ABB Robotics is positioning its latest welding robot as an affordable route for fabricators to upgrade their operations to automated arc welding. The automation system developer called the new IRB 1520ID “an attractively priced, high-performance addition to ABB’s dedicated arc welding robot family.” It detailed that the unit has internal Axis-1 routing of the welding cabling, on a compact swing base, in a unit that is 30% lighter than ABB’s premium performance welding robot, the IRB 1600ID.

ABB Robotics develops and supplies industrial robots, robot software, peripheral equipment, modular manufacturing cells and service for tasks like handling, assembly, painting and finishing, picking, packing, palletizing and machine tending — as well as welding.

The IRB 1520ID’s upper-arm integrated dressing (ID) design makes programming simple and provides optimal protection for all media — including welding power and wire, shielding gas and pressurized air. This will extend the service life of the hose by 50%, according to ABB, and allow for more flexible movements, such as those needed for single-motion welds around cylindrical objects or weld seams on parts of a complex geometry.

The new robot’s compact base and lower weight, combined with a 1.5-m reach and 4-kg payload, make it easy to install in various production configurations, either floor-mounted or invert-mount positions.

The IRB 1520ID is equipped with ABB’s second-generation TrueMove technology so it’s prepared to deliver “the highest path accuracy in the lightweight arc welding robot class,” according to the developer. With the reduced maintenance costs and production downtime, it provides exceptional welding durability and the lowest cost per weld of any comparable model.

“With the IRB 1520ID manufacturers that are looking to upgrade to automated arc welding now have an easier way to secure a 24/7 robotics solution,” offered ABB Robotics senior manager Erwin DiMalanta. “It is a very compact and extremely accurate robot, and the most easily integrated, general-purpose arc welding robot on the market.”

For operator control, the IRB 1520ID features the easy-to-use ABB FlexPendant HMI: operators have full capability with a few buttons and an intuitive, multilingual interface, with minimal training required, according to the supplier.

The power source interface is fully integrated, too, so users have full control over voltage, current, speed, gas flow, and other welding parameters from the same interface as the robot.

IRB 1520ID users also have access to ABB’s Remote Service, a system that provides remote access to the arc welding system for production monitoring, quick diagnostics, and predictive maintenance.

“The integrated dress design allows the 1520ID to work on tighter, more complex fixtures,” ABB Robotics’ DiMalanta said. “It extends torch cable life and eliminates the concern of the welding torch cable interfering with the welding process.”