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Universal Robots and Phillips partner to provide integration with Haas machine tools

Universal Robots and Phillips Corporation have formed a partnership to make it easier to integrate with popular Haas CNC machine tools.

The partnership with Phillips Corporation, the largest global distributor of best-selling Haas CNC machines, offers a fast track to spindle uptime with safe, easy-to-use, and cost-effective cobots

Loading and unloading CNC machines is becoming one of the most popular applications for collaborative robots as manufacturers face significant difficulties in staffing this tedious task.

A new distributor agreement between Universal Robots and Phillips Corporation will further the rapid deployment of cobots with Haas CNC machines, offering machine shops a safe, user-friendly solution to optimize spindle uptime.

Haas provides the best-selling CNC machines in the Western Hemisphere, and Phillips is the world’s largest Haas Factory Outlet.

Stu Shepherd, regional sales director for the Americas division of Universal Robots that has already sold more than 1,000 UR cobots for tending Haas CNC machines, says: “Having an expensive machine sit idle and missing out on orders due to lack of staffing is every manufacturer’s nightmare.

“This partnership between the largest distributor of the leading CNC brand and the leading collaborative robot brand offers a huge advantage for manufacturers, helping them solve staffing issues and stay competitive.

“We expect this new partnership to fast-track cobots in this sector, with significant advantages for manufacturers.”

With nine offices representing 12 states throughout the South and Mid-Atlantic regions, Phillips Corporation boasts an installed base of more than 19,000 Haas CNC machines.

Michael Garner, president of Phillips Corporation’s commercial division, who is also the chairman of Haas Automation’s North American distributor council, says: “There is tremendous potential both for retrofitting existing installations with UR cobots and for getting through the door to new customers, offering turn-key solutions.

“We see a significant demand for cobots, which address labor shortages and also support manufacturers who need flexible automation tools they can operate without safety caging.”

Garner stresses the UR cobots’ ease of programming. “There is no hardwiring or complex coding involved in getting a Universal Robot to communicate with a Haas machine since UR has solutions like the VersaBuilt software that facilitates two-way communication between the UR cobot and the CNC.”

VersaBuilt’s Haas CNC Integration Kit is a simple yet powerful interface that enables UR cobots to easily execute any machining program stored on the Haas CNC directly through the cobot’s own teach pendant, maintaining all Haas safety interlock features.

Versabuilt is available through the UR+ platform, a showroom of products all certified to integrate seamlessly with UR cobots.

More than 60 different Haas models can be automated Universal Robots’ cobot arms. UR’s Stu Shepherd emphasizes how fast integration also means a fast return on investment.

“Machine tending applications have consistently delivered an ROI of less than a year, sometimes even paying themselves back in a few months,” says Shepherd.

“A Haas-UR solution offered with Phillips’ CNC expertise and application know-how will help further improve that payback time.”