ABB Robotics has introduced Integrated Force Control, a consolidation of software features that were available separately in either the machining or assembly Force Control offerings into a single base module. The company says robots with Integrated Force Control react to their surroundings and deviate from their programmed path or speed based on feedback from the force sensor. This makes it possible to automate complex tasks which previously required skilled personnel and advanced fixed automation, such as machining and small parts assembly where the dexterous handling of work pieces and tools is important.
The company claims this consolidation of software makes it possible to assemble parts with tolerances that are within the range of the robot’s precise repeatability without requiring highly accurate and expensive fixtures. In addition, a force‐controlled robot can be programmed to mimic the movements of a human arm, applying search patterns to find the correct position to assemble a given part. Integrated Force Control also can be used to improve robotic machining applications such as grinding, polishing, deburring and deflashing.