New Workpiece positioners for Arc Welding, Thermal Cutting, and Metal Finishing from ABB Robotics
Nine new models feature increased load capacities, greater accuracy, shorter cycle times, and simplified programming, says the company.
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Sep 29, 2010

Improved load capacities and motion control are hallmarks of ABB Robotics' new workpiece positioners.


ABB has released what it heralds as a new generation of workpiece positioners for robotic applications with improved load capacities and motion control. The nine models have load capacities ranging from 250 kg up to 5,000 kg. For the two most popular positioners, the IRBP K and the IRBP R, the load capacities have been increased to 1,000 kg. These positioners are designed for manipulating workpieces during applications such as arc welding, thermal cutting, deburring, and other metal-finishing applications.

The positioners employ the same drive systems and software as ABB robots and come with simple instructions for programming. The axes of each positioner are fully coordinated with the robot during programming and operation. As the positioners operate, the robot system automatically optimizes speed and performance by taking advantage of maximum acceleration.

Shorter cycle times
The new range of workpiece positioners allows cycle time to be kept to a minimum with dynamic modeling software. The dynamic model automatically compensates for the effects of gravity, inertia, and friction. The built-in Load Identification function (Load ID) calculates both the center of gravity and the inertia of the workpiece and fixture. These calculations ensure fast movements with rapid acceleration, re-orientation, and accuracy when following programmed paths. This results in shorter cycle times and increased productivity, as well as consistent high quality of finished parts, says ABB Robotics.

ABB workpiece positioners can also be supplied with all necessary safety equipment.

 “We’ve designed this new generation of welding positioners as a true extension of the robot to fully optimize welding processes,” says Joe Campbell, vice president of the ABB Robot Products Group in the United States. “We were happy to respond to key customers and systems integrators who recommended we increased positioner load capacities to expand the range of fabricated products ABB robots can weld.”

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