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Braking simulator shrinks robot cells by up to 25%

10 June, 2021

ABB has added a virtual robot braking distance function to its RobotStudio offline programming and simulation software, that calculates and simulates real-world stopping distances, avoiding the need to add safety margins to cell designs, and allowing space savings of up to 25%.

Predicting where a robot will stop depends on variables including speed, payload and the robot's own inertia. These factors can result in a robot stopping outside of its safety zone, sometimes by several metres. To compensate for this, cell designers usually oversize them to allow for extra movement as the robot comes to a stop, requiring unnecessary space on the factory floor.

The new function is claimed to predict the robot's movements with millimetre precision, allowing users to determine the correct size of safety zone needed, and the ideal location of items such as light curtains, safety fences and controllers.

The data on the robot's final position can be used to determine the size of the green, amber or red zones where the robot will either continue working, slow down or stop, depending on the location of the operator. This is especially useful in collaborative applications where operators need to be confident that a robot has stopped before they approach it.

The new function in ABB’s RobotStudio software can boost safety and cut cell sizes

"Our new robot braking distance function for RobotStudio equips the user with information about a robot’s real-world movements with an unprecedented level of accuracy,” says Antti Matinlauri, ABB Robotics’ head of product management. “Predicting the braking behaviour of a robot with its payload will help system integrators and end-users save time and costs, with up to 25% reduction in the footprint when it comes to designing and building a robot cell or setting up a safety zone.”

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