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Integrated Force Control

Adaptive motion technology

Integrated Force Control is one of the key technologies driving the uptake of industrial robots. ABB‘s Integrated Force Control function facilitates the ease-ofuse for robots in applications requiring real-time adaptive motion control.

Tactile sensing makes intelligent robots
ABB Integrated Force Control automates complex tasks which once required skilled personnel and advanced fixed automation. The robot is equipped with tactile sensing which save installation costs, shortens programming time, reduces process cycle time and improves quality.

The adaptive functionality of Integrated Force Control can be used in many applications, including assembly, product testing and machining. The technology includes powerful functionality that allows the robot to maintain a constant force between itself and the objects it is working with, which is invaluable in both machining and testing applications. The technology also can be used to adapt the robot’s speed upon input from the force sensor. This allows it to follow edges and other contours efficiently, such as in deburring of complex shapes. The tactile functionality of Integrated Force Control can also be used in assembly to search for correct positions using advanced search patterns.

How does it work?
Normally robots are position controlled with a predefined path and speed. With ABB Integrated Force Control, the robot reacts to its surroundings and deviates from the programmed path or speed based on feedback from the force sensor. The adapted movement of the robot is determined by constraints that are specified to suit the particular application.

Assembly applications
With Integrated Force Control automated assembly tasks are now possible using traditional robot automation. Compared with expensive hard automation, robotic solutions offer a lower cost investment and greater degree of flexibility. Assembly is a very demanding application in which parts with small tolerance’s must fit together. With ABB’s Integrated Force Control technology parts with very small tolerances can be assembled repeatability without requiring highly accurate and expensive fixtures. Integrated Force Control significantly reduces the risk of  assembly failures which may result in production problems or damaged parts. A force controlled robot can be programmed to mimic the movements of a human arm, applying search patterns to find the correct position to assemble the part.

Machining applications
Force Control can be use to improve robotic machining applications such as grinding, polishing, deburring and deflashing. One of the software’s features, FC Pressure, allows a robot to grind, polish or buff parts whilst maintaining a constant force between the tool and the work piece. Another feature, FC SpeedChange, enables a robot to deburr or deflash partlines and surfaces of parts at a controlled speed, thereby slowing down when encountering excessive burrs or casting flash. This functionality reduces programming time and cycle times in demanding machining applications, and can also considerably increase tool life. 
Software features
  • Advanced software for force control technology
  • Force Control RAPID instructions for machining, assembly, testing etc.
  • Sensor calibration, load identification, gravity compensation
  • Recovery functions
  • Configuration of conditions and constraints
  • Supervision
  • Process feedback from Force Sensor
  • Support any 6 degree of freedom force torque sensors
  • Support any 1 degree of freedom force sensor
  • Functionality to use analogue voltage signal (e.g. spindle voltage output) instead of force sensor for FC Speed Change functionality
Integrated Force Sensors
ABB offers a package that contains all the necessary hardware and software to run force control functionality. The package contains:
  • Force sensor, measures all six components of force and torque
  • Adapter plate
  • Shielded high-flex cable
  • Voltage measurement board, measurement interface to IRC5 controller
  • Force control software
The force sensor is fully integrated into ABB’s hardware and software. The force sensor has a robust design offering high overload & IP65 protection, and is EMC tested. The compact and lightweight design makes it suitable for high precision robotic applications.

 

 

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