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White is the new orange for ABB industrial robots

15 May, 2014

After 40 years of painting its robots a distinctive orange colour, ABB has announced that it is changing their standard colour to “graphite white”.

ABB introduced the world’s first all-electric, microprocessor-controlled industrial robot in 1974. At the time, it was felt that the orange colour would help to remind people that they were working with a powerful piece of equipment that was potentially dangerous.

Now, says ABB, we are entering a new era of robotics in which humans are collaborating with robots. Recent advances in software and hardware have enabled a new generation of robots that can safely work next to people. In the past, it says, a bright colour was needed to keep humans away, but this new era of robots should be more welcoming.

At the same time, ABB has changed as a company, with a stronger brand around the world. It argues that the new colour and design language will ensure that its robots are easily identifiable as ABB products.

“Today we are launching a new look that is both more modern and better suits the era of collaboration,” says Per Vegard Nerseth, head of ABB Robotics. “We call this new design language ‘dynamic design,’ and it is built around the concept that ABB provides efficient solutions for a dynamic world. Not only does the new look adopt unique forms and shapes, it also comes with a new colour, graphite white.”

ABB's new IRB 6700 robot is one of the first to sport the white livery

From May 2014, all standard ABB robots will ship in the new white colour, and every new robot will be based on the dynamic design philosophy. Traditional orange will remain a free option until the end of 2014, and customers will still be able to order ABB robots in any colour they want.

ABB says that the best example of this design change can be seen in its recently introduced IRB 6700 robot – its 7th generation of large robots – which is more robust than its predecessor and easier to maintain. ABB claims that it is the highest performing robot for the lowest total cost-of-ownership in the 150–300kg class.

Not only have accuracy, payload and speed been enhanced in the IRB 6700, but power consumption has been reduced by 15% and serviceability has been improved. ABB says it is the most reliable and cost-effective large robot it has ever built, with the total cost-of-ownership reduced by 20%, and the mean time between failures calculated to be 400,000 hours.




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