ABB inkjet head wins robotics award10 June 2021

The International Federation of Robotics’ 2021 Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics & Automation (IERA) has been awarded to ABB’s PixelPaint technology.

This system comprises two high-precision robots that make car painting faster, more sustainable and flexible. The system can apply two-tone and customised designs in one pass, and is said to eliminate overspray, saving resources.

In the past, 20-30% of paint was wasted due to overspray. By contrast, the inkjet head of PixelPaint applies 100% of the paint to the vehicle surface – improving environmental impact. The technology also significantly increases efficiency in car painting. Previously, applying a two-tone or customised design was a time and labour-intensive process; at least, the vehicle had to be put through the painting line twice. The new technology has increased customised painting speeds by 50%. PixelPaint also eliminates the process of masking and de-masking each car, helping to reduce bottlenecks.

“In today’s fiercely competitive automotive manufacturing market, vehicle producers need solutions that can help them to improve their flexibility, efficiency and cost competitiveness while delivering a high-quality paint finish, including individualized options to meet the growing demand for non-standard and customized designs,” said Jörg Reger, managing director of ABB Robotics Auto OEM Business Line.

The other finalists were Barcelona-based INFAIMON, which presented its InPicker – a universal pick and place system for industrial applications. Berlin-based Micropsi Industries took part with its MIRAI software – an AI-driven control system that enables industrial robots to deal with variance in production. Mobile Industrial Robots from Odense in Denmark presented the MiR250, a user-friendly mobile robot that optimises material handling workflows across industries.

Operations Engineer

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