ABB to embed safety I/O's in robot controllers to enhance collaboration

  • October 09, 2017
  • ABB
  • News
ABB to embed safety I/O's in robot controllers to enhance collaboration
ABB to embed safety I/O's in robot controllers to enhance collaboration

October 9, 2017 - ABB is embedding extended safety I/Os within its series of robot controllers to improve the safety of collaboration between robots and people. The shift to low volume, high mix production in shorter cycles means that people need to work more frequently in closer proximity to robots – changing materials and programs, and inspecting new processes. This makes collaboration an important tool for maintaining productivity as well as safety. A light curtain, laser scanner, safety mat, E-stop and acknowledge button, for example, are connected to ABB’s safety module which is integral to the ABB robot controller. Should a human enter the robot’s cell to undertake maintenance, the safely-limited speed of the robot can be triggered, if permitted, as opposed to a safe stop. The robot moves very slowly and within the pre-defined safe work zone using SafeMove2; ABB’s latest generation safety certified robot monitoring software. Once the human leaves the cell, the robot can resume its faster operational speed with or without acknowledgement, depending on the used safety sensors and application safety requirements. Material handling applications, such as palletizing, are typical of the applications that are set to benefit from this approach.   As the safety I/Os are controlled by the safety module inside the robot controller, there is no need for third party stand-alone safety PLCs to be used. It also reduces the time associated with the set-up and operation of robotic production cells. Each safety I/O channel LED not only indicates the process state but also the fault state. Extreme condition (-XC) modules are available for high shock, vibration and temperature requirements. All PROFIsafe addresses, which can be input through a rotary switch on the front panel, are visible by directly looking at the front cover of the module. This facility reduces maintenance efforts as all pre-set PROFIsafe addresses are clearly visible, thereby removing the need to disassemble safety I/Os or to use engineering tools to access the address values.

About ABB

ABB is a pioneering technology company in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 136,000 employees.  

Learn More

Did you enjoy this great article?

Check out our free e-newsletters to read more great articles..