Universal Robots, which is part of Teradyne Inc., is headquartered in Odense (Denmark) and has offices in the United States, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Romania, Turkey, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Mexico. The company has installed more than 50,000 cabots worldwide to date. The country manager of Universal Robots in our country, Jordi Pelegrí, explains the reason for the company’s success and the exponential growth that collaborative robotics is experiencing.
Since its foundation in 2005, Universal Robots has experienced a strong growth to become today an indisputable benchmark of collaborative robotics.
The company aims to promote the change in the way of working through its cutting-edge robotic technology. Since the first cobot was introduced in 2008, UR has developed a product repertoire that includes the UR3e, UR5e, UR10e and UR16e, reflecting a range of scopes and payloads. Each model is supported by a wide selection of tools, software, accessories and application kits in the UR+ ecosystem. This allows cobots to be used in a wide range of industries and can be redeployed in various tasks.
The robotic arms of Universal Robots have great versatility, which means that they are being applied in multiple industries with very different activities. This is also possible thanks to the company’s powerful network of partners, who develop solutions adapted to different production needs. And among the large number of industrial sectors with which we work, it would be worth highlighting the food and beverage, machine and tool sectors and, above all, packaging. The opening of the center of excellence for the packaging sector at our headquarters in Barcelona is a good example. So is #CollaboratePack, the collaborative robotics congress for the packaging sector that we held at the Hispack 2022 edition. The more than 3,500 visitors who attended our congress demonstrate the strength of this sector.
At Universal Robots, innovation is part of our DNA. The different robotic arms that we offer, together with the integrations carried out together with our partners, provide a solution to the vast majority of automation needs in the industry.
Cobots have proven to be a great help for pick & place and palletizing and depalletizing tasks. However, its versatility makes it possible to create multiple solutions: from a physiotherapy solution to a robotic arm capable of cooking or serving beers. I think collaborative robotics has endless possibilities.
The UR+ ecosystem is undoubtedly what explains the company’s success and the exponential growth that collaborative robotics is experiencing. Our commitment is to create the largest ecosystem in the industry together with the know-how of our cobots to provide access to peripherals and application kits designed to solve real problems in the production lines of industries. This way we generate a collaborative environment that makes life easier for manufacturers and customers, and part of this success lies in our integrated software, which helps a lot to generate all kinds of applications. The main advantage for the end customer is found in the ease of integration. We want to give everything done to make automation processes simpler.
Universal Robots Academy is the company’s training commitment. The program arises from the company’s own philosophy, which aims to eliminate the barriers of automation and facilitate the fourth industrial revolution in the country’s SMEs. UR Academy consists of offering basic programming knowledge to cobots users, regardless of their experience or training in robotics. The program has a series of modules led by certified trainers that cover a wide range of basic and advanced cobot programming knowledge, such as computer languages, industrial communication and the use of the cobots interface.
The Universal Robots leasing program allows SMEs to distribute the investment involved in the implementation of collaborative robots in their plants over a period of 36 months, without initial costs and without interest. The essence of this program is that SMEs can automate their plants and cover the investment when the plant is already automated and is generating an economic return. Since 2021, the program has had a three-month grace period so that a company’s lack of liquidity is not a reason to dismiss its automation.
The balance is totally positive. The installation of the collaborative robotics hub center in Barcelona demonstrates Universal Robots’ commitment to Spain, where we have a market with great growth potential. Another fact that demonstrates the company’s commitment to Barcelona is found in the center of excellence for the packaging sector inaugurated last May in our facilities in the Catalan capital. A center of excellence that will position Barcelona as one of the main poles of attraction in the world in the automation of the packaging and picking sector.
The added value of Universal Robots is found in the flexibility and versatility of its technology. And, above all, in the huge network of partners that make up the largest collaborative robotics ecosystem in the world. Collaboration has allowed us to grow and offer cutting-edge solutions that are valued by our customers, and this has been our key to success.
The economic, health and social ravages of the pandemic have left us with a few lessons that it is important that we know how to identify and apply. First of all, we have learned that collaboration between companies and institutions is essential to progress together, and this strengthens the collaborative philosophy with which Universal Robots was born. On the other hand, the pandemic has also shown us the need for Europe to relocate its industries and production processes. And to reindustrialize Europe we need robotics and automation to gain efficiency and competitiveness. And finally, Covid-19 has also shown us that people’s health and safety must always be a priority. And in this the cobots also have a lot to say. Collaborative robotics allows us to stop working like robots and start working alongside robots. This paradigm shift implies that humans leave the heaviest, most repetitive and dangerous tasks to robots. Universal Robots’ cobots are paving the way for safer, higher-quality work.
Collaborative robotics has had a sustained growth trajectory, both in Spain and in Europe, in recent years. Despite the inconveniences generated by the pandemic, the sector has managed to maintain its growth and the capabilities of collaborative robotics to improve people’s lives have been demonstrated. Our forecasts for the coming years are optimistic. The fourth digital revolution has already arrived and it will mean an unprecedented transformation of our industry; at Universal Robots we will be there to make this transformation process easier and more comfortable for the country’s SMEs.