Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Universal Robots powers Vectis Automation’s new collaborative robot welding tool

Vectis Automation has chosen Universal Robots’ UR10e cobot to power the Vectis Cobot Welding Tool launching at FabTech 2019 in Chicago. 

The company says its robotic welding tool gives smaller weld shops a low-risk, low-cost solution to increase weld capacity, quality and stability.

Vectis is Latin for leverage. Leverage now extended to manufacturers seeking an easy answer to increase welding productivity amid the ongoing shortage of skilled labor.

The Vectis Cobot Welding Tool helps manufacturers boost productivity by reducing the learning curve, deployment time, risk, and cost of robotic welding.

Powered by Universal Robots’ UR10e collaborative robot, the Vectis Cobot Welding Tool is a portable, safe, versatile, and extremely easy-to-use solution that is even available as a low-risk, no-capital rent-to-own option.

FabTech attendees will be the first to experience the new cobot welder as it debuts in Universal Robots’ FabTech booth B35083 in Chicago, November 11-14, 2019.

Josh Pawley, director of business development and co-founder of Vectis Automation, that has joined Universal Robots’ growing network of Certified System Integrators, says: “We saw Universal Robots prevail as the undisputed leader in the cobot market, lowering automation barriers through ease of use and fast deployment.

“We wanted to build our cobot welder on this platform, providing the same user experience to welders that manufacturers in many other industry verticals now enjoy.”

Pawley adds that the Vectis Cobot Welder is commonly 25-40 percent less expensive than the all-in cost of a small traditional robot welder.

Users of the Vectis Cobot Welding Tool are typically set up entirely by the customer within a few hours of system arrival and welding within 10 minutes of setup – with no programming experience necessary.

Vectis’ Let’s Weld Together intuitive programming interface is accessible directly through the UR cobot’s own teach pendant.

Programs can be created, saved, and later recalled in order to handle the numerous part numbers typical for high mix/low volume shops.

The cobot welder can weld thick and thin parts, and the Vectis Weaving Software allows manufacturers to set weave parameters for cleanly tied-in welds with a Weld Template Library that provides parameter starting points for common weld sizes, such as one-click tack welds, square tubes with tight-radii corners, round tubes, and multi-segment paths.

Stu Shepherd, regional sales director of Universal Robots’ North America division, says: “We are delighted to be selected as the cobot of choice by a welding company with founders having more than 60 years of welding automation experience under the hood.

“Vectis’ solution meets the ongoing welding requests we receive from customers. We look forward to seeing the company’s deep application expertise manifest itself in the cobot realm and can’t wait to share this expertise with FabTech attendees and beyond.”

The Vectis system comes with all hardware provided fully integrated onto a 3ft x 6ft mobile modular fixturing cart enabling metal fabricators to bring the cobot to the work, or the work to the cobot with no anchoring nor dedicated footprint required.

The Vectis Cobot Welding Tool does not need three-phase power but runs off a 120V wall outlet, the welder can run on anything between 208V and 575V – including 240V single phase.

The collaborative robotic welding system includes:

  • UR10e six-axis collaborative robot with 51″ of reach;
  • Intuitive programming on Universal Robots’ 12″ touchscreen pendant with Vectis’ Let’s Weld Together intuitive programming interface;
  • air-cooled welding torch;
  • Rhino Cart by Strong Hand Tools. Includes 66pcs of modular fixturing. Mobile worktable measures 30″ x 48″;
  • Miller 20 Series digital wire feeder;
  • Freedrive Jog Enable Button. Allows the programmer to teach the robot by physically moving the robot to program points;
  • Miller Invision 352 MPa MIG Welder. Includes Pulsed MIG waveforms and weld parameters controlled by the cobot;
  • Embedded safety: allows the cobot to safely work alongside humans, without permanent barriers;
  • Peace-of-mind: 30-day return policy and rent-to-own program;
  • Free application evaluations: A key part of the Vectis process is collaboratively reviewing applications to provide insight on application viability and how to achieve success in production. The company also offers suggestions on any upstream fabrication issues and/or how it could be redesigned to make it more automation friendly;
  • Lifetime technical support;
  • LTL freight: Most traditional systems require a costly dedicated air-ride semi; and
  • Flexibility: During production gaps in the weld shop, the cobot arm can be repurposed to other tasks.