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ABB Robotics
The IRB 6700 robot family will include eight models for different payloads and reaches with longer service intervals more accessible components and optimized service routines

Next-Gen Large Industrial Robots

Nov. 15, 2013
Integrated Dressing for easy programming, reduced wear and small footprints Welding, material handling, and machine tending

ABB ROBOTICS introduced the IRB 6700 robot family, its seventh generation of large industrial robots, available in payloads from 150 to 300 kg (330-660 lb.), and reaches from 2.6 to 3.2 meters (102-126 inches). It is designed for spot welding, material handling and machine tending. Its improvements over prior modes include more speed, higher payloads, and greater accuracy, but the developer also emphasized power consumption has been lowered by 15%, total cost of ownership has been reduced by up to 20%, and maintenance has been optimized, doubling the time between service intervals.

The new IRB 6700 is built to withstand the harshest working environments and is available with ABB’s Foundry Plus 2 protection system.

ABB Robotics explained that the design improvements followed its review of detailed field reports from the IRB 6700’s predecessor, and close involvement with customers during a yearlong study.

“Our aim from the beginning was to deliver a robot with the lowest total cost of ownership available,” explained Ola Svanström, ABB Robotics product manager for large robots. “When we asked our customers what they value most in our large robots their answer was virtually unanimous - reliability. So, we revisited every aspect of our current range to improve everything we could in this regard. It may not look that different from its predecessor on the outside, but the hundreds of small improvements on the inside are what count.”

The 6700 family is designed with Lean ID — an integrated dressing designed to achieve a balance between cost and durability by integrating the most exposed parts of the dress pack into the robot. Equipping an IRB 6700 with Lean ID makes it easier to program and simulate with predictable cable movements, creates a more compact footprint, and lengthens service intervals due to lessened wear and tear.

“As a direct result of close collaboration with our suppliers, the IRB 6700 also includes a new generation of accurate, efficient and reliable motors and compact gearboxes,” according to Nick Hunt, ABB Robotics manager of technology and support, North America. “We spent a great deal of engineering effort making the robot as rigid as possible to better protect and prepare it for the harsh environments in which it operates. We also validated and tested more robot prototypes than ever before to ensure our predictions for reliability are accurate in the real world.”

The design process also identified easier serviceability as a critical element of TCO. Service routines for the machine have been shortened and intervals between them have been increased. Access to motors has also been improved and technical documentation for maintenance has become easier to read and understand through the use of improved graphics and 3D simulations called “Simstructions.”

The initial series of IRB 6700 robots will include four variants ranging in payload from 150 to 235 kg (330-518 lb.) and reaches of 2.65 to 3.20 meters (104-126 inches.) Four more models will be added over the next 18 months to meet the needs of higher payloads up to 300 kg, as well as shorter reaches on lower payload models.