Robotics Industry News
Universal Robots Reaches Across North America
Universal Robots A/S Posted 05/06/2013Collaborative robots from Danish manufacturer Universal Robots are now distributed nationwide in both United States and Canada. The lightweight robot arms are quickly becoming sought after solutions by companies that previously viewed automation as too costly and complex, but now see the robot as a game changer.
Stony Brook, NY: Sixteen new distributors are now selling the innovative robots from Denmark to a diverse range of industries all over North America. Ed Mullen, Universal Robots’ National Sales Manager, says the company was able to “cherry pick” the most successful and competent robotics distributors:
“We’ve received tremendous interest from many distributors wanting to add Universal Robots to their line card. Our final list reflects the best out there.” Scott Hendrickson, Founder and CEO of Olympus Controls, is excited to be a new channel partner with UR robots in Northern California, the Pacific Northwest, and the Gulf states. He says the UR5 and UR10 robot arms address client applications they haven’t previously been able to solve:
“The quality of new leads has been off the charts. Most of existing clients are Fortune 500 companies, but now we’re able to better service small business owners on Main Street as well,” he says, attributing the growth to the cost and ease of use of the UR robot:
“In typical robot solutions, you multiply the robot cost by three or more to get the end price due to safety guarding and expensive programming. None of this is necessary with Universal Robots,” says the Olympus CEO, who believes the robot soon will cross the chasm between early adopters and mainstream users.
Bryan Kelly, Sales Engineering Manager with In-Position Technologies, who sells the Danish robots in the Southwest, says the average ROI of 6-8 months really resonates with customers:
“This is the solution for industries that don’t need a big robot with heavy guarding. Lab automation and CNC machine tending are two applications in which we’re seeing a big response.” Canadian distributor, Mark Schick, President of Advanced Motion & Controls Ltd., sees his company as pioneering the collaborative class robot in Canada:
“We’re excited about the market development and know this is a good thing for Canadian Manufacturers This product is a game changer and will do to for Canadian industry users what the ATM did to banking customers,” he says explaining that the flexibility and portability of the robot is a perfect match for the country’s diversified manufacturing base.
“Most of us envision more automation, safety and satisfaction within modern work environments as this new century unfolds. Universal Robots will help provide solutions that will make the Canadian industry leaner, smarter and more adaptive." Richard Greene, owner of the Richard Greene Company, covering the Midwest, says the robot has been easy to explain to customers:
“The responses we’re getting are amazing. We’ve shown it to customers within assembly and packaging and they’ve all been very impressed. We’re all trying to find the next big winner in industrial automation, and we believe to have found that in Universal Robots.” Jeff Butler, Technical Manager with C&E Sales, distributing the robots in the Midwest and South, says his company has not seen this much excitement about a new product in a long time:
“It’s a product which has a tremendous amount of opportunity to solve our customers' need for automating repetitive actions. To meet the significant demand already generated, we are considering alternate methods of presenting the product to get it in front of more people in a shorter amount of time.” Thomas Visti, VP and CCO of Universal Robots, is pleased to have the North American distributor network in place and looks forward to leveraging the strong sales channels created:
“We can now focus on developing key accounts with applications that will demonstrate the power and benefits of the UR5 and UR10 to anyone interested in our collaborative robots.”
About the robots: Universal Robots’ two robotic arms, the UR5 and UR10, are the result of many years of intensive research in robotics. The six-axis robot arms can easily be implemented in many industries; from a small CNC lathe production to large automobile assembly lines. The lightweight robots can work alongside personnel and require no safety shielding in 80 percent of installations. If the robot comes into contact with an employee, it automatically stops operating. The force delivered in a collision does not cause bodily harm, adhering to the current safety requirements on force and torque limitations. The UR robots are easily moved around the production area and present a plug-and-play solution; a simple tablet user interface lets employees with no previous programing experience quickly set up and operate them. The UR5 and UR10 are named after their respective payload in kilos (11 lbs for UR5 and 22 lbs for UR10). With a reach capacity of up to 51”, speed of 39”/s and repeatability of +/- .004”, the robots enable quick, dexterous precision handling of even the smallest items. The UR5 robotic arm was deemed “The world’s most innovative robot” by The International Federation of Robotics and IEEE Robotics and Automation Society in 2012.
About the company: Universal Robots is a first mover within a new segment for collaborative industrial robots focusing on user friendliness and flexibility. Since the first UR robot entered the market in 2009, the company has seen substantial growth. This year alone, Universal Robots expects to sell 800-1,000 robots globally. The robots are currently distributed in more than 40 countries worldwide. The Danish company has approximately 50 employees. All development and production is carried out in Odense, Denmark.