Motoman and ABB comprise two out of the big four robotic manufacturers. The Japanese based Motoman has held the second spot amongst the top four for several years with over 400,000 robots currently installed across the world. While the Swiss based ABB Robotics is not far behind in the third spot with over 300,000 robots currently active. Motoman robots are commonly utilized amongst automotive, logistics, food, consumer goods, and the aerospace industries. Robots from ABB are also commonly found in the automotive and food industries. They are also popular in the electronics, foundry, plastics, and pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Both robotic manufacturers offer extensive product lines designed to cover a number of applications including arc welding, material handling, material removal, painting, palletizing, and assembly to name a few. Motoman robots have payload ranges between 0.5 kg to 900 kg and also have a diverse selection when it comes to range of motion with axes between 4 to 15. Motoman categorizes their robots into four groups which include: assembly and handling, welding and cutting, packaging and palletizing, and painting and dispensing. ABB robots have payload ranges of 0.5 kg to 800 kg and are classified into the following groups: articulated, paint, collaborative, SCARA, and parallel.
Although Motoman offers a diverse product range they are best known for their arc welding series with robots like the EA1400N. Motoman is considered the world leader when it comes to building reliable and durable robots capable producing high-quality welds. In fact, Motoman produces more welding robots than any other manufacturer. Motoman arc welders such as the MA1400, feature a slim arm with an extended reach for an expanded work envelope, even in tight spaces. Most Yaskawa welding robots paid well with the miller line of robotic welders including the Miller Auto-Axcess 450. Motoman robot work envelopes are further expanded with the capability for them to be floor, wall, ceiling, or shelf mounted. Motoman’s arc welding robots are also compatible with a wide variety of welding power sources thanks to their digital interfaces.
While ABB also offers a line of arc welding robots, such as the IRB 1600, they are more known for their heavy-duty material handling 6000 series robots. ABB has earned a reputation for building some of the toughest workhorse robots including the ABB IRB 6640. Not only can these robots lift heavy payloads, but they are also designed to work in harsh environments with being IP67 rated. Their SafeMove2 software ensures the safety of the robot and production line when handling extremely heavy objects, which is why many car manufacturers turn to ABB for lifting objects such as heavy car frames. These industrial robots expand their work envelope by being able to bend completely backwards, a unique feature amongst the robot world.
Both Motoman and ABB continue to change the robotic world with their innovative technology. Both manufacturers have developed dual arm robots for speedy material handling. Motoman’s dual robot arm series, SDA, features a line of 15 axis robots. While ABB’s dual arm YuMi robot is a collaborative robot designed for small parts assembly while operating safely beside humans. Each have also innovated the designs of their robots to ensure longer runtimes and reduce wear and tear. Motoman robots feature internalized cabling, while the dress pack for ABB robots is also built inside to prevent interference or failure.