Robots, 4th generation: arc welding, material handing, machine tending

ABB IRB 2600, 12 to 20 kg payload class, expands ABB Robotic's midrange robot portfolio, in a family of fourth-generation robots, to increase productivity in arc welding, material hndling, machine tending, and other manufacturing processes.


ABB IRB 2600 robotABB Robotics, a supplier of industrial robots, is introducing the new IRB 2600, the latest model in its medium capacity range of multipurpose robots. The new IRB 2600 features an optimized compact design, an ultra-wide working range and a payload capacity up to 20 kg.  It also offers the best accuracy and speed in its class, improving productivity through increased output, faster cycle times and lower scrap rates, ABB said. The IRB 2600 is particularly suited for arc welding, machine tending, material handling, and a variety of manufacturing process applications.

The IRB 2600 is the second introduction from ABB’s fourth-generation of midrange industrial robots, a structured portfolio redesign that began with the 2009 introduction of the IRB 4600 family of robots in the 20 to 60 kg payload range. At weights of 284 kg and 435 kg respectively for the heaviest models, the IRB 2600 and IRB 4600 are among the lightest robots available in their payload ranges.

ABB IRB 2600 robot Wall MountThe new design responds to "widespread demand from our customers and system integrator partners for lighter, faster and more accurate robots,” said Joe Campbell, vice president of the ABB Robot Products Group in the U.S. Future introductions add agility and performance, as did the 2600 and the 4600, Campbell suggested.

Advantages that the IRB 2600 has over comparable competitor robot models, ABB said, inclu

  • Flexible mounting enables optimized cell designs:  The IRB 2600 can be floor-, wall-, invert- or shelf-mounted, helping to reduce floor space requirements and increasing access to the equipment being served. Wall-mounting is a new possibility for a robot of this size. These features enable more creative cell designs, more efficient use of available space and easier integration into existing production lines.
  • Compact and lightweight:  Another key feature of the IRB 2600 is its compact and lightweight design, featuring a total arm weight of less than 300 kg and occupying less floor space than any other robot in its class. This improves working range and makes it easier for the arm to reach down below its own base, allowing for smaller production cells and furthering the efficient use of valuable manufacturing space.
  • Speed and improved cycle times:  The IRB 2600 is extremely quick and can improve production cycle times by up to 25%. The high joint speeds and quick acceleration are achieved by combining new lightweight mechanical linkages and the patented second generation ABB QuickMove motion control technology.
  • Three versions - all protected for harsh environments:  The IRB 2600 family contains three versions: two short arm variants (1.65m) for 12 or 20 kg payloads, and a long arm variant (1.85m) with a 12 kg payload.  With the wrist vertical, up to a 27 kg payload is achievable for pick and place packaging applications. ABB also offers the most comprehensive protection program for industrial robots on the market. The IRB 2600 has as standard Ingress Protection IP67 rating for the entire robot, and “Foundry Plus,” a further protection level, is available as an option.

ABB IRB 2600 robot AW II-A arc welderThe new robot family is available with the ABB IRC5 Robot Controller and is supported by the ABB Robotics global sales and service organization in 53 countries and over 100 locations. ABB Robotics, the company said, also provides robot software, peripheral equipment, modular manufacturing cells and service for tasks such as welding, handling, assembly, painting and finishing, picking, packing, palletizing and machine tending. Markets include automotive, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. ABB has installed more than 175,000 robots worldwide to help manufacturers improve productivity, product quality and worker safety, the company said.

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering,

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