ABB launches next-generation robotics control platform

ABB Australia Pty Ltd

Friday, 05 July, 2024

ABB launches next-generation robotics control platform

ABB Robotics has announced the launch of OmniCore, a robotics control platform that the company says is faster, more precise and more sustainable.

“For our customers, automation is a strategic requirement as they seek greater flexibility, simplicity and efficiency in response to the global megatrends of labour shortages, uncertainty and the need to operate more sustainably,” said Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation Business Area. “Through our development of advanced mechatronics, AI and vision systems, our robots are more accessible, more capable, more flexible and more mobile than ever.

“But increasingly they must also work seamlessly together, with us and each other, to take on more tasks in more places. This is why we are launching OmniCore, a new milestone in our 50-year history in robotics; a unique, single control architecture — one platform and one language that integrates our complete range of leading hardware and software.”

ABB says the OmniCore platform is the result of more than $170 million of investment in next-generation robotics, and provides a modular and futureproof control architecture that will enable the full integration of AI, sensor, cloud and edge computing systems to create more advanced and autonomous robotic applications.

OmniCore’s performance improvements claim a robot path accuracy at a level of less than 0.6 mm, with multiple robots running at high speeds of up to 1600 mm per second. This opens new automation opportunities in precision areas such as arc welding, mobile phone display assembly, gluing and laser cutting. Overall, OmniCore is designed to enables robots to operate up to 25% faster and to consume up to 20% less energy compared to the previous ABB controller.

OmniCore is built on a scalable, modular control architecture that offers a wide array of functions, making it suitable for businesses embracing automation in existing and new segments, such as biotechnology and construction, among many others. With over 1000 hardware and software features, customers can design, operate, maintain and optimise operations more easily. This is enabled by software features including ABB’s Absolute Accuracy, and PickMaster Twin, as well as hardware options spanning from external axis and vision systems to fieldbuses.

“The OmniCore difference is its ability to manage motion, sensors and application equipment in a single holistic unified system,” said Marc Segura, Division President ABB Robotics. “OmniCore opens the door to the entire ABB Robotics portfolio of hardware and software, in any combination under a single control platform, offering endless possibilities and more avenues for value creation. For example, OmniCore enables automotive manufacturers to increase production speed, offering tremendous competitive advantage, increasing press tending production from 12 to 15 strokes per minute to produce 900 parts per hour. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary in Robotics, we believe that OmniCore offers the potential for many more industry breakthroughs, empowering our customers across all sectors to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

OmniCore is the latest development in ABB Robotics’ 50 years of innovation, starting with the world’s first microprocessor-controlled robot in 1974, the launch of RobotStudio software in 1998 and the acquisition of Sevensense in 2024, to bring AI-based navigation technology to its mobile robots.

Omnicore replaces the ABB Robotics IRC5 controller which will be phased out in June 2026. ABB will continue to support its customers using IRC5 with spare parts and services through the remaining lifetime of the robot.

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