Listen to this article
Universal Robots (UR) is launching a new version of it UR10e collaborative robot arm with a 25% increased payload capacity. With the ability to now handle 27.55 lb (12.5kg), UR said the UR10e will be opened up for applications such as palletizing, machine tending, and packaging. The previous payload capacity was 10kg. UR said the price of the UR10e won’t change.
Orders for the new UR10e can be placed now, but shipments are scheduled to begin in the second half of June 2021.
UR said the new UR10e retains the small footprint, intuitive programming experience, repeatability, and performance customers have come to expect from the RBR50 company. It offers a 51.2 inch reach (1300 mm) and six degrees of freedom. UR claimed the UR10e:
- Can now be used in palletizing applications with cartons weighing up to 10kg and a 2.5kg gripper.
- Is now more versatile for other material handling tasks, too, such as loading and unloading heavier workpieces in machine tending deployments and packaging of heavy items.
- Can lead to improved ergonomics and working conditions by taking more weight from the hands and shoulders of humans. With overexertion and repetitive motion accounting for an estimated 24% and 8% of workplace injuries respectively in the U.S. alone, this provides significant relief to human workers.
Kim Povlsen, the new president of UR, said the increased payload is a response to customers requesting the ability to handle tasks with heavier items.
“Humans are not designed to lift heavy goods repeatedly, but our cobots handle these tasks with ease,” said Povlsen. “By taking over unergonomic activities, UR cobots boost productivity, improve product quality, and help businesses rethink how to best use the creative and problem-solving abilities of their workforce –all while keeping people safe.”
MBO Postpress Solutions in Germany has integrated the UR10e as part of its CoBo-Stack stacking cobot. “Increasing the payload of the UR10e will make our MBO CoBo-Stack much more profitable for our customers by expanding their application possibilities to include larger packages and heavier products, such as perfect bound or saddle stitched catalogues and brochures,” said Sebastian König, head of research & development at MBO Postpress Solutions GmbH.
In addition, the updated UR10e also provides plug-and-play compatibility with products from the UR+ ecosystem of hardware and software peripherals.
“The greater payload of UR10e makes a big difference to palletizing applications by enabling users to handle loads up to 12.5kg in weight,” said Nicolas Lauzier, senior product manager at Robotiq. “And with 25% greater automation potential, it also means that the UR10e can help whenever there is a single line that needs to palletize a wide range of products of different weights.”
Below is a quick comparison of UR’s four cobots:
UR, which is owned by Teradyne, increased its revenue 32% year-over-year in Q1 2021 and 15% over Q1 2019. It earned a total of $66 million in the quarter. UR experienced “a notable recovery in China where sales more than doubled in the quarter. Our China performance reflects the compelling value proposition UR offers, even in the face of low-cost competitors.”
Teradyne said UR is seeing growth outside of the traditional manufacturing tasks. Specifically, it has sold 500-plus cobots to perform maintenance of high-power transmission lines while energized and robotic inspection of wind turbine blades.
UR’s Q1 2020 sales were heavily impacted by the global slowdown in manufacturing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. UR’s overall 2020 sales dipped 12% to $219 million, so it’s off to a great start here in 2021.
Greg Smith, president of Teradyne’s industrial automation group, was a recent guest on The Robot Report Podcast. He took us inside the goals and strategy of building Teradyne’s automation portfolio and what Teradyne is looking for in other industrial automation acquisitions.