These take in plug-and-play integration with Dynabrade orbital sanders, ARC Specialties’ SnapCut and seventh-axis capabilities from Vention.

SnapCut (a partner of ESAB) allows traditional metal fabricators with no prior robotic or computer programming knowledge to easily cut shapes in three-dimensional steel components. SnapCut employs Universal Robots’ UR10e cobot to manipulate a Hypertherm cutting torch to desired positions around the cutting path. Included in the SnapCut software integrated directly on the robot’s teach pendant are standard shapes such as squares, rectangles, circles or C-channels that can be selected for parametric programming. The operator will simply move the cutting torch to a few locations on the cutting surface, hit run and watch the sparks fly.

Another manual task now addressed by cobots is sanding. FABTECH is the official launch pad for Dynabrade’s (https://dynashop.co.uk) new robotic sander kit that just received UR+ certification. The kit includes pneumatic sanders, robot mount and a solenoid enabling robotic operation via the UR teach pendant. "We are finding that many of our customers are interested in mounting our tools on robots,” says Frank Lehman, Dynabrade’s head of engineering, emphasising the benefit of providing Dynabrade users with a turn-key solution enabling them to mount the sanders on collaborative robots. “Cobots are very affordable and user-friendly, allowing our end users to bring automation into their workplace without the expense and learning curve of traditional robots. With UR being the leader in the cobot industry, it was obvious to bring our sanders to the UR+ platform.”

The physical reach of UR robot arms is now improved through Vention's new seventh-axis range extender, designed for all three UR models and soon to be featured in the UR+ showroom, too. “We’re proud to contribute to the UR+ ecosystem with rapid design and commissioning of robot cells,” says Patrick Halde, vice president of sales and business development with Vention (http://www.vention.io). “Our new seventh-axis solution can be controlled with Vention’s MachineMotion controller directly through the UR cobot’s touch-screen, allowing users to assemble and self-commission in hours.”