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Digital twin technology cuts commissioning times

09 January 2020

ABB Robotics has launched the third generation of PickMaster, its robotic software for vision-guided random flow picking and packing applications for the digital Factory of the Future.

The new PickMaster Twin software is equipped with digital twin technology for the first time, to shorten commissioning times from days to hours and cut changeover periods from hours to minutes. 

Digital twin technology allows customers to test out robotic configurations on virtual production lines before physical lines are built. When using digital twin technology, the simulated twin can be directly connected to production operations, which allows the picking process to be optimised virtually at the same time as the process is being implemented.

For customers, PickMaster Twin now offers greater flexibility and visualisation of all complicated robotic manoeuvres designed for flow-wrapping, tray loading, case and carton packing and handling applications. 

Enabling offline programming of picking and packing tasks means users can create, simulate and test a complete robot installation in a virtual environment without having to disturb their actual production line.  This not only helps customers mitigate costly and time-consuming risks, but also shortens the time to market for new products, as  product lines can be installed faster, ramped up to full speed without surprises during commissioning and continuously used in concurrent optimisation – a critical competency for manufacturers with today’s mass customisation and shorter product life cycles.

PickMaster Twin also condenses and enhances the advanced application experience with new intuitive interfaces built on ABB’s Ability Zenon Operations Data Management, providing vibrant and colourful dashboards for easy data visualisation. In addition, PickMaster Twin  complies with the OMAC PackML  (packaging machine language)  standard, which makes it ideal for modern packaging machines. The latest PickMaster software also features online visual tuning of the workspace in both X and Y directions in order to maximise output and increase OEE (overall equipment effectiveness). 

PickMaster Twin is available in a multitude of configurations and can work seamlessly with all ABB robots, and a range of virtual and physical machines. Coupled with the inherent user-friendly software, the PickMaster Twin is well-suited for factories and production lines where higher output, faster response times and quick changeovers are vital. 

Steven Wyatt, Head of Portfolio and Digital for ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation business,  says: “ ABB’s PickMaster software is already the market leader for easy configuration of advanced robotic actions, and has set the industry benchmark for simplifying the robot integration in picking, packing, and material handling for more than 18 years. These upgrades to ABB’s PickMaster technology will help our customers take high speed picking and rapid applications to the next level, whether it is to boost picking and packing efficiency or to reduce the cost of integrating robotics into production lines .”

 
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