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Robotic co-workers working side-by-side with humans will radically change assembly lines

Robotic co-workers working side-by-side with humans will radically change assembly lines
Author: | Date created: 2016/07/04

Few production arenas are changing as quickly as that of smallparts assembly. The electronics industry, in particular, has seen demand in this arena skyrocket past the supply of skilled labor. As conventional assembly methods diminish in value, manufacturers are finding it strategically and economically imperative to invest in new solutions. ABB’s market introduction of YuMi – a play on words that means “you” and “me” – is a groundbreaking solution for human-robot collaboration in the small-parts assembly environment.

First, safety

YuMi literally removes the barriers to collaboration by making protective fencing and cages a thing of the past. Its design is based on a revolutionary integration of motion control software, speed-limited hardware, reduced weight, a compact frame and 14-axis agility. The lightweight, padded, magnesium arms can stop the robot’s motion in milliseconds if necessary – in the event of an unexpected collision, for instance

Like the human arm, YuMi has no pinch points, so there can be no crushing between two opposing surfaces as the arm flexes. The padded arms enclose the cabling and air connections, which eliminates snagging, reduces maintenance requirements and makes it easy to keep the robot clean and dust-free. The combined effect of these features is the ensured safety of human coworkers on production lines and in fabrication cells. Productivity In addition to its inherent safety, YuMi is a highly efficient and proficient robot – two qualities that accelerate its return on investment. ABB designed YuMi to become productive very quickly as an all-in-one solution, with integrated arms, hands, torso, control technology and a parts-feeding system.

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