ABB supplies robotic equipment to Lander Automotive free RSS news feed from the Electrical News Portal

ABB has supplied five robotic cells to Birmingham-based Lander Automotive Ltd, a leading supplier of welded tubular structures to the automotive industry. The robots, which form the core of a project worth around £650,000, are the first of their kind to use the latest ABB control equipment and software.

The cells include a mixture of new and refurbished robots, which are designed to produce metal seat frames for eventual installation into cars built for a major Japanese car company. The cells, together with other processes, including CNC tube manipulators, presses, riveters and assembly, form a best practice, lean, flexible manpower line some 25 metres long. This line takes raw materials through to the finished product.

The project included programming the robots, electrical and software design, installation and commissioning. The most novel aspect of the project was the software engineering. This is the first time that a programmable logic controller (PLC) from ABB’s new AC500 range has been used in a robotics project, and the programming software had to be specially tailored for the automotive sector.

In common with many of the world’s leading automotive-sector manufacturers, Lander standardises on a programming approach known as EDDI (Error Diagnostically Driven Interface) to control all of its robots. ABB engineers were able to modify the standard approach and use an EDDI within ABB’s new AC500 PLC and CP500 HMI . The controller’s Codesys programming tool saved considerable development and commissioning time by enabling the ABB engineers to use previously tried and tested software blocks.

In addition to the AC500 controller, ABB supplied a Profibus communication module to enable the new cells to communicate with Lander’s wider control system. Other ABB equipment supplied included I/O cards, operator interfaces (HMI’s), power supplies, miniature circuit breakers, isolators, safety relays and mini relays.

ABB delivered everything on an extremely tight, 15-week schedule from order placement, in spite of the development work. Furthermore, any future ABB projects in the automotive sector should be even quicker and easier, since the newly developed software modules can now be re-used whenever necessary. All the code complies with IEC 61131-3 and relies on tried and tested robotic and control interfaces.

Providing a turnkey solution means that ABB has the expertise to train Lander personnel in every aspect of the new cells. This overall capability also means that ABB is an effective one-stop-shop for any support that Lander needs in the future.

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