Two robots are better than one for nimble welding applications

ABB Robotics combined its IRB 660 and IRB 140 robots, creating an IRB 800 robot with 10 axes of movement for robotic welding and other highly nimble applications.


ABB Robotics combined its IRB 660 and IRB 140 robots, creating an IRB 800 robot with 10 axes of movement for robotic welding and other highly nimble applications. The black mounting plate at the top of the photo is where the two robots connect. Courtesy:ABB Robotics attached a nimble 6-axis robot on the end of a long-reach 4-axis machine, for a 4.96 m total reach (195.28 in.), in 10 axes of motion, ideal for robotic welding. The Automate 2013 demonstration showed the robot with a welding tip quickly tracing a rotating vehicle frame, which was one more axis guided by the same ABB IRC 5 robot controller working the integrated robots (capable of controlling 36 axes total).

“Nothing can hide from 10 axes of robotic motion,” an ABB Robotics spokesperson said. Dress configuration may limit reach slightly, depending on configuration or application needs.

ABB IRB 660 pushes the working envelope

The IRB 660, the larger base robot, a dedicated palletizer, is an exceptionally fast 4-axis machine that combines a 3.15 meter reach with a 250 kg payload, making it ideal for palletizing bags, boxes, crates, bottles, and more. ABB said the IRB 660 is considerably faster than its predecessor. Its optimized motor power and motion performance ensure short cycle times. It comes in a high-speed version capable of handling 180 kg payloads at full speed, and as a 250 kg version for high throughput. The robot’s reach means it can service up to four in-feed conveyors, two pallet stacks, one slip-sheet stack, and four palletizing out-feeding lines. In fact, the IRB 660 has the versatility, reach, and handling capacity to meet the demands of just about any palletizing applications.

ABB’s multi-functional IRC 5 controller and comprehensive packaging line software, PickMaster, house all the key functions for quick, easy programming and intuitive operation on the shop floor. Rugged design and IP67 tightness make for steady performance, ensuring extra lengthy service intervals.

Compact, powerful ABB IRB 140 industrial robot

The 6-axis multipurpose IRB 140 robot handles payload of 6 kg, with 810 mm reach. The IRB 140 can be floor mounted, inverted, or mounted on the wall in any angle. Available as Standard, Foundry Plus 2, Clean Room, and Wash versions, all mechanical arms completely IP67 protected, makes IRB 140 easy to integrate in and suitable for a variety of applications. Its working area has an extended radius due to the bend-back mechanism of the upper arm (axis 1 rotation of 360 degrees) even as wall mounted.

The compact, robust design with integrated cabling adds to the robot’s overall flexibility. The Collision Detection option with full path retraction makes the robot reliable and safe.

Using IRB 140T, cycle times are considerably reduced where axes 1 and 2 predominantly are used.

Reductions between 15%-20% are possible using pure axis 1 and 2 movements. This faster version is well suited for packing applications and guided operations together with PickMaster.

IRB 140 Foundry Plus 2 and Wash versions are suitable for operating in extreme foundry environments and other harsh environments with high requirements for corrosion resistance and tightness. In addition to the IP67 protection, excellent surface treatment makes the robot high-pressure steam washable. The white-finish Clean Room version meets clean room class 10 regulations, making it especially suited for environments with stringent cleanliness standards.

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer,

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