Five examples of automated industrial systems crafted by Universal Robots
Universal Robots (UR) is the world-leading collaborative robot (or ‘cobot’) provider. Our cobots make growth possible for companies of all sizes in several industries, from electronics and automotive to pharma and general manufacturing.
UR cobots are easy to operate, offer flexible deployment possibilities, and are quick to install. In this article, we’ll take a look at five examples of solutions powered by UR cobots.
A UR10 from Universal Robots performs repetitive and unergonomic screwdriving tasks at PSA Group’s Sochaux, France facility.
Reduced costs at Group PSA’s Sochaux plant
PSA Group, the second-largest manufacturer of cars in Europe, wanted to adopt automation to increase factory performance and reduce final product costs. At the same time, the company wanted to relieve workers from repetitive and unergonomic screwdriving tasks. The company also required a robot with a small footprint, as space was limited in their Sochaux, France manufacturing facility.
PSA Group implemented a UR10 to take care of screwdriving tasks during the production process.
The UR10 is attached to a post that lies below the vehicle during production. When the vehicle arrives, the cobot arms reach out to insert three screws on each side of the car. This is a crucial step in production to ensure that the sides of the vehicle are attached properly. Once the UR10 has performed its duties, a lightbulb is lit, and the arm refolds and prepares to repeat the task. As a result of the deployment, PSA Group reported that dimensioning and tolerance in screwdriving tasks improved by up to 10%. In its first year of using the cobot-powered solution, the company produced more than 200,000 vehicles with zero screwdriving failures.
“We chose the UR10 robot for its reach, ease of programming and safety, but we’ve been extremely impressed with how quickly this initiative paid for itself,” said Cedric Grandjean, Architect Element Specialist, Finish Assembly Line at Groupe PSA. “Typically, when we implement new robots, we expect an initial loss in production that is made up over time, but that didn’t happen in this case.”
Following a simple risk assessment, Universal Robots cobots can be deployed beside humans without the need for special safety fencing –a major advantage compared to traditional industrial robots.
Flexible solutions at thyssenkrupp Bilstein
thyssenkrupp Bilstein is an Ohio-based manufacturer of high-tech suspension solutions for the automotive industry. Facing labor shortages, the company found it difficult to staff critical production tasks, including machine tending and quality inspection. Additionally, thyssenkrupp Bilstein wanted a flexible automated industrial system that could be redeployed frequently on different tasks, with minimum downtime.
Today, there are nine UR10 cobots working in thyssenkrupp Bilstein’s Ohio factory. The UR10s are involved in assembling Active Damping System (ADS) dampers, machine tending and quality inspection tasks. The deployment enabled thyssenkrupp Bilstein to expand its business without relying on hiring additional workers in an area with low unemployment. The company has also achieved 100% inspection of final part assembly.
“We decided to partner with one type of cobot—and that’s when we picked our first cobot with Universal Robots. We realized that UR had the most advanced solution for more precise pick-and-place. The cobot is easy to maintain and program – and presents the best ratio of speed and repetition,” said Aldo Albieri, Operations Manager at thyssenkrupp Bilstein.
UR cobot deployments at Benchmark Electronics Thailand enabled the company to increase operational efficiency by 25%.
Increased efficiency with Benchmark Electronics
Benchmark Electronics Thailand is an engineering, manufacturing and integrated technology solutions provider for original equipment manufacturers. The company set out to find the best option for introducing automated industrial systems and automation sensors into their assembly line in order to meet growing demand.
There were two key issues that the chosen cobots needed to address. First, Benchmark needed to increase their overall production output and quality to improve customer satisfaction. Second, due to the flexible and varied nature of their factory floor, this company needed robots that could safely be deployed alongside human workers.
Benchmark deployed four UR5 and two UR10e cobots for assembly and testing tasks in its production facility. The deployment enabled Benchmark to save as much as 10% of its floorspace, increase operational efficiency by 25%, and free workers to focus on higher-value, complex assembly tasks.
A UR10 performs palletizing tasks at Clearpack
User-friendly palletizing automation and increased safety at Clearpack
Clearpack is a packaging automation service located in Singapore with customers throughout southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The company needed to automate time consuming, unergonomic and monotonous manual palletizing tasks, but required a robot that’s both easy to use and comes with a small footprint.
Eventually, Clearpack chose a UR10, fitted with the LIFTKIT vertical positioning system from UR+, for its palletizing cell. The UR10 takes up a small amount of space but enables Clearpack to palletize stacks higher than before.
“When it comes to cobots, our choice is very clear, the best solution in the market is Universal Robots. UR, the market leader in this segment, provides uncompromised flexibility with a very good cost to quality ratio. The cobot integrates easily into the production line with minimum accessories. Its lightweight nature also enables it to be transferred from one production line to the other with just castor wheels. These factors help recover the investment spend faster,” said Vishnu Puranik, General Manager at Clearpack.
A UR5 cobot runs three machines during a single cycle in Carl Zeiss India (Bangalore) Pvt. Ltd.’s manufacturing facility.
Improved productivity and adaptable solutions for Carl Zeiss India
Carl Zeiss India (Bangalore) Pvt. Ltd. is a leading manufacturer of coordinate measuring machines for metrology purposes. To improve productivity, the company deployed a UR5 cobot to take over unergonomic manual loading and inspection tasks.
The UR5 integrates three metrology technologies: CMM, contour machine, and a non-contact measuring machine. The cobot scans the barcode of every component and places it in each of these machines to be checked. After inspection, the measuring machine sends the information to the cobot regarding whether or not the component is fit for use. The cobot, in turn, sorts the part accordingly, either placing it in the ‘’Okay’’ or the ‘’Not Okay’’ bin.
The system enables one cobot to run three machines in the same cycle, freeing workers to focus on other tasks, including overseeing cobot operations. The UR5 has increased the company’s machining utilization by over 90% and enabled the company to move to 24x7 manufacturing operations.
“We had a productivity of 50% with an operator. But now, when integrating this system with a cobot, you can expect more than 90% utilization of each machine. This gives a neat and flexible system which can be adapted in just a day or two for a new system. Even while looking at 24x7 productivity, the only solution is with cobots,” said Ravikumar Sirige Division Manager, Industrial Quality Solutions at Carl Zeiss India (Bangalore) Pvt. Ltd.
Discover the right solution for your business
The examples above are just five highlights from hundreds of successful UR cobot deployments in real-world applications. Make sure to visit the Case Stories section of this website to discover more exciting implementations of Universal Robots solutions.