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Universal Launches UR20 Cobot for Machining Tasks

Universal UR20 400x275

September 1, 2022

Universal Robots has announced its UR20, a collaborative robot (cobot) designed for machining tasks in the manufacturing space. The company plans to demonstrate the UR20 at the upcoming IMTS manufacturing show, Sept. 12-17 in Chicago.

The tedious task of loading and unloading parts into machines has long been one of the applications that have gained traction for cobots, Universal said. The UR20, with a 1,750 mm (68.9-inch) reach and 20 kg (44.1 lbs.) payload, expands automation opportunities such as the ability to reach further into machines, tend several machines in the same cycle, and handle 25% heavier parts. While the UR20 is Universal’s heaviest robot, it is the lightest cobot in its class, weighing 64 kg (141.1 lbs), the company said.

“More than half of all U.S. manufacturing tasks are automatable, a fact that businesses start to realize as they simply cannot fill open positions,” said Joe Campbell, senior manager of applications development and strategic marketing at Universal Robots. “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 the IMTS event, UR said it will have the UR20 load and unload heavy workpieces into a machine fixture that requires 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,” said Anders Beck, UR’s vice president of innovation and strategy, in 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 said it kept the UI, while incorporating advanced software enhancements, giving users unprecedented motion control capabilities. The UR20 will also support the UR+ ecosystem of third-party components and application kits, which are certified to be plug-and-play with UR cobots. At the IMTS event, UR+ partner Schunk will launch the EGU universal parallel electric gripper with the ability to handle varying part dimensions. The new gripper integrates with the UR20 through a URCap, a software handshake between the peripheral and the robot arm.

The company said it will also demonstrate additional applications for fabricating, machine tending and finishing tasks at the event. For fabricators, Vectis Automation will demo the water-cooled version of its Cobot Welding Tool, delivering heavy duty welds along with the Vectis Cobot Plasma Cutting Tool that enables complex cuts on high-mix 3D parts and tubes. Hirebotics will showcase its Cobot Welder with a rotary positioner to demonstrate how the system can communicate with positioners to weld parts that aren’t possible with just the cobot. The Press Brake Operator Package from Mid Atlantic Machinery showcases a UR10e on a modular parts cart with a machine tool interface and a zone safety scanner that ensures shop safety. New innovative ways for cobots to interact with CNCs will be highlighted by Robotiq’s new Machine Tending Solution that emulates the machine operator with no need to modify or alter the machine controls. Since it is non-intrusive, the new Robotiq solution will work with any brand of CNC. VersaBuilt’s UR+ certified Mill Automation System with a MultiGrip automation work-holding will allow machinists to easily add any new CNC parts that can be held with a vise. PCC Robotics will demonstrate an efficient machine cell setup as a UR10e equipped with OnRobot’s dual 3FG15 gripper mounted on EasyRobotics’ ProFeeder feeds parts to an air vise. Kane Robotics will show the GRIT XL-X robotic system aimed at sanding, grinding and finishing, including customized programming.

For more information on the UR20, visit the Universal Robots website here.


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