By Ron Shinn
Universal Robots introduced the second model in its new generation of collaborative robots, with a higher payload and compact design aimed at applications such as machine tending, material handling and high-torque screw driving type tasks.
The UR30 can lift more than 66 pounds, reach 51 inches and features a compact design with six rotating joints. Total footprint is 9.6 inches and weight is 140 pounds. The UR30 has 17 configurable safety functions.
“It does not take up much more space than a human worker,” said Anders Beck, VP of Strategy and Innovation, in an online press conference in November.
Denmark-based Universal Robots built its first cobot in 2008 and eventually added three more models before introducing the new-generation UR20 in June 2022. The UR30 design is based on the UR20, but is not intended to replace the UR20, according to Beck. The UR20 will continue to be sold.
The UR30 has a new, six-bolt flange designed for heavier payloads. The flange comes with an adapter so older grippers and other end-of-arm tools can work with the new model.
Beck said machine tending would be a big application for the UR30 since it can lift a heavier payload higher than the previous model and use multiple grippers at the same time. The company said it will be able to remove finished parts and load additional material in one pass, which shortens changeover time.
Palletizing will be another significant capability. He said the UR30 has new features to steady the robot during high-torque jobs such as screw, nut or bolt tightening.
Orders are being accepted now and the new robot will begin shipping in the first quarter of 2024.
Universal Robots is believed to have the biggest share of cobots in the North American plastics industry. Worldwide, it has sold a total of 75,000 cobots to multiple industries.
President and CEO Kim Povlsen said there are an estimated 20 million automatable jobs in the world that cobots can perform. He also said there is a trend by Universal Robots’ customers to look to cobots to solve an automation task and not just to save labor.
Universal Robots has approximately 1,200 partners building application kits and components for its cobots. Povlsen said the partners’ products enable users to create work cells around the cobots.
Universal Robots USA Inc., Novi, Mich., 844-462-6268, www.universal-robots.com