Industrial automation provider ABB yesterday announced the Robot Control Mate add-on to its RobotStudio simulation and offline programming software. Users can now commission and control SCARA robots from their PCs simply through RobotStudio, said the company.
RobotStudio enables programming, configuration and virtual commissioning on PCs before installation. ABB said it offers a complete digital twin of physical assets or systems on a production line. Users can create, simulate, and test a complete robot installation in a virtual 3D environment without disturbing their actual production lines, according to the Zurich-based company. As a result, new production lines can be installed faster and ramped up to full speed without surprises during commissioning. This is critical competency for manufacturers, given the shift to mass customization and shorter product life cycles, said ABB.
Robot Control Mate allows for control without a teach pendant
The Robot Control Mate add-on to RobotStudio allows users to jog, teach, and calibrate SCARA robots from their computers and s intended to make it easier to control a SCARA robot’s movements. For the first time, ABB’s offline programming software can be used to control the physical movements of a robot in real time, said ABB. The add-on also makes robot programming possible when there is no FlexPendant.
“Simplifying the installation, programing, and operation of robots offers our customers so many benefits, including offsetting talent shortages and helping SMEs [small and midsize enterprises] become new robot users,” stated Darren Hung, global product manager for small robots at ABB. “Adding our new Robot Control Mate functionality to RobotStudio will make it even more straightforward to set up robotic automation solutions, while users can enjoy the increased flexibility of operating their robots from their laptops.”
ABB has been working to make its products easier to apply to more robotics applications. In January, the company added 3D printing capabilities to RobotStudio and launched the sealed IRB 1100 robot and OmniCore controller. Earlier this month, ABB added the Wizard Easy Programming interface for its YuMi collaborative robots.
In an earnings call this week, ABB blamed automotive manufacturing slowdowns and the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for declines of more than 30% in Robotics & Discrete Automation orders in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. In the first quarter of 2020, robotics orders fell by 14% globally, said the company. Executives said they expect further contraction in Q2 but more demand in the longer term, particularly in logistics.