ABB invests in US start-up to expand portfolio of user-friendly welding robot systems
- Collaboration is key to ABB’s strategy to build an ecosystem of expert partners to deliver easy-to-use robotics solutions
- Scalable robot technology makes it easy for users with no robot experience to program welding Robots
ABB has entered into a strategic partnership with US startup Scalable Robotics to expand its portfolio of user-friendly welding robot systems. Through 3D vision and an understanding of the embedded process, Scalable makes it easy for users to program welding robots without writing code. This round of seed funding for Scalable was led by ABB Technology Ventures (ATV).
The investment is another milestone in ABB’s partner ecosystem strategy, which will help deliver easy-to-use solutions across multiple application areas and industries.
Ma Sikang, global president of ABB Robotics, said: “Companies hope to use robots to improve the reliability, flexibility and efficiency of production to cope with global challenges including labor shortages, supply chain disruptions and increased uncertainty. It is estimated that by 2024 , there will be a labor gap of 400,000 welders in the U.S. alone. To solve this problem, we need to provide easy-to-program and use technology to help manufacturers apply robots, easily introduce automated solutions, and complete more welding in less time work while minimizing scrap and improving product quality.”
Scalable’s technology further enhances ABB’s existing portfolio of no-code programming applications, which users do not need programming knowledge to use. Through Scalable’s platform, the welder can point out the welding position and communicate the welding task to the robot, and the robot can learn the welding path by itself. The platform installs a 3D camera in the protective box at the tooling at the end of the robot arm, and guides the welder through the touch screen interface to complete the relevant steps of scanning, teaching, confirmation and debugging.
The welder taps the screen with a stylus to send instructions to the robot, including the location, method, path and starting point of welding. The platform automatically generates welding paths and verifies them in RobotStudio®, ABB’s leading simulation programming software. The operator makes final revisions before the robot automatically adjusts the program and sends it to the robot controller, where the robot performs the welding work.
Tom Fuhlbrigge, founder and CEO of Scalable, said that Industrial robots can be used by companies of any size and technology level, which is why we founded Scalable. We have developed a unique human-machine interaction technology that allows workers who understand the arc welding process to visually show the robot what to do without requiring any robot experience. We are very pleased to have partnered with ABB as we see them as the ideal partner to help us bring this technology to the global market.
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