ABB is expanding its collaborative robot portfolio. The 2020 RBR50 company today introduced its GoFa and SWIFTI cobots that offer higher payloads and speeds to complement its YuMi cobots. The GoFa and SWIFTI cobots are available now.
ABB said the new cobots will accelerate its expansion in high-growth segments, including electronics, healthcare, consumer goods, logistics and food and beverage.
ABB’s GoFa cobot
Let’s start with the new GoFa CRB 15000, a 6-axis cobot with torque and position sensors in each joint, a 950mm reach, 5kg maximum payload, and speeds up to 2.2 meters per second. Pronounced ‘go-fa’, the new cobot has a payload 4.5 kg higher than YuMi and a 70% longer reach than the single-arm cobot.
GoFa is designed for a variety of applications, including material handling, machine tending, component assembly, packaging and inspection, and laboratory automation. Users can program GoFa via lead-through programming and ABB’s new Wizard programming software. Based on simple graphical blocks, Wizard makes it easier for non-specialists to automate their applications.
“Offering high speed, a 5kg payload, precise performance and a small footprint, coupled with simple set up and programming, GoFa can be quickly and easily deployed to help fill gaps in production lines wherever and whenever needed,” said Andie Zhang, global product manager, collaborative robotics, ABB Robotics. “This provides users of all sizes, from SMEs to large companies, with the flexibility to quickly adapt to changing circumstances and respond instantly to changing customer demand without having to incur delays arising from having to find extra staff at short notice.”
With built-in sensors in each joint, GoFa automatically stops if it makes contact with a human or another robot. Its plastic and aluminum joints also feature rounded geometry, with no pinch points that could trap limbs. Other safety features include a visual safety configurator on GoFa’s FlexPendant, as well as an interaction status light that changes color depending on GoFa’s operating status.
Comparing ABB’s entire cobot lineup
Before we get to the SWIFTI cobots, ABB provided the follow chart that compares its entire cobot lineup:
ABB SWIFTI cobots
The 6-axis CRB 1100 SWIFTI cobot line, which is based on ABB’s IRB 1100 industrial robot, offers a payload of 4kg and maximum speed of 5 meters per second. There are two models that offer different reaches: 475mm and 580mm.
ABB said SWIFTI is designed to support intermittent collaboration between human and robot, including tasks such as kitting, material handling, and screwdriving to insertion and polishing tasks.
ABB said that since there is no potential for contact between human workers when SWIFTI is moving, it can be used with the same tooling as a standard IRB 1100 industrial robot. An example is the inclusion of a vacuum pack, which features four integrated air supplies that can be used to enable simultaneous picking of multiple items using suction.
To ensure such safety, the SWIFTI line combines ABB’s SafeMove safety certified robot safety software, which is integrated directly into the cobot controller, with a safety laser scanner to create a speed and separation safety concept. ABB said the goal is to avoid any contact between human and robot that could potentially result in injury. This enables safe collaboration at higher speeds and payloads without the need for containment measures such as fences, ABB said.
Using a ‘green, yellow, red’ zone approach, the robot reacts according to which zone a human worker is in. If the worker is detected in the green zone, then the robot will carry on working at its full speed and range of movement. If the yellow zone is entered, the robot restricts its movement and speed to a safe limit. Entry into the red zone will bring the robot to a complete halt, allowing the worker to safely approach the robot to perform a task such as loading or unloading. The robot will remain stopped until the red zone is cleared and will only return to full movement and speed once the worker is back in the green safety zone.
“As well as helping to reduce the overall cost of an installation through reduced spending on additional safety measures such as fences, being able to remove physical separation between people and robots saves space and makes for more open workspaces,” said Zhang. “This helps people operate and carry out their tasks freely, which minimizes potential disruption and interruption of production processes caused by having to stop the robot to allow operators to enter a cell to sort out issues in the event of a problem.”