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ABB Robotics - Assembly of electrical sockets

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Published on May 28, 2010

When it comes to using robots to increase productivity, reduce costs & improve working conditions for employees ABB is happy to practice what it preaches. So when ABB Elektro-Praga decided to install a new production line for its "child-proof" dual-plug electrical safety socket at its factory in the Czech town of Jablonec, it chose a system that featured three robots purchased from ABB Robotics.

"The small IRB 140 robot is ideal for this task. Although it's small, it is exceptionally fast, accurate and powerful -- it has one of the fastest cycle times of any articulated robot," confirms Petr Prade, Chief of Design at MMT, the system integrator that built & installed the new production line.

Jana Dolková, who used to help assemble the sockets by hand before the advent of the robots, believes the new system is actually more "people friendly" than the one it replaced: "The sockets we are making contain fiddly components like screws and springs ... before, I almost had to squint to see them. This is a much healthier environment for me." "And of course," Dolková adds, "unlike humans, the robots leave no fingerprints!"

At the moment, Elektro-Praga -- which specializes in low-voltage circuit breakers, switches, control products, wiring accessories and cable systems -- only employs the ABB robot system to turn out its "Tango" line of dual plug sockets. But in the near future, it plans to use it for several other variants. In fact, as it takes no more than 10 minutes to set up the line for another variant this will make it possible to change the variant up to 30 times per week - which results in real flexible 'production to order'.

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