ABB has developed a braking distance simulator designed to improve the safety of robotic cells, as well as reducing their footprint by up to 25%.
The RobotStudio offline programming and simulation software has been upgraded with a new virtual robot braking distance function. The manufacturer said this solution offers unprecedented accuracy for calculating robot stopping distances to optimise operator safety.
According to ABB, predicting exactly where a robot will stop depends on a range of variables including speed, payload and the robot’s own inertia. These factors, individually or combined, can result in the robot coming to a halt outside of its safety zone, sometimes by several meters.
To compensate for the variability in stopping distances, engineers designing robot cells traditionally oversize them to allow for additional movement as the robot comes to a stop, which uses unnecessary space on the factory floor.
The new RobotStudio function uses ABB’s motion control technology to predict the robot’s movements with millimetric precision. This allows the exact movement of the robot to be simulated in RobotStudio, enabling the user to determine the correct size of the safety zone required, and the ideal location of features including light curtains, safety fencing and controllers.
“Our new robot braking distance function for RobotStudio equips the user with information about a robot’s real-world movements with an unprecedented level of accuracy,” said Antti Matinlauri, head of product management for ABB Robotics.
“Predicting the braking behaviour of a robot with its payload will help system integrators and end users save time and costs, with up to 25% reduction in the footprint when it comes to designing and building a robot cell or setting up a safety zone. This will help our customers optimise their processes and get the most out of their automation solutions.”