Universal Robots Releases Application Kits to Simplify Cobot DeploymentsMarch 11, 2020 by Alessandro Mascellino
The 20 new software and hardware kits focus on cobots and are already accessible on the UR+ platform, the company’s online marketplace.
Industry leader, Universal Robots, is expanding its list of certified partner products to help the growth of industrial automation.
Universal Robots' ’Plug and Produce’ kits are designed to diminish project risk and complexity and encourage implementation for different tasks.
UR Kits for Different Applications
The new kits are developed to streamline deployment for the most popular cobot applications by combining various components with software designed on the UR+ platform.
Some of these Plug and Produce’ kits are available worldwide, but others are only accessible in specific countries or regions.
A line of cobots by UR. Image used courtesy of Universal Robots.
All the kits, however, come with "URCap '' software that enables users to control all devices directly from the UR cobot’s own teach pendant via an intuitive 3D user interface.
Looking at the uses for these new products, it is possible to see two different categories on the Universal Robots’ website: components and application kits. The application kits include the following:
- Assembly kits: focusing on screwdriving, nut driving and inserting.
- Dispensing kits: providing automated solutions for gluing, painting and sealing.
- Finishing kits: enabling machines to perform polishing, sanding and cleaning tasks.
- Material Handling kits: designed to enable robots to perform heavier tasks such as bin picking, packaging and palletizing.
- Quality Inspection kits: Increasing measurement consistency and maintaining product quality levels by automating optical, mechanical, and CMM inspection.
- Welding kits: enabling users to join metal parts through welding, brazing, or soldering.
Other kits: providing a variety of different applications including dipping, cutting, research, education and more.
The new components kits by Universal Robots, on the other hand, are the following:
- Vision: specializing in 2D and 3D Part Location, Inspection and Metrology.
- Accessories: providing cable guidance, conveyors, and feeder components, tool changers and more.
- Software: enabling users to run simulation scenarios, path generation and planning, and risk assessment
- Handling Grippers: coming in a variety of options, including electric, pneumatic, vacuum and adaptive.
- Process end-effectors: designed for uses with screwdriving, riveting, sanding, polishing, cutting, welding and more.
- Plug-ins and interfaces: providing users with communication protocol interfaces, monitoring, and data collection.
Universal Robots’ Application Kit Guide. Image used courtesy of Universal Robots.
Simplifying Automation for Industrial Applications
As seen from the variety of products included in the UR+ platform, the Plug and Produce kits are devised to help the integration of automation solutions in different businesses.
Due to the various applications they can assist users with, these kits can benefit not only project engineers on the field but more broadly any manufacturer looking at optimizing their automation workflow.
For instance, according to the American Welding Society, the average welder in the US in 2019 was 55 years old, with less than 20% of welders under the age of 35. These demographics would point to an estimated shortfall of 400,000 welders by 2024.
Given this data, it is not surprising to see cobots’ demand increase in welding applications.
Universal Robots’ new Vectis Cobot Welder application kit not only comes with all hardware provided fully integrated onto a mobile modular fixturing cart but also allows manufacturers to set weave parameters from a Weld Template Library that provides parameter starting points for common weld sizes.
Another example refers to surface finishing applications. These machines are already proving particularly effective for turbines utilized in aerospace manufacturing.
By allowing the blade angle to be changed during processing, the machine can target specific surfaces for precise material removal without damaging the blade profile.
The latest Surface Finishing Kit by Universal Robots is compatible with over twenty electrical and pneumatic orbital tools from several industrial brands.
The kit allows manufacturers to utilize a built-in path generator to assure consistent applied force in each cycle, increasing quality and productivity greatly reducing programming time.
Pushing Towards Global Automation
As discussed in a previous article on the site, the global demand for cobots is growing quickly, and recent figures by Grand View Research placed the mobile cobots market to reach $ 649.1 million by 2025.
In such a rapidly developing industry, it is not surprising that Universal Robots is stepping up its efforts towards global automation.
“As the UR+ ecosystem has evolved, Universal Robots has listened to our customers’ feedback as to what would make the implementation of cobots even easier,” says Jim Lawton, Vice President Product Management and Marketing.
Lawton explained that with more than 200 certified products and more than 400 hundred developers, the UR+ platform has expanded quickly in the past few months.
According to the executive, the UR+ platform would now be providing the most extensive component platform for cobots in the industry.
“The addition of application kits will further strengthen our position as the go-to place for fast and straight-forward deployment,” he concluded.
What do you think about Universal Robots’ new kits? You can find a complete list on their website.
Featured image used courtesy of Universal Robots.