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ARC Specialties, Universal Robots Unveil SnapWeld Collaborative Robotic Welding

Small job shops struggling with the budget, programming and space requirements of traditional welding robots now have an alternative solution: The new SnapWeld Collaborative Robot Welding package developed by ARC Specialties Inc. and Universal Robots is a cobot-assisted, interactive welding system that can be deployed easily and flexibly in existing, manual welding booths, eliminating the need for costly new robotic cells.

“We are getting a lot of requests for integrating Universal Robots in welding booths, so we saw this as a unique opportunity to develop an integrated low-cost system for gas metal arc welding (GMAW) applications that no one else in the market is currently offering,” says John Martin, Vice President of ARC Specialties, a Certified Systems Integrator of UR robots.

The SnapWeld will be shown for the first time at FABTECH in Chicago, November 6-9, at Universal Robots’ booth B-25094 and in interactive demos at ARC Specialties own booth B-35047 where attendees can simply grab the UR10 robot arm and perform stitch welding by “teaching” the robot the start and stop points, as well as the number and length of the stitch weld. The SnapWeld will move along the start and stop path and weld only during specified stitch areas, reducing robotic programming from hours to minutes.

The welding system integrated with the UR robot is comprised of a Profax wire feeder and water cooled torch enabling welds up to 600 amps, with torch bracket, all cables and hose packages included. The simplified programming is enabled by direct software integration into Universal Robots’ own programming environment through the Universal Robots+ platform that will allow users to program advanced settings directly on the teach pendant that comes with the UR robot. Settings include features such as wire feed speed and burn back time, gas flow time, and crater fill time with instant feedback on welding volts and amps.

Area Sales Manager of Universal Robots, Manuel Sordo, is excited to include ARC Specialties’ welding package on the UR+ platform which is an online showroom featuring the rapidly expanding ecosystem of plug & play products for UR robots: “This UR+ welding package is the perfect solution for low volume/high mix fabrication shops, allowing operators to manage robot programs and welding parameters on the fly. I look forward to sharing this experience with FABTECH attendees.”

Another UR+ product on display at FABTECH is 3D Infotech’s Universal Metrology Automation (UMA) solution powered by Streamline, the most flexible automated quality control solution in the market. UMA will be showcased on a UR5 cobot mated to a Creaform MetraSCAN-R laser scanner. “The UR5 robot demonstrates the exceptional flexibility and ease of use that our customers in aerospace, automotive, consumer products, and the medical device industries appreciate,” says Paul Oberle, director of business development at 3D Infotech. Within a couple minutes UMA captures a full 3D image of the physical part and compares this to CAD or manufacturing intent. UMA has demonstrated to be significantly faster, more repeatable, safer, and easier to use than manual gaging, CMM, or portable CMM. “The entire line of Universal Robots works perfectly with UMA; it is inherently safe and simple to work with. Our customers implement in weeks, gaining a return on investment within months because they get a complete view of quality and how to address un-intended changes in the manufacturing process for any size of application,” explains Oberle.

Also at Universal Robots FABTECH booth is READY Robotics' TaskMate system, a fully-integrated turnkey solution for machine tending that incorporates the UR robots. The company will exhibit a TaskMate R5, utilizing a UR5 arm demonstrating flexibility of the system through a series of dynamic interactive demonstrations. "READY Robotics is working to change the way customers approach robotic automation by providing a fully plug-and-play platform architecture allowing customers to easily build whatever automation system they need for a given application,” says Ben Gibbs, CEO of READY Robotics. “By integrating with Universal Robots, we are able to leverage tremendously useful robot hardware to further reduce the integration overhead customers and integrators experience in trying to address their automation application needs."

FABTECH is also the launch pad for the CoBase™ debuting at the UR booth. Developed by LTW Ergonomic Solutions (LTW) a leader in ergonomically adjustable machine bases, operator platforms, and workstations, the CoBase™ maximizes Universal Robots' efficiency and ergonomics. A touch of a button changes the table height or angle to maximize the ergonomics between the operator and the robot, and this mobile table allows for easy transport of the UR cobot between tasks in high mix/low volume production environments. The CoBase™ has custom mounts for the controller box and cable, a custom bolt pattern for easy installation of any UR model, and a built-in 110V power outlet, so end users only need a single wall outlet to power the entire CoBase™ solution. Originally built as a tilt table for a Tier 1 automotive supplier's robotic inspection of bulky items, the CoBase™ is now ready to be rolled out to all users of UR cobots in need of a mobile, flexible automation solution. "Our goal is to provide a place for everything that comes with a UR cobot, fitting it all directly onto the frame of the CoBase," says President of LTW, John Lanphear.

UR cobots will also be showcased in these FABTECH exhibits:

Ambrell Induction Heating Solutions – booth B-10020
Ambrell will be showcasing MAX, the world's first heat induction cobot. The demo will show MAX moving stainless steel rods into an induction heating coil where the rods will be heated to 600 °C in just seconds by an Ambrell EASYHEAT induction heating system and then moved forward in the process. “An adaptation for this trade show demonstration could be preheating rods for hot heading or forging industrial fasteners, delivering an innovative induction heating solution designed specifically to maximize manufacturing throughput,” says Ambrell President, Tony Mazzullo. “MAX can perform a variety of light industrial - usually repetitive - tasks, and interacts safely and efficiently as it works hand-in-hand with humans in a shared process.”

Gravotech, Inc. – booth A-3141
Gravotech, the leader in marking and traceability solutions will feature how Laser and Dot-Peen marking solutions can integrate for automatic marking using a Universal Robots model UR5 robot. The UR5 robot will pick up a part and place it inside a Gravotech LW2 Class 1 laser enclosure for marking with an F30 Fiber Laser. The F30 Fiber Laser will automatically mark the part with identification and the LW2 enclosure will open for the UR5 robot to retrieve the part and hand it to an attendee for inspection. The UR5 will also demonstrate marking using a Dot-Peen XF510CP by placing a part under the XF510CP for marking and returning it to an attendee. “We’re excited to demonstrate how easy it is to integrate Gravotech Laser and Dot-Peen marking solutions in a production environment using the UR5 robot,” says Dave Flanagan, Marketing Manager for Gravotech, Inc.

READY Robotics – booth B-17103
In addition to the TaskMate R5 exhibited at the UR booth, Ready Robotics will showcase the TaskMate R10, featuring the UR10 robot arm, at their own booth. The TaskMate R10 will be tending a bagging machine to show how easy it is to integrate with existing machine tools, while it also distributes gifts to visitors.

Zeiss Industrial Metrology – booth B73
3D Infotech’s Universal Metrology Automation solution will also be in action at the Zeiss Industrial Metrology booth, paired with a UR5 cobot and a Zeiss L3D2 structured light 3D camera, providing a complete solution for in-line or end-of-line inspection and adaptive manufacturing applications.


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