Dispatches from Emballage 2014, Paris

ABB promises food-grade variants of robots

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Guillaume Pradels in front of the IRB robots
Guillaume Pradels in front of the IRB robots

Related tags Industrial robot Machine

ABB has said food-grade and ISO 4 versions of its latest family of robots will be available next year.

The firm said the IRB 1200 robots, launched earlier this year, can be used in food and beverage for material handling because of a short cycle time to increase production efficiency.  

Guillaume Pradels, sales support general industry at ABB, told FoodProductionDaily it is 10% faster than previous model and has 15% smaller cells.

“It can be used for material handling and machine tending as long as the part is within its specification,” ​he said at Emballage 2014.

“Some variants will come in the first semester of 2015, which are food-grade and clean room ISO 4.

“It is 10% faster than then the previous one and you can have a 15% smaller cell because the worker envelope is closer to the robot that means the robot can be in a smaller area.

“It can do pick and place, of course we have flex-pickers which are much faster, but if it’s within the specifications of the customer it can do this.”

Robot variants

The robot comes in two variants – a 700mm reach 7kg payload and 900mm reach 5kg payload and can offer IP40 protection or IP67 for high demanding applications.

It weighs 57kg and 210mm square for the mounting, it comes with a connection at the rear or bottom of the robot which is practical when mounting in a machine, said the firm.

Pradels said demand for robots is growing in the food and packaging industry.

“We have a lot of people who want to put some robots in their factory to secure the production and have a higher rate of quality,” ​he said.

“These robots are repeatable so if you have the quality one day it will last.

“This robot can be mounted on the floor or on the wall or on the ceiling and inverted at virtually any angle.”  

The firm has also changed the colour of its products from orange to graphite white.

Vision system partnership

Pradels said the firm has a partnership with Cognex for the integrated vision system.

“We decided to go for a partnership with Cognex, we chose not to do a proprietary vision system but a partnership which is easier to program because many people know it already and with our software that is called Robot Studio that we use to program the robot, people will recognise the same screen they use used to have with Cognex.  

“We are selling a mount with 42 kinds of cameras you can plug on our system which can be delivered by Cognex and we sell two ABB specific cameras which come with built-in lighting, auto-focus capability and different lenses.” ​ 

Related topics Processing & packaging

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