Robots improving air quality? Why not?

2014-03-17 - Reducing things like tailpipe and power plant emissions greatly helps to improve air quality, but in a Volvo factory in China, robots are helping too.
Around the world people are improving their standard of living, and in China this couldn’t be more evident as the country goes through tremendous growth in a very short period of time. While it’s undeniable that an improved standard of living is a great stabilizing force for good in the world, it can also bring with it the trappings of modern manufacturing—including the increased potential for pollution.

At a factory in China, Swedish carmaker Volvo has implemented pollution controls and processes that tackle this issue head on by improving air quality, both inside their cars and in the outside environment. This improvement couldn’t have been possible without a robotic solution from ABB.

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Using a process developed and perfected by ABB, the car manufacturer is the first in China to deploy a water-based adhesive and sealant applied by robots to the cars on the assembly line. Not only does the waterborne material greatly reduce road noise for the occupants of the finished car, it also reduces any interior air pollution and smells that can be off-putting and potentially pose a risk to human health.

And before you imagine that just any robot could apply this material, a team at ABB worked for six months to ensure the tricky-to-handle material was applied and worked to Volvo’s stringent requirements for quality. The water-based sealant is highly abrasive and sensitive to temperature and pressure. These qualities make it very difficult to work with and it needs abrasion resistant piping materials, an efficient piping layout and strict temperature control throughout the gluing process—all of which make the process rather complicated. The thin-armed robots that ABB provides have a large working range and good flexibility, which is critical for this kind of application. In total, ABB has provided 33 different robots for the project.

The first Volvo S60L vehicles manufactured using the new technique began rolling off the line at the Chengdu factory late last year and are starting to make their way into the Chinese market. For Volvo, ABB and people all over China and the world, the solution is a win-win-win.

Further information please visit www.abb.com.cn/robotics, follow us on Wechat cnabbro and Sina Weibo @ABB Robot. Share the stories and the pictures between you and ABB Robotics. You may have a chance to get surprise gifts.



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