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Universal Robots is the market leader in collaborative robots, having sold over 50,000 cobots. Since introducing the world’s first commercially viable cobot in 2008, UR has developed a product portfolio including the UR3, UR5, UR10, and UR16, reflecting each cobot’s payload in kg. Each model is supported by a host of plug-&-play end effectors, software, kits and accessories in the UR+ certification program, allowing for flexible redeployment of one robot into several diverse applications. Universal Robots is automating every manufacturing industry thanks to its quick setup and intuitive programming that allows frontline workers to become cobot operators and programmers. Headquartered in Odense, Denmark, UR operates out of US offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan, New York, Dallas, Texas, and Irvine, California.

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Universal Robots and Apex Motion Control to launch Zero Footprint Palletizer at ATX West show in Anaheim

POSTED 01/23/2018

The market leader of collaborative robots showcases new solutions to lower the automation barrier with exhibits including cobot-assisted palletizing, soldering and welding operations

Ann Arbor, MI: Attendees at ATX West show in Anaheim, CA, Feb 6-8, will get a hands-on experience of how user friendly collaborative robots – or cobots - can now safely and effortlessly automate some of the most common manufacturing tasks in the industry. Universal Robots’ ATX booth #4616 is the launch pad for the Zero Footprint Palletizer (ZFP) ready for distribution in North America through Universal Robots Certified Systems Integrator, Apex Motion Control. The ZFP is a simple solution for mid-rate production at a maximum load of 18 lbs. The system can be easily redeployed throughout a facility and fits right into existing packaging lines without modification, replacing manual palletizing operations in minutes. Universal Robots’ UR10 cobot has been integrated with the ZFP, combining the full functionality of the robot with a vertical 7th axis swing system with the ability to stack on each side, supporting North American pallet sizing.

“The UR10 arm was chosen for this solution due to its ease-of-use and safety features,” says Rob Antonides, President of Apex Motion Control. ”We deliver automation solutions for the food industry and saw a clear market need for a flexible automation solution that addresses high mix/low volume runs in space restrained spaces.” The ZFP can operate with no guarding. If an operator is detected in the carton pickup area, the collaborative safety features of the UR10 will safely reduce the speed of the robot until the area is cleared while the zero pressure accumulation infeed conveyor controls the flow of the product.Example of a UR Cobot arm at work


Another testament to the UR cobots’ flexible deployment potential is the new SnapWeld Collaborative Robot Welding package developed by ARC Specialties Inc  exhibited at Universal Robots’ ATX booth by UR Certified Systems Integrator Robot 27. The cobot welder is the first integrated MIG welding system for cobots.

“We are getting a lot of requests for integrating Universal Robots in welding booths, so we saw this as a unique opportunity to develop an integrated low-cost system for gas metal arc welding (GMAW) applications that no one else in the market is currently offering,” says John Martin, Vice President of ARC Specialties. The welding system integrated with the UR robot is comprised of a Profax wire feeder and water cooled torch enabling welds up to 600 amps, with torch bracket, all cables and hose packages included. The simplified programming is enabled by direct software integration into Universal Robots’ own programming environment through the UR+ platform, that allows users to program advanced settings directly on the UR robot’s teach pendant.

Showcased alongside Snapweld will be a soldering application from American Hakko Products Inc. Chris Stuber, Division Manager of Products with American Hakko Products Inc., explains that the soldering product developed for robot integration needed a versatile, no-maintenance, user-friendly and safe platform: “The collaborative systems provided by Universal Robots meets these needs and provides a system that is very fluid in movement with the control and dexterity to make the optimal solder joints on an assembly without having to rotate or reposition the board.”

Area Sales Manager for Universal Robots’ Western Division, Craig Tomita, looks forward to sharing these new applications with the ATX audience. “A benefit shared by all applications in this versatile exhibit portfolio is the ability to lower the automation barrier significantly, leading to faster and easier robot deployment,” says Tomita, who is doing a presentation at ATX on ‘Getting the Best ROI out of your Cobot’. The conference program also features UR’s Sales Development Manager Tim De Grasse presenting: ‘The new Guy is a Robot: Should I be Worried?’ And no, there is no need to worry,” says DeGrasse, who will be sharing examples of how the UR robots on the contrary address labor shortages and help bridge the looming skills gap.

