February 15, 2021

UniversalRobotMachineTending400x275Cobot manufacturer Universal Robots has announced a two-day virtual expo that aims to help manufacturers answer questions around automating their machine tending operations. The Machine Tending Expo will be held Feb 23-24 online, with free registration available.

With more than half of U.S. manufacturers redesigning their workforce architecture around automation, several questions about which tasks to automate first, how to make cobots interface with machines, and safety concerns are top of mind, the company said. “Our Machine Tending Expo will help manufacturers address all of these questions,” said Joe Campbell, senior manager of applications development at Universal Robots. “Attendees at the Expo will be able to visit virtual booths featuring a wide range of turnkey solutions and application kits for easy deployment. In live demos and educational keynotes, they will learn the ins and outs of machine tending with UR cobots.”

The company has also teamed up with several certified systems integrators that not only help with UR cobot deployment but are also developing turnkey robot tending systems to address parts presentation and robot-machine communication.

For example, SDMS Robotics will introduce its SDMS Machine Tending System, which includes the UR10e cobot arm, an SDMS robot interface system, and a specially-designed robot mount. “This is the essential technology that was needed to bring robots into widespread use for machine tending,” said Alex Webster, owner of SDMS Robotics. “[Universal Robots is] the most important step forward in machine shop automation since the advent of CNC, the pallet changer, and the bar feeder.”

ProCobots, another UR systems integrator, plans to showcase the company’s practical CNC machine automation solutions. Utilizing a standardized machine tending system can help eliminate problems when manufacturers attempt to find a diverse and fragmented market of cobot products and accessories. “When someone wants a fishing boat, they go buy one,” said Brian Knopp, the general manager at ProCobots. “They don’t buy the motor and then build the boat themselves.”

Other integrators that will have virtual booths at the expo include Revtech Systems and Rapid Design Solutions. In addition, many application kit providers through Universal’s UR+ program will also be available at the expo, including Robotiq, New Scale Robotics, Flexxbotics and Hirebotics.

Adam Schmidt, the director of sales for Americas at Robotiq, will present a keynote titled “8 Key Learnings in CNC Machine Tending Cell Deployment from 13 Years of Experience.”

For more details on the event, head to the Machine Tending Expo website.

Editor’s Note: Robotics-World publishes a calendar of robotics-related events here.