In a move to address evolving customer needs, ABB Robotics has introduced two robotic machine tending software solutions focused on flexibility and ease of use. RobotStudio Machine Tending PowerPac is PC-based programming tool that is an add-on for RobotStudio. RobotWare Machine Tending is a standalone, controller-based tool.
The software is designed to allow for simulation, validation and optimization to be completed in a virtual 3D environment.
The PowerPac has a library of common grippers and station types and built-in support for most machines and peripheral equipment.
ABB says the RobotWare Machine Tending software has "an intuitive and customizable graphical user interface [that] allows for easy production monitoring and control, as well as automatic program and part selection. Although the interface has been designed so that less skilled personnel can control most common tasks, the software also provides unlimited access to powerful RAPID coding tools for more advanced users."
Terry Crunk, mating tending specialist at ABB, told PlasticsToday that, "The RobotWare Machine Tending software is a further development of the previous RobotWare for plastic injection molding. The underlying concept is similar, but the implementation is completely different. The single-biggest difference is the ease of use for system integrators. It’s much more adapted to their needs, making it much more flexible, customizable, and powerful."
In regard to the PowerPac, Crunk says: "Another improvement is the optional RobotStudio Machine Tending PowerPac, a true off-line, PC-based programming tool that makes the programming of machine tending robots easier, faster, and more flexible than ever before. Together, these two pieces of software create a very large library of common machine tending functions that can be used, modified, and reused for any machine tending application."