International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2022 Wrap Up

September 21, 2022 by Caitlin Nicholson

Take a look at some of the International Manufacturing Technology Show’s (IMTS’s) most exciting exhibits, including Universal Robots’ UR20, OnRobot’s D:PLOY, and FANUC’s CR cobots!

After disruption from COVID, the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) made its exciting comeback after four years absence. With big names from market leaders around the globe, IMTS takes place every two years in Chicago, bringing together students, teachers, enthusiasts, and companies for the latest scoop on automation and manufacturing technology. 

Below, we’ll take a look at some of the latest and most well-known innovations that were demoed at IMTS just this past week, including Universal Robots’ UR20, OnRobot’s D:PLOY, and FANUC’s CR and CRX Cobots!


Universal Robots UR20 collaborative robot, UR20 cobot at IMTS

Universal Robots UR20 making its debut at IMTS. Image used courtesy of Universal Robots

Universal Robots UR20 Debut

Global market leader in collaborative robotics, Universal Robots, debuted their highest performing cobot yet, the UR20, at IMTS. The UR20 looks like other Universal Robots’ cobots on the market, but features a hardware and software overhaul. With a reach of 1750 mm and a payload of 20kg, the UR20 has the heaviest payload of a Universal Robots' cobot on the market and is claimed to be the “lightest cobot in its class.” Anticipated applications of the UR20 include palletizing, machine tending, and welding.

Cobots from Universal Robots were also featured in a number of exhibitions from partnering companies, including Robotiq’s latest Machine Tending Solution and Mid Atlantic Machinery’s Press Brake Operator Package—both featuring a Universal Robots’ e-Series cobot.

Universal Robots also hosted multiple, no-cost, hands-on training opportunities. Led by Univeral Robots’ certified trainers, interested attendees had the opportunity to learn how to program UR cobots for various applications. 


OnRobot's D:PLOY for robotic deployment at IMTS

OnRobot’s D:PLOY for user-friendly, robotic deployment on display at IMTS 2022. Image used courtesy of OnRobot


OnRobot D:PLOYs User-Friendly Software

With a focus on ease-of-use and customer experience, OnRobot is a leader in collaborative robot hardware and software. Self proclaimed as a “one stop shop for collaborative robot applications,” OnRobot offers the first-of-its-kind—a user-friendly software focused on robotic deployment, claiming to reduce the time to deploy a collaborative robot by 80%.

The first-of-its kind deployment solution was demoed at ITMS with a machine tending, UR5e cobot. Viewers had the opportunity to see D:PLOY’s application dashboard, which allows users to manage robotic devices, including end of arm tooling and sensors. The application also provides users with program logic, real-time monitoring, and other vital deployment tasks for user-friendly and efficient cobot operations. 

Also showcased was OnRobot’s One-System Solution, which easily interfaces an OnRobot EOAT with a robot arm, and OnRobot’s Palletizer, which makes programming a cobot for palletizing simple, thanks to OnRobot’s D:PLOY software. 


FANUC's heavy-payload CR-35iB collaborative robot at IMTS

FANUC’s CR-35iB collaborative robot, aiding in bicycle assembly at IMTS. Featured image used courtesy of FANUC


FANUC’s Strongest Cobot in the World

FANUC, the well-known leader in CNCs and robotics, showed off at IMTS with their M-200iA industrial robot lifting a Corvette. They also demonstrated their most recent additions to their CR cobot series. Claiming the strongest cobot in the world, the CR-35iB cobot has a 35 kg payload and 1831 mm reach, made for use in heavy-lifting applications that takes place alongside workers. IMTS attendees got an up-and-close look at the high payload cobot helping a technician piece together a bike.

Other technologies FANUC demoed included their newest SCARA robot, the ceiling mountable SR-3iA/U that can operate in 360 degrees for operation on a circular conveyor, their vertical machining center, ROBODRILL Plus, with its newest performance update, and their new EV battery assembling bot, the M-100iA.

FANUC hopes its newest technologies will aid companies in productivity and labor. FANUC also made an appearance at IMTS’s Smartforce Student Summit to provide information to students and prospective employees about career opportunities in automation. 


Automation and Manufacturing Innovation

Since its first show in 1927, IMTS has been at the forefront of innovation of manufacturing technology. As labor shortages continue to be problematic in manufacturing, new technologies reshape the industry for increased productivity, efficiency, and sustainability. Trade shows, like that of IMTS, play a key role in connecting companies, students, and teachers, inspiring the next wave of automation and manufacturing innovation.  

Featured image used courtesy of Universal Robots