, RobotStudio gives you the confidence that your robot will work at optimum performance without risk to your workers or surrounding machinery.
Just as your production requirements never stand still, neither does RobotStudio.
Latest enhancements to the software include ‘Automatic path planning’, created to determine the optimum robot path almost instantly, ensuring the lowest cycle time while also minimizing energy use. You can also watch the impact of your robot’s movements on any surrounding cables and carry out any fine tuning to reduce the risk of collisions and anything that could limit cable life.
Or how about seeing exactly where to place fences and safety zones to avoid clashes, interferences, and potential accidents that could occur during real-life operation? RobotStudio’s automatic collision free path planning function will do just that.
How would you like to share ideas and designs with your colleagues around the world? Our collaborative function in RobotStudio Cloud makes this possible and opens exciting new opportunities for developing robotic solutions for any application you can think of!
With your planning all done in RobotStudio, the next stage is to move from the virtual to the real world as quickly and easily as possible. To help you achieve this, we’ve worked on ways to reduce the time and complexity of getting our robots up and running.
At the controller level, there’s our RobotWare family of controller software. Utilizing our advanced motion technology, and available for a variety of application tasks, RobotWare enables you to program your robot to do exactly what you want, enabling you to achieve the highest performance, precision and consistency even at high speeds.
When it comes to programming, our block-based programming software replaces the complexity of code with easy-to-understand pre-configured command blocks, enabling you and your teams to build sophisticated instructions for robots quickly and easily.
There’s also our user-friendly FlexPendant that can be used to program cobots as well as six axis industrial robots for lean applications, with simple controls and intuitive user interface that are quick to master in minutes.
Modern cell-based production often requires flexible transport of components and work in progress from one cell to another. This requires Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) to find their way in factories that might change their production layout and where people and other vehicles could be constantly moving.
ABB’s Visual SLAM solution uses cameras mounted on the AMR to build up a real time picture of all objects in the area. The cameras detect and track features in the environment, building a constantly updated 3D map of the AMR’s surroundings. This ensures the AMR can recognize its position in the environment and navigate through it to precisely where it needs to be, quickly and safely.
Once you’ve imagined and realized your solution, the final step is to elevate it, addressing issues as they arise and adapting the robot’s operations to meet changing circumstances and new demands.
The lifeblood of any performance optimization process is data. Unlocking data on key parameters such as speed, cycle time, throughput, idle time, and energy use and using it to finetune performance will ensure your robot is working at its optimum.
Getting access to this data is easy with OptiFact(TM). OptiFact is our solution that makes it easier than ever for businesses to collect, manage and analyze data from your robots. Featuring customisable dashboards that provide an instant picture of robot status, including cycle times, diagnostics and alarms, OptiFact can help increase production uptime by 20 percent, making a material contribution to boosting productivity.
Imagine, Realize, Elevate – and Re-imagine
The Imagine, Realize, Elevate approach provides a path for continuous improvement that you can use to enhance the performance of your robots.
Using data from OptiFact, for example, you can see whether your robots are working at optimum performance. If some fine-tuning is required, then you can use the data to adjust the robot program or even go back to RobotStudio to re-imagine your virtual commissioning model.
Start your journey to greater flexibility and productivity with robots
These are just some of the many ways that we can help you imagine, realize, and elevate your business to new levels of flexibility and productivity with robots. To find out more, take a look at our web pages or contact us to find out about taking your next steps into the world of robotic automation.