Robotics' latest family of medium capacity, multipurpose robots
features an optimized compact design, an ultra-wide working range and a payload
capacity up to 20 kg. The IRB-2600 also offers what ABB claims is the best
accuracy and speed in its class, improving productivity through increased
output, faster cycle times and lower scrap rates.
"The release of the IRB 2600 is a
continuation of our philosophy of keeping footprint sizes smaller, arm
mechanisms scalable and control architecture powerful and flexible," says Nick
Hunt, product support manager for ABB Robotics, North America. "This generation
of robot arms replaces a similar arm payload range, but adds flexibility and
decreases physical size, while dramatically increasing the performance
throughout the entire work envelope."
Hunt says the key to increasing the
IRB 2600 work envelope is in the unlinked revolute design compared to its
four-bar linkage predecessor. For example, the IRB-2400 series robot it is
replacing uses a more constrained kinematic design. It can only move up and
back as far as the parallel linkages allow, so the robot can't bend over
"When we removed the constraint due to the
four-bar link, we also removed the motion constraint thereby increasing the
useable work envelope," says Hunt. "It virtually eliminates being limited to
approximately plus or minus 180 degrees for joint 1 or base movements."
Along with the design changes to the robot,
ABB also increased the acceleration and speed of the joints, so the new
IRB-2600 robots are not only quicker but also faster. The keys are both the
high-speed motors and a lighter arm weight.
"Throughput is one of our primary design
considerations, since advancing product through the process in the shortest
possible time is the production manager's chief goal," says Hunt. "When we
increased the acceleration for both joint and linear moves, increased
throughput was the result."
The IRB 2600 is the second introduction of
ABB's fourth-generation of midrange industrial robots, a portfolio redesign
that began with the 2009 introduction of the IRB 4600 family of robots in the
20 to 60 kg payload range. At weights of 284 and 435 kg respectively for the
heaviest models, the IRB 2600 and IRB 4600 are among the lightest robots
available in their payload ranges.
The IRB 2600 offers numerous system design
and performance advantages including flexible mounting options that enable
optimized cell designs. The new robots can be floor, wall, invert or
shelf-mounted which helps reduce floor space requirements and increases access
to the equipment being served. Wall-mounting is a new possibility for a robot
of this size.
A key feature of the IRB 2600 is its compact
and lightweight design, featuring a total arm weight of less than 300 kg and
occupying less floor space than any other robot in its class. Improved speeds
and improved cycle times can improve production cycle times by up to 25 percent.
High joint speeds and quick acceleration are achieved by combining lightweight
mechanical linkages with patented QuickMoveTM
motion control technology.
The IRB 2600 family contains three versions:
two short arm variants (1.65m) for 12 or 20 kg payloads, and a long arm variant
(1.85m) with a 12 kg payload. With the wrist vertical, up to a 27 kg payload is
achievable for pick and place packaging applications.
"This is the second year in a row that ABB
has released a major addition to its product portfolio that shares the same
proven design principles," says Hunt. "That is a flexible control and software
architecture for lower cost interface solutions, small mechanical footprint,
high joint accelerations and lower power consumption per unit of payload