Cobot gains wider application

| Manufacturing

The GoFa collaborative robot is available in different variants for smaller businesses

The GoFa range of collaborative robots provides more opportunities for process automation and academic research

Two new variants of the “GoFa” collaborative robot (cobot) are being released by ABB. The GoFa 10 and GoFa 12 offer new opportunities for companies to make use of cobot automation for improving efficiency with the use of collaborative automation systems.

The two new devices are capable of handling payloads of up to 10 and 12 kilograms respectively with sustained repeatability and they are also able to handle an expanded range of tasks in close collaboration with workers, which helps to go some way towards addressing the ongoing skills and labour shortages that are being experienced across a number of industries whilst also improving safety and productivity. Offering straightforward programming and rapid integration into production environments, the new variants lower barriers to entry for first-time users, educational establishments and smaller companies, including those offering test services.

Marc Segura, the President of ABB Robotics explains that since the company initially launched its “YuMi” cobot in 2015, it has built a larger portfolio of cobots in order to meet the growing demand for safe and easy-to-use automation products that are able to plug the gaps in skilled labour.

“Addressing the need for collaborative robots with higher payloads and longer reach, our GoFa 10 and 12 cobots extend the benefits of automation to new industrial applications, even for first time users,” he says.

Robust industrial equipment

In addition to their enhanced payloads, the GoFa 10 and 12 cobots also offer very competitive tool centre point (TCP) speeds of up to two meters per second with 0.02mm of deviation for greater repeatability – a two-fold improvement over comparable systems. IP67 certified against moisture and dust ingress, they extend the benefits of fast and accurate collaborative robotics to new industrial applications, automating demanding tasks such as machine tending, welding, parts handling, polishing and assembly in harsher environments. The GoFa 10’s 1.62 meter reach is around 14 percent more than other similar devices and is enough to cover the use of pallets, making it ideal for palletising applications.

Cobot Access For Smaller Organisations

The GoFa 10 and 12 cobots are straightforward to program, deploy and use so therefore the can help to lower the barriers to automation for first-time users and smaller companies. The setup is made easy with lead-through programming and ABB’s Wizard easy programming software, allowing even non-specialists to quickly automate their applications by manipulating simple graphical command blocks rather than writing complex programming code.

Pre-installed on the cobots’ ABB’s FlexPendant robot controller, the ABB SafeMove app features safe speed limits, standstill monitoring and orientation supervision, enabling close collaboration between robots and associated workers without requiring bulky protective barriers or fencing.

The GoFa 10 and GoFa 12 cobots are powered by ABB’s OmniCore controller. The combination of OmniCore’s motion control provided by ABB’s TrueMove and QuickMove motion control technologies and GoFa’s intelligent torque and position sensors ensures the smooth movements needed for high precision surface finishing, fastening, assembly and testing tasks. Energy saving features including power re-generation and brake energy recovery reduce power requirements by up to 20 percent, enhancing sustainability.

Additionally, the two new cobots are compatible with the ABB “Robotics Ecosystem” programme, which brings together third-party accessories such as grippers, cameras and customised software that are compatible with the ABB portfolio, including the new GoFa cobots. The programme enables users to easily make use of the innovative compatible accessory products that are available from other suppliers.

Jonathan Newell
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