The Olis Connect system allows a user to remotely monitor, diagnose, and control robots. It can move a robot out of its error position, release its grip on a part that’s causing a problem, or use the robot to remove a bad part from a machine, according to Olis Robotics. (Photo: Business Wire)

Universal Robots recently introduced its UR20 Cobot

NOVI, Mich.—Universal Robots new UR20 cobot provides 18 inches of additional reach radius, a 36-inch diameter increase, according to a release sent out by Universal Robots ahead of the recently concluded FABTECH trade show.

The new cobot greatly broadens the range of weldments that will be achievable in a given fixture setup, according to Josh Pawley, co-founder of Universal Robots (UR) partner Vectis Automation.

“Vectis Automation is ecstatic to offer the long-reach UR20 arm onto our integrated cobot welding and cutting tools,” Pawley said in the release, emphasizing the cobot’s next-generation  design enhancements, including 50 percent fewer parts in the axis drivetrains. “This cobot will have a huge impact on the market, improving on UR’s already robust and high-performance cobot products.”

As D2P went into production, Vectis Automation was scheduled to showcase its UR20 Cobot Welder in Universal Robots’ FABTECH booth, integrated onto a rigid 48-inch x 48-inch XL cart with a heavy-duty water cooled package. The UR20 was also slated to be shown in cobot welding systems by partners Hirebotics and Melton Machine & Control Company, in addition to a press brake tending application by Cincinnati Inc.

Coordinated motion for increased productivity

Universal Robots Global Segment Manager for Welding Will Healy said Universal Robots “redefined the cobot, completely re-engineering it from the ground up.” The company is also introducing a new coordinated motion feature as part of UR’s PolyScope software. With coordinated motion, the cobot and external axis—such as a rotary positioner or a linear rail—move in sync.

“Coordinated motion enables fabricators to weld larger or more complex parts without having to manually reposition the work piece or welding robot,” said Healey, in the releasee. “This means UR cobots can weld more parts per run for increased efficiency and are capable of welding bigger and more complex parts.”

The new coordinated motion feature was scheduled to be shown at UR’s FABTECH booth, in addition to the partner booths of THG Automation and Vention.

AI-generated weld and cutting parameters

Since the first UR cobot-powered welder made its debut in North America at FABTECH 2017, numerous OEM partners have standardized weld solutions on the UR platform, according to the release. At this year’s event, UR partner Hirebotics was scheduled to introduce Beacon Recommendations, a new feature using AI to recommend welding and cutting parameters when setting up a part. The feature is reported to help manufacturers save time and improve the quality of their welds and cuts. Hirebotics is also launching the Cobot Cutter, its first UR cobot-powered system for plasma cutting.