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Panel Mounted Controller for Larger Robots

Dec. 26, 2011
ABB offering small footprint functionality and easier integration for large units
ABB indicated the new version of its PMC would allow machine builders and system integrators to customize enclosures that protect electronics in harsh environments.

ABB ROBOTICS, which develops a range of industrial robots, robotics software, and peripherals, released a new version of its IRC5 panel-mounted controller (PMC) with functionality for the largest robots in the series. This includes the robots in ABB’s 7600 series, which are designed for heavy payloads and long reach, and outfitted for heat- and corrosion-protection and are prescribed for melt shops and pouring lines in various types of foundries and diecasting operations.

Previously the PMC was available for models up to the IRB 1600, which are machine-tending robots for assembly, diecasting, injection molding, spot welding, and similar operations. Now, the PMC “Large” is offered with a large panel mount drive module that maintains a small footprint and simplifies internal cabling for even the largest ABB robot models.

"The panel mounted version of the IRC5 has been a very popular option with our smaller robots over the past few years,” stated Joe Campbell, v.p. of the ABB Robots & Applications Group. “Our system integrators and end-users have been asking that we extend the PMC to our larger robots, and we are pleased to be able to comply. It is unique to the industry and we feel it will bring significant advantage to our customers.”

The PMC Large consists of a large drive module and the standard IRC5 control module that can be separately mounted in a variety of configurations, such as on top of each other, side-by-side, or back-to-back. Each module is made up of two layers, the first of which may be folded down for easy access to the second. Up to four drive modules may be connected to the same control module for multiple robot control (MultiMove) or control of additional axes.

The supplier indicated the new PMC version will make the task of integrating large robots significantly easier by allowing flexibility for machine builders and system integrators so they can customize enclosures that protect the electronics as needed for specific harsh environments. This will benefit numerous installation types, including those that require rigorous washdown capabilities, or where heat, humidity, and particulates require a sealed cooling system. Other environmental concerns (ignition risks, excessive vibration) also may be accommodated because the panel-mounted controller can be sealed off with the best possible enclosure.

The PMC Large offers the full capability of the standard IRC5 controller without the full cabinet armor. This allows flexible mounting and still provides ABB’s proprietary motion control packages: QuickMove, for short cycle times; and TrueMove, for path accuracy and repeatability.

ABB indicated that PMC Large is fully EMC certified, eliminating disturbances to surrounding equipment and allowing for EMC certification of the final enclosed solution.