|ABB is a leading supplier of robots and automation for automotive,manufacturing and the consumer goods industry.
ABB suppliesfrom single cells to systems and entire lines for every step in the automotive production process: from the press shop, automotive components, powertrain engine and axle assembly lines, body in white, the paint shopto trim & final.
In the press shop, ABB supplies doppins, destackers and robotic solutions “from stack to rack.” In the body shop, ABB’s FlexiCells™, FlexFramer™,ModulFlex™,Roller Hemmers provide auto manufacturers the flexibility to produce cars and parts quickly. They can supply single robot paint cells to complete paint shops and provide robotic solutions for interior systems as well as trim and final.
ABB's robotsare used in a wide range of applications - from automotive and component suppliers to off-highway equipment plants, and the food, pharmaceutical and consumer electronicsindustries, through to placing chocolates in boxes.
In 2002, ABBwas the first robot manufacturer to produce more than 100,000 robotssupplied worldwide.
“This is a big milestone for them as a company and sends a strong signal to their competitors,said Jouko Karvinen, executive vice president and head of ABB's Automation Technology Products division. -They are the world's first company to sell this many robots, which means their customers - from car-makers to medication sorters - have tremendous confidence in their technology. It also means they have the largest installed base of robots globally.”
ABB produced its first robot in 1974. At that time, the company's robotswere mainly used for machine tending and material handling. Nearly 30 years later, that market accounts for some 30 percent of robots sold worldwide. According to the International Federation of Robotics, welding-spotand arc, particularly in the automotive industry, is today's largestrobot application.
In the mid-1980s, they rounded out their portfolio of robots,adding special painting robots, again geared to the automotiveand general manufacturing industry. They worked to innovate with software specific applications, saidKarvinen.
ABB's roboticsteam, working in locations such as Sweden, Norway, the United States, Germany and Japan, has in recent years continued to broaden its range of robots. Among many other applications, ABB robotspick chocolates and place them into trays or containers, and sort pills for pharmaceutical giants. American-based consumer goods companies use ABBrobots for building and painting motorcycles and the U.S. postal service usesABB robots to sort and palletize mail tubs and trays.
ABB robotsare ahead of the industry curve when it comes to software packages for increasing efficiency and productivity. In 1994, ABB introduced TrueMove and QuickMovefeatures which have resulted in improved cycle time and increased quality in themanufacture of goods. ABB was the first robot manufacturer to introduce robot simulation software (RobotStudio) for use on a standard Windows PC. Usershave the ability to layout and design cells, create and editprograms,check for reach, cycle time, collision interferences without interruptingproduction.
In 2004/2005,ABB introduced globally, its new IRC 5 controller which can control up to robots and twelve external axes and has featuressuch as MultiMove and FlexPositioner-cycle time savers, floor space saversand cost reducers.