In recent weeks, Universal Robots has announced the introduction of the new e-Series Platform robot, which promises to be the most advanced technical product in the cobot space.
The Danish company has shipped more than 25,000 robots and leads the collaborative robot market with 50% market share. So, what is new with UR e-Series? And how is it different than the existing series?
Behco-MRM has been leading the sales and support of Universal Robots (UR) in the Michigan market since the 2013 introduction of collaborative robots (or cobot). With offices in Western Michigan and metro Detroit, Behco-MRM’s team of Application Engineers has deep expertise with cobot and related technologies that enable efficient and effective solutions for a variety of applications. Visit http://www.behco.com/ for more information.
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What hasn’t changed with the new platform is the physical size and look of the robots. The brushed aluminum with baby blue covers is almost identical, as well as the cobot’s payloads and reach. What also hasn’t changed – the purposefulness of the technology, working safely in all ranges of human robot collaboration. From cobots’ ability to work side-by-side with associates with little or no interface, to workers feeding parts to the cobot while they do other activities, to cobots and operators working together on a workpiece – they all help eliminate process waste and increase productivity.
Ultimately, the easy programming enables engineers to deploy the robots quickly, and trained maintenance personnel keep them running - leading to many more people collaborating with the robots than just a robot programmer.
Jürgen von Hollen, president of Universal Robots says, “Our e-Series platform is leveraging our years of experience as the market leader within collaborative robots, combined with our overall product philosophy of empowering, keeping it easy and making it accessible to everyone.”
The ‘e’ in e-Series stands for EVOLUTION because it underpins Universal Robots’ key vision and overall product philosophy of Empowering People and making it Easy for Everyone. This is manifested in technology advances that enable faster development for a wider variety of applications, offering easier programming than ever before, while meeting the very latest ISO safety standards. The new user interface also includes programming stopping time and stopping distance for protective stops. This unique feature greatly reduces the complexity and uncertainty involved in performing pre-deployment risk assessments.
Improvements also include greater precision and sensitivity. With a new built-in force/torque sensor, the e-Series is able to take on popular collaborative robot applications that require force control such as sanding, buffing, polishing and deburring where force-feedback is paramount to obtain uniform results. Increased repeatability of 30 microns (0.03mm) in the UR3e and UR5e models and 50 microns (0.05mm) in the UR10e makes the new cobots suitable for precise finishing, assembly and electronics tasks.
UR has no plans to discontinue the CB3 platform. That makes good sense to the team at Behco-MRM, a major Midwestern distributor of UR products in Michigan. The CB3 is a great robot with many customers enjoying the quick set-up, practical programming, and reliability of the tool. Capital payback for an investment in a UR robot still averages substantially less than a year for manufacturers running multiple shifts. All it takes is some coaching from the experts at Behco-MRM. Customers who dedicate a technician to go through training and work closely with the Behco-MRM engineering team on the first installation, typically begin to realize productivity advantages in just a few weeks.
Assuming that an operator costs a small- to medium business $40,000/year with benefits, the one-time cost of the UR5 cobot with a mounting stand and gripper is approximately the same investment. In a two-shift operation, the investment in a UR robot is paid back in 6 months. In addition, because the UR products are so well built – they typically last 35,000 hours without maintenance – users often enjoy the benefits for more than 5 years. Behco-MRM has worked with numerous customers that have committed to the UR robots and installed 4-6 systems per year. In every case, customers are expanding their businesses and hiring MORE people as a result of their increased efficiencies. They all have realized that robots don’t take jobs – they help business expand and create jobs.
Are you having a difficult time finding production workers? Are you dealing with the headache associated with workers not showing up? Are unacceptable QC issues, lost production, unwanted weekend over-time, and/or compromised financial performance part of your everyday life? Thankfully, there’s a practical and compelling solution to these issues – UR robots from Behco-MRM. Contact Behco-MRM to help with your Universal Robots installation!