Universal Robots’ New UR20 Cobot to Makes U.S. Debut in Chicago

Universal Robots says its new UR20 is the most innovative cobot it has produced. Universal Robots has produced. // Courtesy of Universal Robots
Universal Robots says its new UR20 is the most innovative cobot it has produced. Universal Robots has produced. // Courtesy of Universal Robots

Denmark’s Universal Robots, which has its North American headquarters in Ann Arbor will unveil its new UR20 collaborative robot (cobot) at the IMTS 2022 trade show at McCormick Place in Chicago Sept. 12-17.

With its 68.9-inch (1,750-mm) reach and 44.1-pound (20-kg) payload, the new UR20 from Universal Robots expands automation opportunities such as the ability to reach further into machines, tend several machines in the same cycle, and handle 25 percent heavier parts, according to the company.

Despite being UR’s heaviest robot, the UR20 is the lightest cobot in its class, weighing 141.1 pounds (64 kg), making it both a versatile technical tool and a manual laborer.

“More than half of all U.S. manufacturing tasks are automatable, a fact that businesses start to realize as they simply cannot fill open positions,” says Joe Campbell, senior manager of applications development and strategic marketing at Universal Robots. “We are launching a redefined cobot that has been completely re-engineered from the ground up, focused on freeing up more manpower within a wide range of human-scale automation tasks.”

IMTS 2022 attendees will be able to experience first-hand what that looks like as the UR20 loads and unloads heavy workpieces into a machine fixture requiring a long reach.

“We have completely re-engineered the cobot’s field-serviceable joints, that deliver 30 percent more speed and torque within a closed capsule,” says Anders Beck, Universal Robots’ vice president of innovation and strategy, explaining how the UR20’s base joint produces 700 Newton-meters of torque. “This is more than a performance model Tesla produces on all of its wheels. Even with the increase in reach and torque, we’ve managed to retain the cobot’s 50 microns repeatability, while still using standard single-phase power.”

Universal Robots says it also kept the intuitive user interface, pioneered by the company, while incorporating advanced software enhancements, giving users “unprecedented motion control capabilities.”

The expanding UR+ ecosystem of third-party components and application kits, certified to be plug-and-play with UR cobots, also supports the UR20. At IMTS, UR+ partner Schunk, will launch the EGU universal parallel electric gripper with the ability to handle varying part dimensions. The new gripper integrates seamlessly with the new UR20through a URCap (software handshake between the peripheral and the robot arm).

For IMTS, UR has invited several OEM and UR+ partners to its booth, including Vectis Automation, Hirebotics, VersaBuilt Robotics, Robotiq, Kane Robotics, PCC Robotics, and Mid Atlantic Machinery.

For fabricators, Vectis Automation will demo the water-cooled version of its Cobot Welding Tool, delivering heavy duty welds along with the Vectis Cobot Plasma Cutting Tool that enables complex cuts on high-mix 3-D parts and tubes for a fraction of the cost of existing 3-D shape cutting automation.

Hirebotics will showcase its Cobot Welder with a rotary positioner to demonstrate how the system can communicate with positioners to weld parts that aren’t possible with just the cobot.

The Press Brake Operator Package from Mid Atlantic Machinery showcases a UR10e on a modular parts cart with a machine tool interface and a zone safety scanner that ensures shop safety.

New ways for cobots to interact with CNCs will be highlighted by Robotiq’s new Machine Tending Solution that emulates the machine operator with no need to modify or alter the machine controls.

VersaBuilt’s UR+ certified Mill Automation System with a MultiGrip automation work-holding will allow machinists to easily add any new CNC parts that can be held with a vise.

PCC Robotics will demonstrate a machine cell setup as a UR10e equipped with OnRobot’s dual 3FG15 gripper mounted on EasyRobotics’ ProFeeder feeds parts to an air vise.

Kane Robotics will show the GRIT XL-X robotic system for sanding, grinding, and finishing, including customized programming and robust data solutions.

UR also is offering free hands-on training sessions inside McCormick Place at IMTS, each session is tailored to a specific application and taught by certified UR product trainers.

“Our cobots will be in more than 20 other booths at the show as well, each showcasing different ways to incorporate cobots into machining applications,” Campbell says. “We’re looking forward to meet every IMTS attendee no matter where they’re at in their automation journey.”