Robotic Cell for Handling Gears

The less manual handling of a gear before and after the heat-treating process, the better. This robotic gear-handling cell automates this critical stage, increasing both safety and part quality.


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The IRB360 FlexPicker high-speed material handling robot is at the center of the gear cell, replacing manual handling and minimizing cycle times.

Anytime you can automate a process and at the same time increase safety on the shop floor, you’re on the right track toward increasing productivity. With gear manufacturers specifically in mind, ABB Robotics has developed robotic cell technology to transfer gears between alloy racks and baskets during heat treatment, replacing the need for manual handling of the workpiece. The cell is capable of handling multiple gear styles and sizes, and it is suited for a variety of power transmission operations ranging from large commercial, military and industrial vehicles to automobiles, marine craft, recreational vehicles and lawn and garden equipment. Components of the cell include:

  • An IRB360 FlexPicker high-speed material handling robot to minimize cycle time;
  • A Flexible Servo Gripper that enables handling multiple gear sizes and styles with a single gripper;
  • A Vision Guidance System to capture accurate gear and alloy locations for transfer of gears between alloy trays and baskets;
  • ABB SoftMove technology, which adds compliance to the robot gripper during picking or placing of gears to compensate for warped or bent alloy trays.

Make sure to visit ABB Robotics at booth #1039 during Gear Expo 2015, October 20-22 at the Cobo Center in Detroit.


The ABB Flexible Servo Gripper allows the handling of multiple gear sizes and styles, all with a single gripper.