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Smooth Robotics

Ecosystem opens cobot welding possibilities

Smooth Robotics delivers a welding solution in a class of its own. Developed in just a few years with vision and passion – and a close collaboration with those who use it. Meet a company that has embraced the ecosystem of Universal Robots.

The welding arc precisely hits every single time. Fast, controlled movements and completely consistent result again and again. A result of years of experience and professional expertise of a skilled craftsman – but performed by a collaborative robot doing exactly what it has been programmed to do. In the large production hall at Danish company Alusteel, Boguslaw Hara hands over welding to the robot arm from Universal Robots. He has been employed for eight years as a blacksmith and through 14 years as a welder he knows everything about his craft. About laying the good weld so that it is durable, uniform and aesthetic.

Smooth Robotics

Application Welding
Country Denmark
Employees 15

Boguslaw Hara made the first weld himself and with just a few presses of the SmoothTool-buttons, he programmed a revolutionary software that controls the robot arm so that it mimics the welding only an experienced welder can produce.

This was the exact dream Erik Mønster had a few years ago: to develop a welding tool letting the skilled welder train the robot. The knowledge of a professional performing a few actions to train the robot so it repeats the perfect welding over and over.

This basic idea led him to found Smooth Robotics just four years ago, yet today belonging to the absolute world elite in robot welding tools. At that time, Erik Mønster saw a trend in work forces that has become more and more pronounced around the world – and he instantly knew it would require an innovative vision to be solved.

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The shortage of welders is becoming more and more apparent. We see it all over the world. I knew automation has a lot of benefits, so I wanted to develop an easy to use solution based on their own knowledge as welders

Erik Mønster

In many ways, the interaction between the welder and the robot is the best image of a cobot. Because that is the fundamental idea behind Smooth Tool, as the welding tool from Smooth Robotics is called: that man and machine work together, that the robot arm from Universal Robots is the collaborative robot.

The intuitive mindset was also crucial for Ahmad Gheit, lead software developer at Smooth Robotics:

"We have simply removed the complexity of a robot and let the welder with his skills program the robot with his actions. The welder must be good at his craft. Then our program helps make the cobot as good as him," he says.

The great advantage of the solution is that the welder can use the preferred welding device and simply mount it on the cobot, because the SmoothTool program is compatible with virtually all power sources. This way, all the skilled welders can use their favorite welding solutions, providing even greater incentive to use the cobot.

At Alusteel that is exactly what is happening. In the family-owned manufacturing company with just over 50 employees, founder Mads Milling is enthusiastic about the solution, which frees up a lot of resources – and makes good financial sense.

"It's like having three men at work when a welder is next to the cobot. They are in reality colleagues, and it is really easy for the welder to set the robot in motion and then do his own thing on the side. For us, it is far more attractive to get more cobots compared to large industrial welders. They require more preliminary work and are more expensive to operate. The small and versatile cobots make sense and allow us to take in more orders at a time when it can be difficult to find skilled labour," says Mads Milling.

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Recently a welding task done by the cobot was completed in just over half the time a welder would have used to make the 30 pieces batch.

For Smooth Robotics that is an example which just underlines the very essence of the tool – and the close cooperation with the end users is essential for the further development of SmoothTool, the core of Smooth Robotics. Built exclusively on cobots from Universal Robots, not because of chance, but a completely conscious choice from the foundation of the company.

"We knew right away that it had to be based on Universal Robots' products. That's what made sense. There are so many opportunities to develop products for their cobots," says Erik Mønster.

The collaboration with UR was quickly established and in 2021 Smooth Robotics became a UR+ partner. A partnership fundamentally based on the premise that Universal Robots is good at constructing robots, while the partners are good at inventing fitted applications – and that together it provides a variety and functionality no one had managed on their own.

The open dialogue with Universal Robots is also one of the things Erik Mønster appreciates the most because the advantages are so beneficial to both parties.

"We are constantly updated with the new initiatives coming from Universal Robots, so our products immediately work together with new models. Conversely, we can provide unique insights into the experiences end users have. We know what customers are looking for and we share that knowledge with Universal Robots," says Erik Mønster.

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  • Universal Robots USA, Inc
  • 27175 Haggerty Road, Suite 160
  • 48377 Novi, MI
Contact us: +1 844-462-6268
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