Universal Robots - "Daddy, It's not always about the robots"
A couple of mornings per week I get to take my daughters to school. On the way, we discuss the events of the day. I usually tell them about the factories that I visit, what they make, and the technologies that will be discussed. Apparently, this discussion has been about Universal Robots more often than not, prompting my daughter to declare "Daddy!, It's not always about the robots!"
I think I may have a problem!
Sorry, dear...This article is "about the robots," and will discuss our implementation of Universal Robots UR5 (UR5 AE3) and UR10 models. We will highlight the reasons why our customers wanted Universal Robots' collaborative robots (cobots), as well as cover some of the difficulties that we encountered and overcame.
Universal Robots UR5 AE3 - Profile Following and Dispensing Application
Application - Our customer is implementing a UR5 (UR5 AE3) from Universal Robots in order to dispense a primer along multiple profiles on the rear gate of a sport utility vehicle. The UR5 (UR5 AE3) will be mounted "upside-down", directly above the assembly line, in order to reach all surfaces of the rear gate and utilize 'zero' floor space.
Reason for Implementation - The operators were experiencing injury due to the repetitive motion of the job. Additionally, parts of the profile were missed by the operator, either due to primer not applied at all or not applied in the correct amounts.
Challenges - One of the difficult aspects of this application was assuring the customer that the appropriate amount of primer would be dispensed throughout the profiles. We demonstrated the UR capabilities through the set up above.
Universal Robots UR5 AE3 - Loading of a Stamping Press
Application - Our customer is implementing a UR5 (UR5 AE3) from Universal Robots to load a metal blank into a stamping press. The UR5 (UR5 AE3)will have a vacuum gripper from Joulin mounted to the end of the arm. The UR5 (UR5 AE3) will pick up the blank, insert and release it into the press, and retrieve the next part.
Reason for Implementation - The operators were experiencing injury due to the repetitive motion and high cycle time requirements of the job. The operators performing this task needed to be used in other areas of the plant. Replacing the operator with a robot would allow for the operator to be reassigned to a job that utilizes the skill set of a person such as thinking and problem solving.
Challenges - Even though the Universal Robots are a collaborative robot, this application will require some guarding as the metal blank is very sharp and could injure an operator. Another challenge was the presenting the metal blanks to the UR5 (UR5 AE3) in a consistent orientation and location. As the stack of metal was depleted, the UR5 (UR5 AE3) was programmed to travel the additional distance of the thickness of one sheet on the next cycle, in order to pick up the next sheet, until the stack was completed.
Universal Robots UR10 - Video Camera Positioning
Application - Our customer is implementing a UR10 from Universal Robots to move and orient a video camera to create a "floating" feel while recording.
Reason for Implementation - The reduction of headcount at the station has eliminated the number of available cameramen. The UR10 from Universal Robots will be able to run different programs based on the recording location within the newsroom and the placement of the newscaster. This collaborative robot can be placed directly in the recording station without the need for safety guarding.
Challenges - When testing with the UR5 (UR5 AE3), vibration was picked up by the camera and was visible on the recording. We believe that this vibration was due to the "servoing" of the motors. When testing with the UR10, vibration was essentially non-existent and was not detectable on the recording.
Universal Robots UR5 AE3 - Drill Motor Assembly
Application - Our customer is implementing a UR5 (UR5 AE3) from Universal Robots to assemble the components required to make a drill motor stator. This assembly will be inserted into a press and ready for removal by an operator who will continue the process.
Reason for Implementation - The implementation of the UR5 (UR5 AE3) from Universal Robots will reduce the TAKT time required to make a drill motor. Additionally, it will be able to work in the same cell as an operator, due to it being a collaborative robot and not requiring any safety guarding.
Challenges - A Schunk gripper with custom fingers had to be designed in order to pick up the variety of parts being presented to the robot.
Universal Robots - Collaborative Robot, Can We Help?
Please feel free to reach out to the Cross Company Automation Group if we can help with your next, or first, collaborative robot application!