ABB Robotics Opens Test Center for 3D-Enabled Material Handling

ABB Robotics has opened a new Random Bin Picking test center in Jönköping, Sweden to develop automated pick-and-place solutions using the latest 3D vision-enabled Random Bin Picking technology. The new center is part of ABB’s broader strategy to accelerate flexible automation for small- and medium-scale enterprises (SME). At the test center, housed in ABB’s Global Solution Center for machine tending, the team will co-create innovative solutions with global customers and partners that will be incorporated into their own applications.

Automated Bin Picking

At the new test center, ABB will accelerate innovation in the development of its Random Bin Picking technology, which combines an ABB robot with 3D vision to enable the selection of parts in non-standard configurations and orientations. The ability to recognize an item in any orientation allows parts to be randomly placed in a bin or on a pallet, removing the need for the parts to be manually pre-sorted or arranged.

The Random Bin Picking technology picks up parts in different orientation.

Traditional structured bin picking systems require items to be arranged in a specific orientation before the robot can pick and handle them. Arranging parts by hand can be time consuming, and repetitively lifting and feeding components can cause injury, while supplying parts in the wrong position can cause production delays.

The complete automation of bin picking will improve efficiency, productivity, and flexibility of factory processes, speeding material handling and flows in applications, including machine tending and parts feeding. It will also open the way for further automation of other factory processes, including interaction with autonomous mobile robots (AMR), which can automatically bring pallets of parts to the robot cell. ABB’s smallest machine tending cell has a footprint of just 3sq.m, opening new possibilities for deployment in existing production lines.

At ABB’s new Random Bin Picking test center, customers and partners will be able to test different configurations and scenarios before implementing them in a real environment, helping to minimize the risks, time and costs traditionally associated with creating bin picking applications and reducing disruption during installation. The team will use RobotStudio, ABB’s leading simulation and programming tool to model processes before physical cells are created for final testing and refinement.

ABB’s automated Random Bin Picking solution is the result of close collaboration between the company’s leading machine tending Global Solutions Center and its network of partners specializing in the development and supply of 3D vision technology.