Attendees at North America’s leading machine tool show experienced how the all-new collaborative, industrial cobot from Universal Robots delivers the longest reach and payload in its class, offering the ability to automate even more hard-to-staff tasks in a market struggling to hire.
The tedious task of loading and unloading parts into machines has long been a bread-and-butter application for cobots gaining significant traction in the industry. With its 1,750 mm (68.9 in) reach and 20kg payload (44.1 lbs.), the new UR20 from Universal Robots, showcased at IMTS, greatly expands automation opportunities such as the ability to reach further into machines, tend several machines in the same cycle, and handle 25% heavier parts.
Despite being UR’s heaviest robot, the UR20 is the lightest cobot in its class the company claims, weighing only 64kg (141.1 lbs.) making it both a versatile technical tool and a manual laborer.
“More than half of all manufacturing tasks are automatable, a fact that businesses start to realize as they simply cannot fill open positions,” says Universal Robots’ senior manager of applications development and strategic marketing, Joe Campbell. “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.”
At Universal Robots’ IMTS booth attendees experienced 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% more speed and torque within a closed capsule,” says Universal Robots’ VP of innovation and strategy, Anders Beck, 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 also kept the intuitive user interface, pioneered by the company, while incorporating advanced software enhancements, giving users unprecedented motion control capabilities. The rapidly 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).