UR cobots will also be on display in the following show booths:

American Hakko Products Inc. – Booth 349
American Hakko, an industry leader in high quality soldering equipment for the electronics industry, will be showing the smarter way to solder in a live demonstration using the company’s Automatic Soldering Systems consisting of the FU-500 Intelligent Solder Feeder and the FU-601 Robotic Integration Soldering Module in conjunction with a UR3 robot.

Creaform Booth 4170
3D Infotech will be showing the UR+ enabled Universal Metrology Automation with their turn-key product UMA Portable. This flexible solution, using the UR5 robot and the Creaform HandySCAN, allows operators to run fully automated inspection projects or apply the HandySCAN in handheld mode for unique applications off-line. 3D Infotech's UMA Cell for large envelope applications uses the UR10 robot with Creaform MetraSCAN and can automatically inspect large parts or assemblies, even full car body scanning.

Hirate America – Booth 3911
A UR10 robot on top of an injection molding machine will be showcased by Hirate America to simulate easy implementation. The UR3 robot will be available for hands-on demo, showing the ease of use and safeties with ability to run without any guarding on the production floor.

Igus Booth 3219
UR cobots with Igus’ UR+ enabled Triflex® R UR bracket kits, which are complete cable management kits that can be installed by a single person in a matter of minutes. The Triflex® R cable carrier system is a multi-axis system featuring a unique ball and socket design to offer smooth, reliable movement throughout the robot’s full range of motion. Triflex is available in three versions, for lightweight cable guidance (TRL) to full cable protection (TRC). Corresponding mounting brackets were developed especially for the full range of Universal Robots, and offer quick, easy installation without any damage to the robotic arm.

MSI TEC – Booth 4155
Distributor of UR robots, MSI TEC, to showcase a UR10 robot with UR+ enabled Robotiq 2-finger gripper, Omron Microscan camera, and Omron STI safety laser scanner.  The application demonstrates vision-guided robotics and principles of advanced safety.  Visitors will also have a chance to get their hands on the robot, and can train their own task in a matter of minutes.

Numatic Engineering – Booth 4431
Learn hands-on how easy programming is with Universal Robots’ full product portfolio UR3, UR5, and UR10 and see powerful solutions with UR+ enabled simulation software from RoboDK creating profile motion from 3D models. A UR cobot will also be mounted to a Mobile Industrial Robot (MiR) showcasing how an autonomous vehicle can transport robots between different operations in a facility. Numatic Engineering is a premier partner of Universal Robots; specifying, assembling, and supporting automation to make manufacturing smarter, more consistent, and more profitable.

Octopuz – Booth 4710
OCTOPUZ offers powerful offline programming and simulation software for the robotics industry, collaborating with Universal Robots for plug & play integration with UR robots through the UR+ platform. Octopuz will show high resolution 3D simulations of gluing and drilling applications, utilizing the UR10 robot model displayed in the new OCTOPUZ 2.0 interface.

SCHUNK Inc. – Booth 4215
The cell operating in the SCHUNK booth at ATX West shows the UR5 robot loading and unloading a lathe using a UR+ enabled WSG gripper by SCHUNK. The WSG electric gripper has a long stroke and highly precise grip force control for flexible workpiece handling. The display highlights how collaborative handling can increase efficiency in repetitive tasks.  

Sensopart – Booth 4468
Machine vision integration company HNJ Solutions Inc demonstrates common applications linking multiple UR+ enabled Sensopart cameras to a UR5 arm, with the purpose of demonstrating the versatile use of collaborative robotics in factory automation.  From initial part handling through processing, quality control, and packaging, HNJ seamlessly shows vision guided robotic handling of randomly oriented parts.  Pick and place for automated processing, sorting and queuing parts, fixed position and dynamic 2D quality inspection with Sensopart cameras.