ABB OmniVance™ Machining Cell and Software simplify set-up, increase speed and flexibility

The OmniVance™ Machining Cell can run unsupervised for up to 20,000 hours in harsh conditions without the need for maintenance. (Courtesy: ABB)

ABB launched its OmniVance™ Machining Cell and Machining Software solutions, bringing greater flexibility and simplicity to applications including sanding, polishing, cutting, and surface finishing.

Part of ABB’s new OmniVance portfolio of standardized application cells, the new Machining Cell is the first to market that can perform up to eight different applications in one cell, while its intuitive Machining Software simplifies programming and reduces set-up time by up to 92 percent.

“The OmniVance Machining Cell and Machining Software are our latest innovations in ABB’s growing robotics portfolio to make automation more accessible, flexible and faster,” said Marc Segura, ABB’s robotics division president. “As consumers’ appetite for a greater range of products grows and product lifecycles shrink, manufacturers need to make quick and cost-effective changeovers to stay ahead in the market.”

An IRB 2600 robot, a controller, and a turn table combined with pressure and level sensors and other equipment make up the OmniVance Machining Cell, with all components pre-tested to guarantee compatibility. Ninety percent of the cell is already built, meaning users only need to focus on tooling and robot calibration. This level of ‘pre-engineering’ results in a faster set-up and more compact footprint to ensure that cells can easily integrate into a wide range of production environments. The use of a standardized design also makes it possible to run up to eight different functions on a single cell often by simply changing the end effector.

The OmniVance Machining Cell has been shaped by real-life stress tests on 2,400 cells. The result is a highly durable and stable solution suitable for harsh conditions and capable of running unsupervised for 20,000 hours before maintenance is needed.

ABB’s Machining Software is the first to integrate auto-calibration and path-tuning functions into a single intuitive tool. This simplifies the process of setting up new products while maximizing accuracy in machining applications including sanding, deburring, polishing, and dry ice cleaning. The Machining Software is a standalone tool that supports the IRB2600 robot used in the Machining Cell as well as a wide variety of robots from ABB.

The Machining Software calibrates tools and work objects automatically, reducing recalibration time from four hours to just ten minutes. Integrated path tuning functionality enables users to easily edit thousands of path points in just half a day, compared to the two days typically needed to obtain a high-quality surface such as that of a cellphone case or an aluminum wheel.

Non-programming experts can easily perform and monitor machining operations with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. Faster programming of the machining operation is achieved through simple drag and drop functions, minimizing the risk of errors. Copying and pasting programs between multiple machining stations can further reduce the time it takes to scale up operations.

“Our OmniVance Machining Cell and Machining Software provide new opportunities for unlocking new levels of efficiency, accuracy, and flexibility for businesses across a wide range of sectors, from wood and metals production through to electronics and automotive,” Segura said. “As product design becomes more complex and labor shortages impact, our Machining Cell and Machining Software together can enable businesses to transform their productivity in even the most intricate tasks.”

The OmniVance FlexArc Compact is one of the latest offerings as part of ABB’s new OmniVance brand, that unifies all ABB standardized application cells. By combining robot, gripper, controller, software, and other components into a single application-specific solution, OmniVance cells require minimal integration effort and reduce the potential for errors. The standardized design of OmniVance cells, coupled with ABB’s global footprint ensures quick changeovers, easy expansion, and timely support.