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OnRobot Launches System for More Compatibility for Cobots, Tooling

Image: OnRobot

September 10, 2019      

ODENSE, Denmark – OnRobot today announced a unified mechanical and electrical interface for all of its end-of-arm tooling products with the goal of speeding and simplifying automation deployments for customers. The new one-system solution includes compatibility for collaborative robots and light industrial robotic systems, including Universal Robots, the cobot market leader.

In April, OnRobot launched its Digital I/O Converter Kit, which allowed OnRobot end-of-arm tools to work with a range of robot brands, including Universal, KUKA, FANUC, Doosan, Techman, Yaskawa, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, and Nachi. Building on this initiative, OnRobot said all of its products now have the unified interface based on the OnRobot Quick Changer. An additional Dual Quick Changer incorporates these capabilities while allowing the use of two tools in one cycle, mixing and matching to suite application needs and maximizing robot utilization, the company said.

Compatibility is key

“Manufacturers are demanding more from their robotic applications, and end-of-arm tooling has become the key to optimizing their investments,” said OnRobot CEO Enrico Krog Iversen. “This integration of our Quick Changer across our current product lineup makes it easier than ever to switch between tools and robot types, allowing flexibility and reducing downtime for more efficient production and faster automation ROI. This brings us another step closer to a unified OnRobot one-system solution that makes it easy, fast and cost-effective for manufacturers to build collaborative applications, no matter which robots they choose.”

With the Quick Changer, a single cable provides a universal interface for tools and communications, which means users don’t need to disconnect cables when changing tools,  and the extended communications options support several robotic platforms, OnRobot said. For example, on Universal Robot arms, OnRobot provides a unified URCap that lets all the tools work together, even in a single program. With the Dual Quick Changer, manufacturers can use an RG2 two-finger gripper together with a VG10 vacuum gripper in one cycle, “achieving greater utilization of a single UR robot.”

For other brands, OnRobot said its products have a unified communication platform that uses standard fieldbus protocols, making it easier to program tools, regardless of the robot used. Manufacturers are able to set software values and use more functions via a standard Ethernet cable. OnRobot said deployment time can be cut from three hours to 30 minutes with this system, allowing collaborative applications to be setup faster.

For robots that connect through digital I/O, the OnRobot system includes a WebLogic interface. Using the IP address of the OnRobot Compute Box, manufacturers can sign in via the OnRobot WebClient from a phone or other network-connected device to monitor the robot or create robot programs. OnRobot said manufacturers can preset values and “create elaborate programming logic using the feedback values from OnRobot grippers and sensors to provide finer control.”

Additional updates

In addition to the one-system solution, OnRobot said its RG2 and RG6 grippers have been redesigned to be stronger, more sensitive and easier to mount. They also now come standard with TÜV certified Cat. 3, and PLd level safety guards. In addition, the company’s Gecko Gripper’s pads have been improved with a maximum payload – depending on the material, they can now support up to 6.5kg.

Remy Glaisner, research director for the Intelligent Operational Systems and Robotics at IDC, said industrial robotics are often routinely hindered because of limited versatility. “Actuation capabilities are therefore critical to the applicability of solutions across a variety of manufacturing use-cases,” said Glaisner. “An adaptable end-effector solution translates into accrued technology adoption, enabling a new level of nimble operational effectiveness.”

At least one robotics manufacturer also was enthusiastic about the compatibility of the system. “OnRobot’s easy to integrate and capable one-system solution coupled with Yaskawa Smart Series robots and technology enable collaborative automation that is easy and quick to deploy while delivering high throughput and efficiency,” said Chetan Kapoor, Senior Director of Technology Innovation at Yaskawa America, Motoman Robotics Division.

More details on the system are available here.