"It’s a new arena where customers no longer have to select and specify cobot peripherals piecemeal, but instead get a kit with most of the needed components for their desired application,” explains Jim Lawton, VP of product and applications management at Universal Robots. “The results are faster deployment and quicker payback.”

The expanded UR+ ecosystem now features two different categories: components and application kits. These kits are developed by UR+ partners with in-depth application knowledge that eliminates the duplication of engineering efforts when deploying widely used applications. Some kits are globally available while others are available in specific regions or countries. The kits all come with ‘URCap’ software that enables users to control all peripherals directly from the UR cobot’s own teach pendant in a 3D user interface.

An example is Robotiq’s Surface Finishing Kit, which is now compatible with over 20 pneumatic and electrical orbital tools from worldwide brands. The kit allows manufacturers tasked with polishing or finishing processes to utilise its built-in path generator to ensure consistently applied force during each cycle, increasing quality and productivity while reducing programming time from hours to minutes.

Many of the application kits, such as the Spatz St?ger Pick and Place Screwdriving Kit, consist of several different UR+ certified components controlled through a single URCap. The Spatz St?ger kit, for example, integrates seven UR+ components, providing automatic tool change and feed of fasteners through a pick and place system.

Recent years have seen an emergence of welding applications for cobots, reflected in numerous welding kits now launching in UR+. For instance, released in Europe is the RobiPak welding kit, which is said to provide a perfect symbiosis of Abicor Binzel’s welding equipment and UR cobot technology for MIG/MAG welding. The ‘ready-to-weld’ URCap controls all hardware, including the air- or liquid-cooled welding torch system designed for quick installation on UR cobots.

“As the UR+ ecosystem has evolved, UR has listened to customer feedback as to what would make cobot implementation even easier,” says Lawton. “With more than 200 certified products and over 400 developers in the programme, the UR+ platform has expanded at a rapid pace, providing the most comprehensive component platform for cobots in the industry. The addition of application kits will further strengthen our position as the go-to place for fast and straightforward deployment.”