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ABB’s smallest robot offers ‘class-leading’ payload and accuracy

18 October, 2022

ABB has unveiled its smallest-ever industrial robot, designed to fit into the tight spaces and special-purpose machines typical of electronics production. With a reach of 370mm and a footprint of 135 x 250mm, the new IRB 1010 is 30% smaller than ABB’s previous smallest robot, the IRB 120. It will increase the number of cells that can be fitted into production spaces, allowing manufacturers to boost output through higher density factory layouts.

The robot can handle loads of up to 1.5kg – the highest in its class, with the ability to lift up to three times more than comparable machines, according to ABB. This payload capacity – coupled with a large-diameter air hose for vacuum suction – lets the robot handle multiple objects simultaneously, and to process more objects per hour. It also opens up opportunities for new applications such as film peeling, material handling, assembly, gluing and inspection.

ABB sees great potential for the new robot in the production of wearable smart devices such as smartwatches, earphones, sensors and health trackers.

“The market for wearable smart devices is accelerating rapidly, with projections estimating double-digit growth between 2022 and 2028,” says Rui Liang, managing director of ABB Robotics’ electronics business. “To meet this growth, companies are demanding compact robotic solutions that are suited to narrow production spaces in electronics manufacturing lines and that can accurately handle the small components used in wearable devices.

“As the most accurate robot in its class for 1.5kg payloads, our IRB 1010 meets these demands, enabling companies to maximise output and productivity while maintaining the highest levels of product quality,” Liang adds.

Six braking systems hold the robot arm in position, even when it is stopped. By eliminating the time needed for the arm to recover its position after a stop or pause, production can be resumed faster, allowing the robot to do more in less time than others in its class, according to ABB.

ABB says its new IRB 1010 robot is the most accurate in its class, and has a 50% higher payload than rival machines

The IRN 1010 is designed to be used with ABB’s OmniCore E10 controller, which offers “class-leading” position and path repeatability of 0.01mm. The slim controller is suitable for small part assembly tasks where production cells need to be compact. The controller consumes up to 20% less energy than ABB’s earlier IRC5C controllers.

The IRB 1010 is programmed using ABB’s Robot Control Mate, which is available as an add-in to the company’s RobotStudio programming software. It allows users to move, teach and calibrate the robot from a computer or tablet without needing programming skills.

The robot’s simple programming and compact size will also open new possibilities for educational uses. It can be installed on classroom desktops, while its ease-of-use enables both teachers and students to quickly master the skills needed for programming and operation.

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