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DressPack Options for ABB Robots


A robot dresspack refers to the cable and hose routing for a robot system. ABB Robotics offers a few different dress pack options for customers, depending on their need for complexity and flexibility in their robot systems. Some dress packs are external, while others are internally routed, and each have their pros and cons for ABB material handling and spot welding robots.

The ABB External DressPack is recommended for production setups that do not have a lot of need for flexibility and wrist movement complexity. These cables are routed on the outside of the robot, which allows for easy adjustment or removal of the cables and hoses for repair purposes, but also exposes them to more wear and tear over time. There is also an external dress pack with a retract function available, for customers who need a little more flexibility in their robot system. The retract function pulls the cables and hoses backward when the robot is moving, which keeps them closer to the robot arm during operation. This helps the robot to avoid interfering with tooling or other robots in the vicinity. The external DressPack option is commonly offered for the ABB IRB 6620, IRB 6640, IRB 6650S, and IRB 7600 robots.

The ABB Integrated DressPack, which is available on the IRB 6640 robotic material handling system, is able to head off all the problems that come with having the swing cables on the external dress pack. According to ABB, swinging cables can wear fast, and when routed inside and along the robot arm, the cables are firmly in place, which protects them from wear and collision when robot is in motion. The service life of an internal dresspack is significantly longer than an external dresspack. By choosing an internally routed dresspack from ABB, manufacturers can expect their hoses to last 6-8 years, as opposed to 1-2 years with the external option.

However, this is not the only advantage of choosing the ABB Internal DressPack. Offline programming provides a great advantage with the internally-routed dresspack. Programmers are able to program a new line and introduce pieces into the already existing line, while also allowing for the fine tuning of the programming, according to ABB. Then there is the obvious compactness of the robot. Without the cables routed on the outside of the robot arm, the wrist is able to get into more compact areas, like the narrow parts of a car body, and there is less chance for interference with other robots working on the part at the same time.

While these dresspacks are different, they do have common features that span the entire series. DressPacks have minimal unique parts, which allow them to be more versatile for both material handling and spot welding applications. As a compact solution, there is also more versatility when designing the system with offline simulation. Dresspacks are designed to be easy to maintain, repair, and replace. They can be adjusted without special tooling and individual parts on the dresspack can be replaced as necessary.

DressPack options come with the spot welding and material handling robots mentioned above. The advantage from purchasing a robot and dresspack from RobotWorx is that your dresspack will be tailored to your specific customized application, system, or work cell, instead of getting a more generalized option.

It is important to research which dresspack is right for your application and robot system. Our RobotWorx technicians and sales team can help you decide which route to go. Contact us today at 740-251-4312.