Global supplier of linear motion systems and automation components, HepcoMotion is realising significant operational gains thanks to the arrival of a collaborative robot – or 'cobot'.
In order to meet growing demand, HepcoMotion decided to automate the loading and unloading of a CNC milling machine.
With a wide variety of robots currently on the market, selecting the right one for this application presented the Tiverton-based company with a number of challenges. Space was limited and machine downtime needed to be kept to a minimum.
HepcoMotion selected Universal Robots’ UR10 – supplied by X-STK | Applied Automation. Like many cobots, the UR10 is lightweight, easy to move and able to be redeployed to perform other tasks as and when required. With space such a premium, cobots are also capable of operating without the need of a safety cage or guarding.
Reportedly deployed with minimal disruption, the company has achieved efficiency increases of almost 50% since automating the operation.
Cobots are often represented as defining a “new age of robotics”, yet long-standing fears surrounding automation and robotics in general – i.e. health and safety and job security – still need to be overcome.
Regardless, cobots are slowly changing the way in which robots and humans interact and although they currently account for only a small proportion of the global robotics market, growth is expected to be significant over the next five years.
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