Home > Company Focus: transform productivity and efficiency for the better with industrial robots from ABB Australia

Company Focus: transform productivity and efficiency for the better with industrial robots from ABB Australia

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article image The IRB 460 industrial robot can be configured for either high speed bag palletising or compact end-of-line case palletising

The International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) defines an industrial robot as an "automatically controlled, reprogrammable multipurpose manipulator programmable in three or more axes."

As the latest statistics from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) indicate, a record-breaking number of these industrial robots are being installed worldwide, with estimates that the global robotic ranks will swell to 1.3 million machines by 2014.

Power and automation technology supplier ABB notes that robots can deliver a host of benefits in a wide variety of industrial applications, transforming productivity and efficiency for the better.

By integrating them into existing facilities the company states that the use of industrial robots can result in:

  • reduced operating costs
  • improved product quality and consistency
  • improved quality of work for employees
  • increased production output rates
  • increased product manufacturing flexibility
  • reduced waste and increased yield
  • improved workplace health and safety
  • reduced turnover and recruitment difficulty
  • reduced capital costs; and
  • save space in manufacturing areas.
A leading supplier of industrial robots, modular manufacturing systems and service, ABB has installed more than 200,000 robots worldwide. While the company's robot product offering is extensive, in this series we will look at several specific models, discussing their benefits and applications where they can be used to improve productivity and boost efficiencies.

PalletPack 460 palletising robot function package

As the name suggests, the PalletPack 460 is a package of pre-engineered products that is designed to greatly improve ease of use for integrators and lower the hurdle to entry into automation in end-of-line palletising applications.

The function package is available for either high speed bag palletising or compact end-of-line case palletising, and consists of:

  • the IRB 460 palletizing robot
  • a Flex-Gripper (either the Claw or one-zone Clamp gripper)
  • an ABB PLC
  • a Jokab Safety PLC
  • support software
  • user documentation; and
  • a FlexPendant that features a graphical HMI.
The centrepiece of the PalletPack 460 package is the IRB 460, which ABB describes as the world's fastest palletising robot. This 4-axis robot has a reach of 2.4 metres and 110 kilogram capacity, and features a small footprint that makes it ideal for integration into existing packaging lines.

To simplify integration, a program wizard is supplied with the PalletPack 460 which enables PLC programmers to program the robots. This means that it is not necessary to learn robot programming to install a robot cell, and no complications arise from the requirement for special skills. The wizard makes programming similar or the same as PLC programming.

The function package is also supplied with pre-engineered, integrated hardware with full documentation to lower integration costs and significantly reduce engineering time. All set-up, programming and operation is done via the standard ABB Robotics HMI, The FlexPendant. This features a graphical interface with four user-friendly screens: pallet and pick set-up, pallet patter n set-up, path profile edition and movement edition.

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