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Universal Robots and VersaBuilt to launch cobot and CNC machine interface

Universal Robots (UR) and VersaBuilt will launch a new interface, URCap, to allow CNC machines to communicate directly with UR collaborative robots at the ATX West show, February 5-7, in Anaheim, California, USA.

The URCap allows a UR cobot to execute any machining program stored on the CNC directly through the cobot’s own teach pendant. Initially launching for Haas CNC machines, VersaBuilt will develop UR interfaces for other popular CNC makes later this year.

The URCap will soon be available through the UR+ platform, a showroom of products all certified to integrate seamlessly with UR cobots.

The URCap maintains all Haas safety interlock features and works with Haas, VersaBuilt, and other third-party automatic door openers.

VersaBuilt’s patented MultiGrip workholding system, will also soon be available through the UR+ platform. MultiGrip includes an automatic vise, machinable jaws and an end-of-arm tool for the UR robot. MultiGrip was developed to address the frustration experienced when working with traditional robot grippers and CNC vises.

The unique workholding system allows the robot and the CNC to share a set of MultiGrip machinable jaws for infeed, outfeed and CNC machining, resulting in reduced engineering costs, easier robot programming, faster setup time, and enhanced processing capabilities.

Regional Sales Director for Universal Robots’ Americas Division, Stuart Shepherd, emphasises the importance of better integration tools for cobots and CNCs. “CNC machine tending is one of the most popular tasks to automate with collaborative robots,” he says.

“But there’s still hurdles to overcome in achieving seamless integration. VersaBuilt’s two new products are important tools in addressing this. We’re excited to welcome them to the UR ecosystem and share their solutions with the ATX audience.”

Joining VersaBuilt in the UR+ pipeline is Visumatic’s VCM-3X.2 Collaborative Screw Driving Package delivering repeatable joining operations handled directly through the UR cobot’s teach pendant.

The system communicates to a screw driver control that handles a wide range of different screw driving feeds and routines. The VCM is bundled with pre-programmed fault recovery logic and Visumatic’s field-proven power bit advance, bit position sensors and fastener delivery confirmation.

Visitors at UR’s ATX booth can also experience the first solution for random robotic case erecting, the XPAK ROBOX. The box erector, powered by a UR10e cobot arm, allows packagers to randomly erect any box in their suite on-demand without changeover.

The collaborative design not only enables the operator to safely and intuitively interface with the machine, ROBOX also realises approximately 60% reduction in terms of the footprint required for a similar machine using more conventional robotic technology requiring fencing.

The UR10e is the largest cobot in Universal Robots new flagship line of cobots, the e-Series, showcased for the first time at the ATX West show. The e-Series sets a new standard for cobots, adding built-in force/torque sensing, unrivaled safety features, and improved precision for faster integration in a wider range of future-proofed applications.