B&R and ABB announce integration of robotics and automation solutions

  • December 09, 2019
  • B&R Industrial Automation Corp.
  • News
B&R and ABB announce integration of robotics and automation solutions
B&R and ABB announce integration of robotics and automation solutions

December 9, 2019 - B&R, a unit of ABB’s Robotics and Discrete Automation business, announced the integration of ABB robots into its automation portfolio. With the ability to offer machine flexibility and precision, merging robotics with machine control into one unified architecture will enable manufacturers to embrace the trend of mass customization and optimize their lot size one processes.

Fully integrating ABB’s robots into its automation systems means that B&R will now be able to supply machine builders with machine automation and robotics from a single source. Machine builders will be able to buy their robots from B&R along with all their control, I/O and drive components.

Machine builders will be able to choose from a range of ABB robots, including articulated arm, SCARA, delta and palletizer robots in various sizes and with various payloads. This is particularly important for machine applications where a high degree of synchronization with other components is required, for example with picking solutions.  Since the robot will no longer require a dedicated controller, all interfaces between the machine and the robot are eliminated.

Integrating robotics and automation also means only one controller and one engineering system will be needed for development, diagnostics and maintenance, so there will no longer be a need for an extra control cabinet just for the robot.

Instead of programming a robotics application in one development environment and a machine application in another, there will only be one application and one development environment. With the ready-made software components of mapp Technology, developers can quickly set up and configure the machine application, including robotics, without any knowledge of special robotics languages.

Synchronization between sensors and robot motion will also become easier with integration. The result of a quality inspection with a B&R vision camera can be converted into a control command for the ABB robot in less than a millisecond, so defective workpieces can be removed from the production process without manual intervention or slowing the manufacturing process.

Since the machine builder no longer needs to use separate hardware, communication networks and applications, he is able to achieve much tighter synchronization between the robot and other machine components. The movements of the robot and all of the machine's motion control axes can be coordinated with microsecond precision.

The robots are programmed in B&R's universal engineering environment just like all other automation components, while in the digital twin the user can simulate and optimize the machine's entire motion sequence, including the robotics, before the machine is built.

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