ABB’s new machine tending cell simplifies automation to offset labor shortages

ABB’s new machine tending cell simplifies automation to offset labor shortages

  • Pre-packaged solution can be installed in one day using basic engineering skills
  • Compact, portable solution performs multiple tasks, reducing up to 60% of worker’s time spent in tending operations
  • User-friendly WebApp allows non-expert robot users to program tending sequences in minutes

ABB has launched its new OmniVance™ Collaborative Machine Tending Cell, providing a complete integrated solution for automated machine tending that is easy to program, install and use. The standardized solution combines a collaborative GoFa™ 12 robot and user-friendly software in a compact solution for fast installation and easy operation.

"Our new package makes it easier for users to efficiently access the benefits of robotic automation for machine tending, dramatically reducing set-up time and the need for engineering skills” said Craig McDonnell Managing Director, ABB Robotics Business Line Industries. “Machine tending is a highly repetitive, output-driven task that requires precision, making it an ideal candidate for automation. As companies struggle to find skilled workers, automating tasks such as machine tending enable them to utilize their workforces more effectively.”

The OmniVance™ cell can reduce the time spent on repetitive machine tending tasks by up to 60%, freeing up workers to take on more rewarding, high-value jobs. 

Featuring a portable, compact design that is easy to move between different machines, the cell is based on ABB’s GoFa 12 cobot, which combines a long reach of 1.27m with repeatable precision for loads up to 10kg. GoFa is IP67 certified, making it ideally suited to for machine tending in applications such as metal fabrication or machine tool building where oil, water or dust may be present. It also includes superior power- and force-limiting capabilities, enabling it to work safely alongside human operators without the need for conventional barriers. ​

All major components of the cell are pre-engineered and integrated, including the GoFa cobot, tray system and gripper, with just one day needed for installation and set-up.

Easy to program, the cell offers the flexibility needed for high mix, low volume production processes. The cell uses ABB’s Wizard Easy Programming software, which enables even first-time users to create and adjust programs in minutes thanks to its no-code block-based technology. ABB’s dedicated WebApp also enables users to learn to operate the cell themselves, without needing formal training in robotics programming.

For system integrators and end users, integration makes the OmniVance™ cell easier to specify and minimizes the risk of project overruns. In addition, ABB’s global service footprint ensures quick changeovers, easy expansion, and timely support.

The OmniVance™ Collaborative Machine Tending cell is the latest in ABB’s expanding range of cobot-based manufacturing solutions aimed at addressing the skills gap and lowering the barriers to automation. The range also includes the OmniVance™ Collaborative Arc Welding Cell, which uses ABB’s GoFa™ 5 cobot as part of an integrated package to enable first-time robot users to create high-quality welding without the need for any prior experience of using robots.

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