Universal Robots to Showcase Variety of Automation Technologies at Automate 2022

Universal Robots will showcase a variety of collaborative robot technology at Automate 2022 in Detroit, including robots that can assemble and pack boxes. // Courtesy of UR
Universal Robots will showcase a variety of collaborative robot technology at Automate 2022 in Detroit, including robots that can assemble and pack boxes. // Courtesy of UR

Universal Robots (UR), an automation company with its U.S. headquarters in Ann Arbor, will be showing a variety of its collaborative robots (cobots) in more than 30 booths at Automate 2022 Show and Conference, an automation showcase taking place in Detroit’s Huntington Place from June 6-9.

“Welding is the latest example of an automation frontier now conquered by cobots,” says Joe Campbell, senior manager of strategic marketing and applications development for UR regarding the company’s 300 percent year-over-year growth in the segment.

“As we first entered the market, few believed cobots could handle heavy-duty tasks such as welding. Fast forward to this year’s Automate and we have numerous welding applications showcased, reflecting the robust market traction we’re now seeing — not only handling MIG welding but also within more complex processes such as TIG and laser welding.”

At Automate booth 1432, Cobot Systems, a UR Certified Systems Integrator (CSI), is launching the first commercially available IPG LightWELD laser welder to be guided and controlled by a cobot.

“Laser welding enables dramatically faster welding, is easier to learn and operate, and provides higher-quality and consistent results across a wider range of materials and thicknesses with minimal distortion, deformation, undercut or burn-through,” says Brian Knopp, founder of Cobot Systems.

Another new weld solution comes from UR CSI Melton Machine and Control Co., showcasing an enhanced version of the market’s first cobot-powered cold wire feed TIG welder that enables the cobot to add both fusion and filler material to thinner material as it travels.

For the first time at a North American show, UR will feature a press brake tending application at its booth. 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.

Manufacturers looking for everything needed to successfully automate a CNC mill can see VersaBuilt’s UR+ certified mill automation system (MAS) with a MultiGrip automation work-holding that allows machinists to easily add new parts.

“If your CNC parts can be held with a vise, they can almost certainly be automated with a mill automation system,” says Al Youngwerth, CEO of VersaBuilt. He also stressed the MAS is a standard automation system that requires no robot expertise or robot programming to use.

UR’s application-diverse booth features zones for not only welding and machine tending but also assembly and packaging application areas. In the assembly zone, companies with the need to automate high-torque processes will get a hands-on demo on how UR+ partner Estic’s screwdriving solution can handle these tasks using a patented pulse technology, which significantly reduces torque reaction and the wear on cobot joints.

For assembling parts that require an adhesive, Robatech will offer 360° Gluing, a UR+ integration kit that connects a UR+ cobot with Robatech’s adhesive application systems. The integration kit includes a holder for the application head and attachments for the heating hose on the cobot arm. Settings for the heating hose, the application head, and the melter can also be made set using the cobot touch pad.

The Robot Label Applicator from UR CSI Kolinahr showcases a UR10e in a tricky application, applying a label to the inside of a roll core. This demonstrates the dexterity of 6-axis UR cobots, which can reach places that are challenging for their human colleagues.

To ensure that the quality of manufacturing processes never fails, UR+ partner 3D Infotech will show automated robotic inspection solutions. 3D Infotech will feature its cobot-powered UMA Smart Station that can run complete 3-D inspection tasks with a single click; Spotlight AR++, an augmented reality software for manufacturing environments; and PartID, a machine vision tool that allows non-technical operators and engineers to quickly validate the position and shape of an object.

Since UR launched UR+, the world’s first cobot ecosystem of third-party components and application kits, the platform has grown exponentially. It now encompasses no less than 318 UR+ partners with 359 UR+ products certified for seamless compatibility with UR cobots.

One of the UR+ partners, SCHUNK, will be featuring two EGP-C collaborative grippers on a UR5 in a machine tending application. After loading and unloading parts in the lathe, the UR5 will move the parts through SCHUNK’s new material-removal tool with a deburring brush, demonstrating higher utilization of the robot by completing deburring tasks between loading and unloading.