Since it launched in 2016, Universal Robots’ UR+ ecosystem has served as a one-stop shop for cobot components, selling end-effectors, grippers, tool changers, vision products and more. Universal Robots (UR) is expanding that ecosystem today with “plug-and-produce” UR+ application kits it hopes will make it easier to deploy automation in common applications.
There are 20 UR+ application kits in the ecosystem as of press time. But UR said there are “many more” to come. Some of the kits will be available globally, while others are available in specific areas. For example, here is a breakdown of the 10 application kits that launched at press time in North America:
- Arsenal Robotic Dispensing Kit
- Dragon 15 Induction Heating System
- New Scale Robotics Q Span Workstation Kit
- Reliabotics Co2 Cleaning Module
- Robotiq Surface Finishing Kit
- Rocket Farm Advanced Palletizing Application
- Stöger Automation Automatic Screwdriving System Spatz
- Vectis Automation Vectis Cobot Welding Tool
- Vention Machine Tending Kit for CNC
- VersaBuilt CNC Mill Application Kit
The kits are developed by UR+ partners and feature URCap software that enables users to control all peripherals directly from the UR cobot’s teach pendant. UR said that by reducing recurring engineering decisions for common applications, the application kits decrease project risk and complexity and help speed up implementation.
“It’s a new arena where customers no longer have to select and specify cobot peripherals piecemeal, but instead get a kit with most of the needed components for their desired application,” said Jim Lawton, VP of Product and Applications Management at Universal Robots. “The results are faster deployment and faster payback.”
Examples of UR+ application kits
Robotiq’s Finishing Kits are now compatible with 20-plus pneumatic and electrical orbital tools. The kit allows manufacturers with polishing or sanding processes to use the kit’s built-in path generator to ensure consistent applied force in each cycle, increasing quality and productivity while reducing programming time.
UR pointed out that many of the application kits consist of several UR+ certified components controlled through a single URCap. For example, the SPATZ – STÖGER Pick&Place Screwdriving Kit integrates seven UR+ components providing automatic tool change and feed unit of fasteners through a Pick&Place system.
Available today in North America, the Vectis Cobot Welder application kit comes with all hardware provided fully integrated onto a mobile modular fixturing cart. The cobot welder allows manufacturers to set weave parameters for cleanly tied-in welds with a Weld Template Library that provides parameter starting points for common weld sizes.
Launching in Europe is the ROBiPAK welding kit, that provides a perfect symbiosis of ABICOR BINZEL’s welding equipment and UR cobot technology for MIG/MAG welding. The “Ready-To-Weld” URCap controls all hardware including the air- or liquid-cooled welding torch system designed for quick installation on UR cobots.
“As the UR+ ecosystem has evolved, Universal Robots has listened to our customers’ feedback as to what would make implementation of cobots even easier,” said Lawton. “With more than 200 certified products and 400+ developers in the program, the UR+ platform has expanded at a rapid pace, providing the most comprehensive component platform for cobots in the industry.”
UR is at MODEX, one of the leading events for the supply chain industry, showing off its cobot-powered fulfillment solutions. Some robotics companies have pulled out of MODEX due to concerns about the coronavirus, but MODEX producer MHI said it still expects more than 30,000 attendees for the show.