While most robotic cells and automated machinery in the market are stationary solutions designed to complete one task for their usable life, Universal Robots (universal-robots.com) Certified System Integrator, Allied Technology (allied-technology.com), 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, adding 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 the Universal Robots Pack Expo booth #S-8257, September 25-27 in Las Vegas, NV, 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 the 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.

“We see a collaborative robot as a tool on demand as needed – 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,” says Craig Tomita, area sales manager at Universal Robots.

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.