B&R, a unit of ABB’s Robotics and Discrete Automation business, announced the integration of ABB robots into its automation portfolio. Merging robotics with machine control into one unified architecture will enable manufacturers to embrace the trend of mass customization and optimize their lot size one processes.

Fully integrating ABB’s robots into its automation systems means that B&R will now be able to supply machine builders with machine automation and robotics from a single source. Machine builders will be able to buy their robots from B&R along with all their control, I/O and drive components.

Machine builders will be able to choose from a wide range of ABB robots, including articulated arm, SCARA, delta and palletizer robots in various sizes and with various payloads. This is particularly important for machine applications where a high degree of synchronization with other components is required, for example with picking solutions. With ABB robots integrated into the machine automation system, customers will benefit from an unprecedented level of synchronization between robotics and machine control. Since the robot will no longer require a dedicated controller, all interfaces between the machine and the robot are eliminated, while the fact that all axes and sensors will now communicate on a common network increases precision to the previously unimaginable microsecond range.

Integrating robotics and automation also means only one controller and one engineering system will be needed for development, diagnostics and maintenance, so there will not be a need for an extra control cabinet just for the robot.

More user-friendly programming is another decisive advantage that comes from combining robotics with machine control. Instead of programming a robotics application in one development environment and a machine application in another, there will only be one application and one development environment. This will help to reduce development times significantly. With the ready-made software components of mapp Technology, developers can quickly set up and configure the machine application, including robotics, without any knowledge of special robotics languages.