Recently completed palletising robot replacement. We upgraded from an ABB IRB 6000 to the new IRB 460 Robot. The decision to replace the old S3 IRB 6000 was taken for two reasons. The S3 hasn’t been supported by ABB now for some time and parts are very difficult to get. The second reason was to try improve product throughput due to production pressures.
Robot replacement took place over the October Bank Holiday weekend due to production requirements. All software had been tested in simulations before installation commenced, resulting in the line being unavailable for the minimum duration. The project involved extensive rewriting of the Allen Bradley line control PLC software as well as new operator interfaces and of course the robot programming. New safety system were installed around the robot itself and also an orbital wrapper downstream of the palletising cell. On completion of the works the customer has seen a 30 % increase in product throughput as well as peace of mind regarding the robot itself.
Further improvements planned are the replacement of the gripper with a more suitable type and the addition of a second palletising position for a different product line.