Robotics & Automation News

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Universal Robots to exhibit new scalable solutions for fast-changing market at Pack Expo 2017


Universal Robots is showcasing a new cobot-assisted, mobile and modular tabletop system featuring vision-guided multiple part feeding and kitting with conveyor tracking and case loading/unloading at Pack Expo.

While most robotic cells and automated machinery in the market are stationary solutions designed to complete one task for their usable life, Universal Robots certified system integrator, Allied Technology, has taken a new approach.

“We believe a robot cell should be modular, flexible, and easy to use. The systems we design are scalable and allow for a company to easily make changes when production has new requirements or a new product to run,” says president of Allied Technology, Mike Halley.

Halley adds that Universal Robots has given Allied Technology a great advantage in a market where high mix/low volume is becoming the norm. 

“The UR robots are simple to program from a low and high-level standpoint and holds the collaborative certifications required to support our unique, flexible robot cell designs.”


Allied Technology’s new mobile tabletop system will be showcased in Universal Robots’ Pack Expo booth S-8257, September 25-27 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and includes:

  • Intelligent Part Feeder using Vision Guidance to singulate multiple different small parts
  • Articulating End of Arm Tooling to pick multiple parts
  • Conveyor Tracking and automation for crowding groups of parts on a conveyor
  • Variety pack case loading and unloading of cases to be resorted
  • All self-contained on a mobile tabletop system

Also showcased in Universal Robots’ booth is a new demo featuring a UR10 collaborative robot that invites attendees to interact by interrupting its palletizing routine by pressing a button, prompting the cobot to present a bottle of water to attendees.

This demo shows several different types of applications/uses for the robot:

Palletizing / de-palletizing with flexible use 

This type of application utilizes the UR to remove items from a tray, cart, box, or any other container that can be placed by the robot.

After removing the items from a tray, the operator can use the robot for any number of operations, examples would be inspection, machine loading, presenting to an operator, or even manipulating the parts around other equipment.

Interpreting input from outside resources

The UR10 robot is constantly monitoring for a signal from the button and once received, the programming uses a logic check to then maneuver the robot into performing a different action which, in this case, is presenting the water bottle to the person who requested one. Interpreting digital signals or more complex communication allows the UR Robot to perform a multitude of tasks depending on what’s needed and when.

Craig Tomita, area sales manager at Universal Robots, says: “We see a collaborative robot as a tool on demand – one that can quickly be transitioned between packaging tasks to streamline production planning.

“Flexibility in manufacturing involves ability to deal with variation in volumes, design and material handling as well as variations in the process sequences. We look forward to showcasing these important capabilities at Pack Expo.”

Unlike investments in traditional robotic cells that are caged, pre-programmed and designed for a single purpose, the multi-purpose UR robot offers a lower threshold for investment and offers more possibilities over the life of the investment.

The robot arms can be plugged directly into a wall outlet and are so easy to program and set up that the typical “out of box experience” is less than an hour.

With more than 16,000 UR cobots now deployed worldwide, Universal Robots has a 60 percent share of the cobot market and has documented the production benefits in a wide range of packaging and palletizing case studies.

Universal ecosystem

Universal Robots’ cobots will also be showcased in these Pack Expo exhibits:

ADCO Manufacturing – booth C-3243

The manufacturer of packaging machinery and complete end-of-line systems will showcase an integrated packaging system featuring a Universal Robots model UR5 cobot mated to an ADCO model Compact 4 vertical rotary cartoner.

Aside from the safety and ease of deployment benefits, the UR5 robot will demonstrate its proficiency and precision in repetitively picking and placing small objects.

The Compact 4 will automatically erect each carton, present it to the product load area and then seal each carton after the UR5 loads the product.

Scott Reed, vice president of ADCO Manufacturing, says: 
“Universal Robots enable us to quickly and cost-effectively address many customer needs that previously required more complex and expensive fixed automation or industrial robotic solutions.

“The inherent simplicity, flexibility and safe operating parameters of all UR products certainly opens up doors many new and different automation opportunities.”

Belden – booth S-8181

Belden, a provider of signal transmission solutions, will partner with Universal Robots to showcase their combined innovative solutions.

Universal Robots’ UR3 cobot will be controlled by Belden’s Lumberg Automation LioN-P μDCU via discrete commands in a pick and place application.

Tim Senkbeil, product line manager with Belden, says: “With the rise in smart, connected devices brought on by the Industrial Internet of Things, it is necessary to prepare your infrastructure and make sense of the influx of data.

“The LioN-P μDCU solution helps simplify this by providing the functionality of a PLC with the ability to handle less complex applications locally and much more cost-effectively than would be the case if a PLC was utilized.”

Dorner Manufacturing – booth C-1444

Dorner will be showcasing a new demo featuring three Dorner conveyors and a UR5 robot, provided to Dorner by Braas, an authorized Dorner and UR distributor.

The integrated display shows small bottles accumulate on two Dorner 2200 Series Belted Conveyors running in opposite directions.

Once the product singulates, it transfers on to a Dorner 1100 Series Conveyor and waits to be picked by the UR5. The robot then places the bottle back in a specified location to rejoin the accumulated product.

Dorner elected to use the UR5 robot due to the ease of integration and the collaborative safety feature.

FP Developments – booth N-414

FP Developments designs and manufactures fully integrated collaborative robotic work cells for small scale pharmaceutical and medical device production. The company will present three live UR robot demos during the show.

Secomea – booth S-7476

Secomea is the industry’s leading IoT remote access provider with the world’s only end-to-end independently security certified 2017 solution.

The company will showcase how UR robots can be upgraded with remote access in minutes, enabling users to effortlessly and securely access their UR robots 24/7 anywhere in the world.

A UR robot with IoT remote access and alert notifications significantly reduces critical downtime, out of supply situations, travel time and costs.