Universal Robots Launches e-Series: Sets New Standard for Collaborative Automation Platforms

Friday, June 29th, 2018 | 2074 Views

Universal Robots (UR), pioneer and market leader of collaborative robots (cobots), is continuing to evolve its collaborative automation technology with the introduction of its new flagship e-Series cobots. The new range follows UR’s co-founder, Esben Østergaard being awarded the 2018 Engleberger Award, the ‘Nobel Prize’ of robotics.

This new e-Series cobot platform includes technology advances that enable faster development for a wider variety of applications. Improvements include the ability to economically address even more applications, thanks to greater precision and sensitivity provided by a built-in, tool-centric Force/Torque sensor.

Like other UR offerings, the new e-Series offers unparalleled convenience. It takes just one hour to unpack the cobot, mount it and program the first task. A wrist-join-tool communication interface reduces production line integration time and complexity. From a service standpoint, all joints can be replaced in two to six minutes.

A re-designed intuitive and responsive-touch user interface expedites program development by simplifying programming to a few clicks on a new lightweight, wide-screen Teach Pendant. There are 17 safety functions, including customisable stopping time and distance, make collaborative automation easier. Certified by TÜV Nord all these functions are in compliance with the EN ISO 13849-1 and EN ISO 10218-1 (Category 3 PLd) machinery safety standards for unobstructed human-robot collaboration.

Looking at the big picture, e-Series users can expect a fast return-on-investment, a cobot system ready for any future application, and long-term productivity gains.

“Our e-Series platform is leveraging our years of experience as the market leader within collaborative robots. The ‘e’ in e-Series underpins our key vision and overall product philosophy, specifically Empowering people and making it Easy for Everyone.” says Jürgen von Hollen, President of UR.

With the e-Series launch, UR now provides two different technology platforms. For customers interested in cobot capacity expansion for proven applications, G3 is an ideal choice. The e-Series benefits businesses with advanced applications and diverse or uncertain future needs.


Growing Importance of Automation in Southeast Asia

Demand for automation and robotics continues to grow in Southeast Asia, particularly in the electronics, semiconductor, metal and machining, food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries.

The electronics industry has been a high adopter of cobots globally for decades. This is similarly reflected in Southeast Asia where electronics is the largest export sector in the region, comprising 25 percent of total exports in goods. Electronics production hubs are Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Non-traditional industries are also increasingly employing the use of cobots. In Singapore, UR cobots are programmed to prepare eggs sunny-side-up or as an omelette and even assist in massages. In Vietnam, robots are employed in hospitals to assist in surgeries.

According to the International Federation of Robotics, an average of 63 industrial robots were installed per 10,000 employees in Asia. In Southeast Asia, robot density is led by Singapore with 488 units per 10,000 employees, followed by Thailand and Malaysia with 45 units and 34 units each.

Shermine Gotfredsen, General Manager, Southeast Asia and Oceania at UR, says: “Cobot demand is growing in the region as automation is increasingly becoming a necessity for businesses to achieve greater production efficiencies amid rising operational costs, labour shortages and increasing competition. With the e-Series and G3 product lines, we now offer customers two distinct technology platforms, catering to a wider range of business needs,” she says.


End-user benefits

“End-users with complex applications and diverse or uncertain future needs will benefit from the e-Series platform and our unique Universal Robots+ ecosystem knowing that their investment will be able to grow with them as their needs change. We enable innovative customers to rapidly drive adoption of automation technology into their businesses to maximise their competitive advantage.” added von Hollen.

“The global cobot market is expected to continue to be one of the key growth drivers in the automation market the coming years. With the e-Series, my expectation is that we will continue to leverage our position as the cobot market leader. This, however, can only be done by staying ahead technologically, hence the launch of e-Series,” he explains, emphasising the importance of Universal Robots+ and the online training program Universal Robots Academy which will both support the e-Series platform.

The e-Series is now available. UR plans to begin shipping units to customers from 1 August 2018.