ABB Robotics offers Integrated Force Control, a single, base module that consolidates discrete software features for robotic force control that were previously available separately. According to the company, robots equipped with this software module are able to handle process variations with real-time external inputs, much like a human would when handling a delicate item or precise dimensions.
The module enables a robot to react to surroundings in real time and adjust its path and speed based on sensor input. The force sensor is fully integrated into ABB’s hardware and software and can be combined with vision sensors for other robotic automated functions. Edges and contours are followed precisely regardless of workpiece orientation for reduced failures, the company says. Force-controlled robots can be programmed to mimic the movements of a human arm, applying search patterns to find the correct position to assemble a given part, reducing the risk of assembly failures. The control enables robots to mimic the motions of a human arm to find the correct position for assembling a part.
The integrated force control software automates complex tasks that are not easily programmed through traditional methods. Short programming time and less complex tooling enables faster installation. According to ABB, tactile sensing reduces programming time and can eliminate the need for advanced fixtures. Workpieces can be assembled with tolerances within the range of the robot’s repeatability without requiring highly accurate or expensive fixtures.
The Integrated Force Control can be used to improve robotic machining applications such as grinding, polishing, deburring and deflashing. One package feature, for example, enables a robot to grind, polish or buff parts while maintaining a constant force between the tool and the workpiece. Another enables a robot to deburr or deflash partlines and surfaces at a controlled speed and slow down when excessive burrs or casting flash are encountered.