Posted on Feb 19, 2019
B&B Manufacturing has invested in a very exciting technological advancement for our manufacturing process. The Universal Robot 10, or UR 10, is a small, collaborative robot coupled with a loading/staging station. In the late spring, the robot was delivered and programmed. This robot loads and unloads machines through programming installed by our production team. The purpose of this impressive technology is to be utilized when we receive high quantity orders so that production time is shortened without effecting quality. The operation process of the UR 10 is simple. The robot is programmed for the specific jobs then loads and unloads a selected part, blows off the chuck, opens and closes the door, and then presses the start button on the machine. After a predetermined amount of parts have been run, an operator examines the machine and the parts to ensure overall quality through a first articles inspection. The system is set up to have a grid on the cart so that the robot knows where to pick up and set down completed parts. Operators simply check the machine as needed, and then, they reload the tray for the robot.
A particularly interesting specification on this system is that the entire robot can be moved around with a pallet jack, making the machine extremely versatile. Custom designed fingers were created for the gripper on the robot to ensure parts fit nicely and allow for better precision when loading parts into the machines chuck.
The robot can lift about 20+ pounds, and a reach of over 50”. The programming is done on a “teach pendant,” which is comparable to popular tablets, so the worker programming the robot does not need extensive programming experience. The system also has a “Freedrive” mode; this allows the operator to move the robot by hand to the desired location instead of using control arrows. This allows set up to be completed quickly. The robot uses (6) wrists, allowing for multiple ways of manipulation of position. Sensors are built into the system which will make it automatically stop if it senses that something is in the way. This process allows for people to work right alongside the robot without extra safety equipment.
Our summer interns from New Prairie, Ben and Wyatt, contributed in the design and utilization of our robot. Together, they spent time in the CNC department learning about end of arm tooling that is used for the robot. They also helped draw brackets for cylinders and solenoids, and they were able to gain a little more insight from the operators on how to better utilize the robot in our manufacturing process while they were out on the floor.
To see a video of the Universal Robot 10 in motion, click here!