By October 6, 2014 Read More →

Safe human/robot collaborative working

RA Rodriguez Universal Robot safetyAt PPMA 2014, RA Rodriguez introduced the third generation of Universal Robot to the UK market. These robots have already proven their value as highly flexible production systems across industry and these new additions have even greater potential. The upgraded UR5 and UR10 robot arms include true absolute encoders, eight new adjustable safety-rated functions, twice the number of built-in I/O ports and an enhanced control.

These new six-jointed arms retain the ease-of-use and quick ROI benefits of previous generations and their visual appearance and payload of 5/10 kilos remains unchanged. Central to the new design, however, is the robots’ ability to allow enhanced and safe human/robot collaborative working and this is now independently confirmed by TÜV certification.

The inclusion of true absolute encoders in the new design allows faster start-up of the robot arm. The absolute position is recognised when the Universal Robot is switched on, eliminating the need for encoder initialisation.

Integration with other systems is easier too. Sixteen additional digital I/O ports are easy to configure, either as digital signals or safety signals. A revised design of the control box and an enhanced controller are further improvements.

The safety setting on these new lightweight robots can be adjusted to suit the application. The arm can run in two operating modes in each setting; a normal and reduced option. Switching between safety settings while the robot is in operation is also possible and, to achieve this, eight safety functions are monitored by the new and patented safety system, UR Safety 3.0.

The eight functions cover joint positions and speeds, TCP positions, orientation, speed and force as well as the momentum and power of the robot. The settings can only be changed in a password protected area of the control and the complete system carries TÜV certification to PLd safety rating.

The new patented safety concept is a logical development from Universal Robots earlier robot arms. It allows them to be operated in different modes according to the needs of the application.

As an example, when the operator enters the robot’s work cell, the Universal Robot can continue to operate in reduced speed mode and resume full speed when the operator leaves. Or the robot can run at full speed when working inside a CNC machine and at reduced speed outside it.

As with the previous generations of Universal Robots, the UR5 and UR10 are especially suited to the SME community. Thanks to their light weight and user-friendly handling via touch pad, a wide range of applications can be programmed without the need for time-consuming training and deep technological know-how.

They are suited to a broad range of target markets; from unloading CNC machines at a small subcontractor to performing an automatic gluing process for an automotive manufacturer. Every production site can benefit from Universal Robots.

Visit the RA Rodriguez website for more information on Universal Robots.

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