Automation & Digital Transformation

Automatic equipment in a manufacturing, warehousing, transportation and distribution, Industrial and Autonomous research robots, Robotic process automation (RPA) and other processes or facilities.

Universal Robots to Debut New Cobot-Assisted Palletizers and Box-Erectors

The pioneer of collaborative robotics introduces new packaging solutions addressing the emerging need for open, unguarded human-machine interactions

11-Oct-2018
Universal Robots to Debut New Cobot-Assisted Palletizers and Box-Erectors
Packaging environments are notoriously tightly constrained, and in large part, still manual operations. Universal Robots (UR) is the market leader of collaborative robots – or “cobots” – that work safely alongside workers with no need for safety guarding in most scenarios. At PACK EXPO booth E-7941 in Chicago, October 14-17, the robotics manufacturer is showcasing the first solution for random robotic case erecting, the XPAK ROBOX™. The new UR powered box erector developed by XPAK, allows packagers to randomly erect any box in their suite on-demand without changeover.

“This collaborative design not only enables the operator to safely and intuitively interface with our machine, ROBOX also realizes approximately 60% reduction in terms of the footprint required for a similar machine using more conventional robotic technology requiring fencing,” says William Reilly, technical sales engineer with XPAK, adding that the company developed ROBOX as it recognized the undeniable market trends towards collaborative robotics, now the fastest growing segment of industrial automation.

The XPAK ROBOX is equipped with a UR10e cobot arm that picks a flat box from one of two magazines, squares the case, folds and seals the bottom flaps with 2-inch tape. Additional magazine and custom box conveyance options allow the XPAK ROBOX to integrate seamlessly into any packaging environment.

The UR10e is the largest cobot in Universal Robots new flagship line of cobots, the e-Series, showcased for the first time at a PACK EXPO. The e-Series sets a new standard for cobots, adding built-in force/torque sensing, unrivaled safety features, and improved precision for faster integration in a wider range of future-proofed applications.

“The e-Series strengthens the core principles defining collaborative robots: fast set-up, easy programming, flexible deployment, safe operation, and a quick ROI,” says Stuart Shepherd, Regional Sales Director of Universal Robots’ Americas region. “End-users with complex applications and diverse or uncertain future needs will benefit from the e-Series platform and our unique UR+ ecosystem knowing that their investment will be able to grow with them as their needs change,” explains Shepherd, referencing the rapidly expanding portfolio of certified UR+ plug & play end-effectors, software and peripherals certified for UR cobots now available.

Also launching at UR’s PACK EXPO booth is the new PalletizUR™ from ONExia, a portable, collaborative palletizing system that features a UR10e cobot with graphic software for simple pallet building. This mobile system requires no written code to program and is ready to work in minutes.

“The non-invasive PalletizUR can be added to an existing line without additional guarding,” says CEO of ONExia, Greg Shelke, emphasizing the added benefits the new e-Series cobot line delivers. “The e-Series cobots feature a 500Hz processor which enables the robots to perform smoother, parabolic moves in less time, resulting in more boxes palletized per minute.”

Universal Robots e-Series line started shipping in August this year. Stuart Shepherd is looking forward to showing the PACK EXPO audience the capabilities of his company’s new flagship line. “It’s exciting to see our partner network embracing our new cobots, incorporating them into cutting edge applications in such a short time,” he says. “We’re confident the packaging industry will deploy a significant number of e-Series cobots in the year to come.”

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