Automate 2023 Is Kicking Off! Showcasing the “World’s First Cobot Spot Welder” and Other Automation Feats

May 22, 2023 by Shawn Dietrich

Automate 2023 has begun! This year’s trade show features some exciting new technologies, including automation solutions from Universal Robots, Bosch Rexroth, and DENSO Robotics.

Automate 2023 is here, taking place in Detroit, MI, from May 22 - May 25. Below are just some of the many vendors making an appearance at this year's show.


Automate 2022's flashy display, FANUC's M-2000iA/1700L industrial robot lifting a corvette frame. 


Universal Robots

Collaborative robots (cobots) are becoming popular with small to mid-range weld shops because of the ease of use and quick setup time. Universal Robots is one of the biggest suppliers of cobots to the industry. At Automate, sixty-plus Universal Robots cobots will be displayed across thirty different booths, showcasing versatility and reach.


Universal Robots collaborative robot spot welder designed by Pro Spot International

The "world's first cobot spot welder," designed by Pro Spot International. Image used courtesy of Universal Robots


Cobot Spot Welding

At the Universal Robots booth, a special cobot, not possible before, will be on display—the "world's first cobot spot welder." Spot welding, sometimes called resistance welding, is the process of pressing two overlapped materials with electrodes and passing a high current from one electrode to another. This process heats the material and fuses it together, creating a strong bond. This process is commonly used in autobody manufacturing.

The reason cobots have not been used for this process in the past is because of the weight of the spot welding tool. Most cobots have a light payload capacity, and the spot welding tool weighs much more than the robot can handle. Universal Robots and Pro Spot International have solved this solution by combining an advanced spot welder and a cobot from Universal Robots. The i5s smart spot has some advanced features not commonly found on other spot welders, such as sense material thickness, auto adjust resistance, a built-in library for materials, WiFi connectivity, and exportable data logs via email. Using an automated spot welder controlled via a cobot ensures consistent, repeatable welds on every part.


Bosch Rexroth

When it comes to factory conveyance, Bosch Rexroth is well-known in the automation industry. They offer a wide selection of different kinds of conveyors and conveyor accessories. Bosch is showcasing factory automation product technologies and solutions for manufacturing in their booth. Some of the technologies Bosch is showcasing are:


Flexible Transport System (FTS)

The FTS is a linear servo motor conveyor with high speed, accurate positioning, and a multi-directional pallet system.


Bosch Rexroth Smart Flex Effector

Bosch Rexroth's Smart Flex Effector with built-in sensors and six degrees of freedom. Image used courtesy of Bosch Rexroth


Smart Flex Effector

The Smart Flex Effector is a robot end effector with built-in sensors and six degrees of freedom. The device can be mounted on any cartesian system and has a locking function for rigidity. The Smart Flex Effector can be used in robot teaching, complex handling applications, and joining operations.


Smart Function Kit for Handling 

The Smart Function Kift for Handling is Bosch's configurable multi-axis robot that can be configured online. Like Bosch's configurable conveyor systems, the kit uses standard modules and components to build a smart subsystem that performs basic handling tasks quickly.


Nexo Cordless Nutrunner

Combining materials and parts is common in automation, and Bosch's Nexo Cordless Runner works seamlessly with its conveyor line and control systems.


DENSO Robotics

Robots are commonly used in automation now more than ever because of their ability to perform simple tasks without slowing down. DENSO Robotics, in collaboration with CapSen Robotics, is showcasing its latest bin-picking software, CapSen PiC.


Denso Robotics CapSen Robotics CapsSen PiC Computer for bin picking

CapSen PiC computer for seamless bin picking. Image used courtesy of CapSen Robotics


CapSen PiC

Picking parts out of a bin presents numerous problems: the parts are not in the same location or orientation, some parts overlap, and the distance from the top of the bin to the part constantly changes. CapSen Robotics has developed CapSen PiC, a solution using a 3D vision system and advanced motion planning and control algorithms to locate parts and retrieve them from an unfixed location. The software is designed to work with any robot but is displayed using a Denso VP-6242, a small assembly robot used for fast material handling tasks.


Automate 2023 Is Kicking Off

These are just a few of the many exhibits on display at this year's Automate. As Automate 2023 kicks off, make sure to explore all the advanced and interesting displays and follow Control Automation for more updates about what's making an appearance on the show floor.