Our Certified System Integrators (CSIs) are a vital part of the Universal Robots Ecosystem. CSIs are the final link in the chain, working closely with distributors to ensure that our cobots are fit for purpose and ready to perform specific tasks for our end customers. Expertly skilled, CSIs manage the installation of our cobots and their interface into existing manufacturing and production processes.
Our CSI network is constantly growing and we’re always hearing amazing stories of how our integrators are helping businesses to realise the potential of automation. We’d like to tell you about our second CSI in the UK – and one that happens to be our newest – Cobots Online.
A family run business, Cobots Online began life in 1994, manufacturing architectural hardware, such as door handles, locks and hooks. After transitioning to precision engineering work, following the 2008 recession, the company acquired its first cobot in 2018.
After experiencing first-hand the productivity gains and ROI that a well-integrated cobot can unleash on a business, Cobots Online decided to start helping others integrate cobots into their operations.
Alongside running their original business, Cobots Online began working with SMEs across the UK, helping them to equip cobots for a range of functions, including machine tending, welding and sanding.
Now, in their own factory, the team are able to demonstrate real-life applications of cobots and bring to life a whole range of benefits. This enables the team to showcase the operational flexibility and scalability of cobots.
The cohesive team at Cobots Online, compromising of the father, two sons, mother and an additional 29 members are fully aware of the challenges and opportunities facing organisations. Challenges they’ve faced themselves from their own experience as a family-owned manufacturing company. As a result, they are committed to providing personalised support, guiding each company they work with along their own automation journeys.
As part of the conversations that Cobots Online has with existing and potential customers, the team often hear concerns that cobots are ‘an expensive investment’. In response, Matthew Thompson, Commercial Director, has this to say:
“We understand that some companies – especially SMEs – are concerned that they cannot afford to automate, however, we’d argue it’s the opposite. Companies cannot afford not to automate. With increasing skills shortages and competition from overseas manufacturers, automation is a valuable investment.
“As an SME ourselves, we’ve seen first-hand how cobots can help to drive both productivity and profitability. For example, cobots don’t get tired, they can work consistently, accurately and safely. Getting the job done, while humans can focus on higher value tasks that we’re better suited for. We have one machine ourselves that has been working 24/7 for the past 294 days. This allows us to focus on actually running the business and interacting with customers. With that kind of output a cobot can pay for itself within around 12 months.”
Refusing to rest on their laurels, the team at Cobots Online are on their way to becoming a UR+ Partner, having developed an easily programmable and customisable mobile cobot unit – CoboTend.
CoboTend can be redeployed to a different machine or task within minutes and its 360 degree scanners allow it to operate safely and vary its operating speed when close to humans.
Developed with high-mix low-volume manufacturers in mind, CoboTend provides businesses with an additional member of staff and is a further example of the benefits collaborative automation – in the form of cobots – can bring.
We believe that collaborative robotic technology can be used to benefit all aspects of task-based businesses – no matter what their size.
We believe that the latest collaborative robot technology should be available to all businesses. The nominal investment cost is quickly recovered as our robotic arms have an average payback period of just six months.