Long dismissed as too heavy-duty a task for cobots, welding is now the fastest-growing application segment for Universal Robots (UR), a robotics manufacturer. This segment grew more than 80% in the first nine months of 2022 compared to last year, with well over 1,200 cobots expected to ship in the welding vertical this year.
Since the first UR cobot-powered welder made its debut in North America, a wealth of OEM partners now standardize weld solutions on the UR platform, innovating their offerings.
UR will be in Boot #C-11045 at FABTEC 2022 in Atlanta, GA, November 8th to 10th, demonstrating this technology and more with several guest companies.
Metal fabricators visiting UR’s booth will gain new insights from Cobot Systems, a UR Certified Systems Integrator (CSI), that has launched the first commercially available IPG LightWELD laser welder to be guided and controlled by a cobot.
Another new take on welding larger parts, typically out of the cobot’s reach, will be shown by Hirebotics and partner Kinetic Technologies, launching RT1, a new cobot-controlled rotary table designed to maximize welding capacity.
“The need for this system is two-fold,” says co-founder of Hirebotics, Rob Goldiez. “RT1 gives customers the ability to rotate the part to the front and back for welding. Secondly, it gives users with high volume production the ability to have separate load and weld stations; loading a part on one side while the cobot is welding on the other, increasing arc on time and throughput.”
For the first time at the FABTECH show in North America, attendees will also be able to experience the new 20kg payload cobot, the UR20 from Universal Robots that 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 than other UR cobot models. Despite being UR’s most powerful robot, the UR20 is the lightest cobot in its class, weighing only 64kg (141.1 lbs.).
“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,” says Joe Campbell, senior manager of applications development and strategic marketing at Universal Robots. “We look forward to showing fabricators the capabilities of our new cobot along with the numerous new innovative partner solutions showcased in close to 30 different application demos across our own booth and throughout the FABTECH show.”
AT UR’s booth, Vectis Automation will debut the new Park’N’Arc; a “diving board” rotational range extender that allows for the base of the cobot to be manually moved to various locations.
“Compared to a short linear track, the Park’N’Arc is an improved design for increasing range as the cobot base can be translated nearly 8ft in a linear direction while maintaining simplicity, robust cable management, and portability,” says Josh Pawley, co-founder of Vectis Automation. “We’ve got a lot of customer excitement around this new product and orders are already coming in for it.”