ABB Robotics
Robots aiding production of cars

This Week in Power & Motion: ABB Robots to Help Volvo Cars Achieve Sustainability Goals

Jan. 5, 2024
ABB will supply Volvo Cars with energy efficient robots to aid production of its vehicles, Proportion-Air provides real-world pneumatics knowledge to college students and more industry news you may have missed.

There is much going on in the world of hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motion systems, from technology introductions and industry advancements to new trends and industry leaders. Each week the Power & Motion team collects the latest industry news to help keep our readers up to date on what's happening in the fluid power and electric motion control sectors as well as the industries they serve.

Timken Acquisition Adds Engineered Sealing Solutions to Portfolio

The Timken Company has further expanded its product offering with the acquisition of Lagersmit, a Netherlands-based manufacturer of highly engineered sealing solutions for demanding marine, dredging, water, tidal energy and other industrial applications. 

In addition to expanding the company's product portfolio, the acquisition also strengthens Timken's presence in the marine market which it sees as an opportunity area. "The business serves leading propulsion manufacturers, ship owners, pump makers and other industrial customers around the globe that require advanced sealing systems. Lagersmit is a high-quality brand with premium products that are highly complementary to our existing portfolio," said Christopher Coughlin, Timken executive vice president and president of Industrial Motion in the company's press release announcing the acquisition.

The new business will become part of Timken's Industrial Motion segment.

READ MORE: What are the Impacts of Industry Consolidation?

Delta Motion Offers Motion Controller in Replacement for Allen-Bradley Technology

Rockwell Automation's three ControlLogix analog motion modules — 1765-HYD02, 1765-M02AS, and 1765-M02AE — have reached the end of their life and are set to be discontinued as of December 2024. The Delta Motion RMC Motion Controllers are recommended replacements. 

According to Delta Motion, its RMC Motion Controllers can do the same functions as the discontinued Rockwell Automation modules. They have the same I/O signals, communicate efficiently with Allen-Bradley PLCs via EtherNet/IP, and connect to all the same field devices as the ControlLogix analog motion modules the company said in its press release announcing its naming as a replacement option.

Features of the RMC Motion Controller include:

  • ±10V outputs (some RMCs also have ±20mA and 4-20mA options)
  • Connection to feedback devices: Quadrature, SSI, PWM, Start/Stop (analog options are also available)
  • Single and multi-axis: RMCs are available from 1-50 axes for tightly synchronizing axes
  • Command-based programming keeps most control in the PLC, or the RMC User Programs can offload critical motion-related tasks from the PLC.

Delta Motion is now a Technology Partner in the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork and is working on educational materials to help customers easily transition to its motion controller technology. 

Proportion-Air Sponsors Students Working on Capstone Projects

Proportion-Air is sponsoring two teams of students participating in the capstone program at Purdue Polytechnic Institute. Each team is working on a group project to demonstrate the knowledge they have gained throughout their college careers. 

The first team sponsored by Proportion-Air, Team 15, is working to improve the design of a Burling Valve regulator, specifically to perform more effectively in superheated steam applications. Team 16, also sponsored by Proportion-Air, is working on a project to create an acoustic sensor solution to provide proportional control for cylinder position without using a rod. 

Both teams are comprised of students with mechanical, electrical, mechatronic and other engineering backgrounds. As part of its sponsorship, Proportion-Air invited the teams to visit its manufacturing facility in Indiana during the fall semester so they could learn about manufacturing processes as well as ask questions of experts at the company that can help them with their projects. 

READ MORE: How do We Shape the Future Workforce?

ABB Robotics to Support Sustainability Efforts by Volvo Cars

ABB will supply Volvo Cars with over 1,300 robots and functional packages to help the automotive OEM produce its next generation of electric vehicles. By installing more robots into its operation, Volvo Cars aims to enhance its sustainability efforts through automation. 

Marc Segura, ABB Robotics President, said the company's new family of energy efficient large robots and OmniCore controllers can deliver energy savings of up to 20% at a manufacturing site, helping to reduce the manufacturer's carbon footprint. Per ABB, the OmniCore robot controllers are able to provide energy savings through use of highly efficient power electronics and regenerative braking within the robot. 

The robots will be installed at Volvo Car facilities in Sweden and China, and will be used for tasks including spot welding, riveting and dispensing to flow drilling and ultrasonic weld inspection. 

ABB plans to develop and validate the robots in its RobotStudio planning and programming software to ensure they are optimized for their required tasks before installation, ensuring not only performance but also minimizing production interruptions during deployment of the robots.

READ MORE: Manufacturers Increase Sustainability Initiatives

AGCO Opens Accleration Center to Attract Tech Talent

Agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO has opened an accleration center in Scottsdale, AZ, to help attract more tech talent into the agriculture industry. The center is dedicated to development of software and electronics for autonomy, precision ag, artificial intelligence and digital products. 

The acceleration center is located at SkySong Innovation Campus, which is an extension of Arizona State University (ASU). AGCO has another acceleration center on the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana campus which opened in 2018 and works to nurture tech talent in undergraduate and graduate students.

“The Phoenix metro area and nearby universities with thousands of engineering students create an environment rich with tech talent,” said Seth Crawford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Precision Ag & Digital, in AGCO's press release announcing the opening of the acceleration center. 

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Technical Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is technical editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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