December 14, 2020
Denmark-based Universal Robots today said it has sold its 50,000th collaborative robot, or cobot, purchased by a German manufacturer.
Jürgen von Hollen, president of Universal Robots, personally handed over the cobot to VEMA technische Kunststoffteile GmbH and VEMA Werkzeug- und Formenbau GmbH, located in Krauchenwies-Göggingen, Germany, at a ceremony held at VEMA.
“We have worked very hard in the past 15 years to develop an entirely new market segment with a mission to enable especially small- and medium-sized companies to automate tasks they thought were too costly or complex,” said von Hollen. “As a pioneer in this market, we put a lot of work into creating awareness, influencing standards, and changing customers’ perceptions influenced by their experience of traditional robots.”
According to Research and Markets, the global collaborative market is expected to maintain a compound annual growth rate of 30.37% through 2025.
VEMA’s new cobot will join a fleet of three other UR cobots already deployed in pick-and-place tasks in end-of-line applications at the company. Christian Veser, managing director at VEMA GmbH, said he is thrilled to be the recipient of the milestone cobot, which will enable the company to add a third shift.
“We have enhanced our productivity remarkably and also achieved better quality,” said Veser. “Our employees are freed from ergonomically straining work to focus on quality testing. In navigating Covid-19 challenges, it has also been a great advantage that the cobots don’t need to keep a safe distance or undergo quarantine. They can always work.”
Veser said the company appreciates the cobots so much that they have given them names. “The first three cobots are named Elfriede, Günther, and Bruno. We will name our new cobot Jürgen to honor the fact that UR’s president came here in person to deliver it,” he said.
Earlier this year, Universal announced that von Hollen will be leaving UR at the end of the year, having served a four-year tenure as president. “It is such a privilege to end my time at the company by marking this milestone,” he said. “We have come far, but there is still immense potential in the market, both for well-known and completely new cobot applications. With our unrivaled installed base, we are constantly learning from our customers, leveraging a very data-driven approach in the development of our cobots. This is an approach I believe will help keep us leading the field in the years to come.”
Gregory Smith, president of Teradyne’s Industrial Automation Group, will step in to fill the role of UR president on Jan. 1, 2020, until a new leader is named.