Pullman Industries gets first ABB TrueView Robotic Systems

JULY 27--Braintech Inc. (North Vancouver, BC, Canada; www.braintech.com) announced the first installation of its new Inferential Depth Measurement technology, embedded in TrueView robotic systems from ABB.

JULY 27--Braintech Inc. (North Vancouver, BC, Canada; www.braintech.com), a pioneer in 3-D vision-guided robotics (VGR), announced the first installation of its new Inferential Depth Measurement (IDM) technology, embedded in TrueView robotic systems from ABB. IDM provides 2.5-D robot guidance and is targeted for processes that do not require or allow for complete 3-D part location variance but that are more complex than basic 2-D tasks.

Pullman Industries Inc., a full-service automotive component and modular assembly supplier, installed the two systems in its Butler, IN, facility. Each system runs a pair of robots (another first for the ABB/Braintech product), allowing two operators on each of two shifts to be assigned to other tasks. The return-on-investment timeline is less than one year, based on labor cost savings alone, and not taking into account improvements in quality, line speed, and ergonomics.

Braintech's 2.5-D solution, the latest plug-in technology for eVisionFactory, exploits visual cues such as size and shape variations among parts to compute not only the planar x, y and rotation of a given part, but also its height, or z coordinate, relative to the robot's coordinate system. Consequently, IDM eliminates the need for using extraneous height measurement devices, such as tactile sensors and laser range finders, that have been required in traditional 2-D systems. Moreover, Braintech's 2.5-D system can be easily upgraded to 3-D.

ABB's Robotic, Automotive and Manufacturing group is a supplier of robots, robotic systems, and automation systems to the automotive, manufacturing, and consumer industries. With more than 120,000 robots installed worldwide and more than 5000 employees, ABB is a global leader in flexible factory automation. The ABB Group of companies operates in 100 countries and employs about 115,000 people worldwide. With an installed base of more than 120,000 robots, the Automation Technologies division employs about 56,000 and posted 2002 revenues of US $9.9 billion.

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