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Universal Robots Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary Of Selling The World’s First Commercially Viable Cobot

Universal Robots Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary Of Selling The World’s First Commercially Viable Cobot

10 years ago, Universal Robots’ (UR) Co-Founder and CTO, Esben Østergaard, delivered the company’s first cobot to Linatex after leading a small team through three years of development in a basement at the University of Southern Denmark.

10 years later, he was awarded the Engelberger Award, the “Nobel Prize” of robotics, for his pioneering role in developing cobots. Regarding this, Østergaard has said, “10 years might seem like a long time, and it’s definitely been quite a journey; but we’ve only just started to scratch the surface,” he added that, “I continue to see our cobots power new applications that we never imagined when we first launched.”

Lowering The Automation Barrier

In 2016 UR launched Universal Robots+, a new platform that leverages the company’s innovative global ecosystem by enabling 3rd party developers to create products – such as grippers, vision systems, software, and other accessories – that are certified to work seamlessly with UR cobots. The UR+ showroom now includes around 130 certified UR+ products and 390+ approved commercial developer companies in the UR+ developer program.

A year later, in 2017, Universal Robots Academy was launched to raise robot literacy. It consists of nine free-of-charge interactive modules of online training in mastering programming, set-up and operation of UR cobots. The program has been widely adopted worldwide, with more than 45,000 users from over 130 countries signed up as modules have become available in eight languages including English, Spanish, German, French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai. To date, UR is the only cobot vendor offering robotics training of this caliber for free.

“We are facing a looming skills gap in the manufacturing industry that we need to bridge by all means possible. Facilitating knowledge creation and access to our robots is an important step in that direction,” said Esben Østergaard, UR’s co-founder and CTO.

Innovation Is Imperative

Cobots are now the fastest-growing segment of industrial automation and growth is expected to jump ten-fold to reach 34 percent of all industrial robot sales by 2025, according to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA). As a first mover Universal Robots (UR) has kept its market leader position with a 60 percent global share of the cobot market according to BIS Research, selling more cobots than all competitors combined.

However, as the cobot market is experiencing an increasing number of competitors – both from the established industrial players and start-ups – it is vital, to keep ahead of the curve and in June, UR launched a brand-new generation of its cobots, the e-Series, which is a platform that raises the standard for collaborative robots, and enables even faster solution development and deployment of a wider variety of applications.

Last year the company grew 72 percent and earlier in 2018, the company marked its 25,000th cobot sale by delivering a limited edition in gold. To date, the company has sold more than 27,000 cobots around the world.

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Universal Robots Encourages Vietnam’s Robotics Development During 25,000 Cobot Milestone

Universal Robots Encourages Vietnam’s Robotics Development During 25,000 Cobot Milestone

SINGAPORE: Universal Robots (UR), the pioneer and market leader in collaborative robots (cobots), has cemented its market leadership after hitting 25,000 cobot sales.

To celebrate this significant milestone, the company awarded ten of its 25,000 global customers a Gold Edition cobot. The lucky winner in Southeast Asia is Vietnam’s Vinacomin Motor Industry Joint Stock Company (VMIC), which was presented with the UR10 cobot on 9 October 2018. The special edition cobot has the joints painted in a rich, gold-coloured finish, a refreshing take on UR’s iconic blue and grey cobots.

Based in Vietnam’s Quang Ninh province, VMIC is engaged in the manufacture, assembly, maintenance and repair of transportation vehicles. The Company’s leading products are heavy duty trucks used in the delivery of mining products, together with light trucks and other utility vehicles. Other business activities include the production of automotive parts, industrial machinery and equipment trading, the construction of industrial and civil infrastructure, as well as the provision of technical consulting services.

“We are thrilled to receive the Gold Edition UR10 cobot which will be deployed to assist in the production of parts for transport vehicles, working alongside our employees,” said Pham Xuan Phi, VMIC Chairman and CEO.

“The need to improve productivity and reduce operational cost led us to opt for cobots as the ideal solution. Since deploying our first cobot in July this year, we have already seen productivity surge 30 per cent and improvements in product quality and takt time stability,” he added.

“We couldn’t have reached this historic 25,000-cobot landmark without excellent customers like VMIC,” said Sakari Kuikka, APAC Regional Director of UR. “With this, we celebrate not just the success of UR in empowering customers, but also the successes of our customers in innovating and changing their workplace with cobots. The Gold Edition cobot reflects our continued commitment towards making the unlimited potential of robotics accessible for all.”

Present in Vietnam since 2016, UR distributes cobots through local distributor and system integrator partners – Servo Dynamics Engineering and Tan Phat Automation JSC. Cobots are deployed in multiple industries including automotive, electronics, textile, footwear and food processing sectors.

Robotics Key to Vietnam’s Industry 4.0 Journey

Vietnam has identified robotics as one of the pillars of Industry 4.0 as automation becomes integral for businesses to remain competitive. However, 82 percent of Vietnamese businesses have yet to take steps to prepare for Industry 4.0 while just 10 percent are ready. Furthermore, a report by the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that interest among enterprises to invest and apply new technologies was still modest.

Acknowledging this, the government has been aggressively focusing on developing initiatives and legislation to speed progress in the era. Among the efforts are the 2011 – 2020 Strategy for Science and Technology Development to enhance economic competitiveness and speed up industrialisation, prioritising the importance of industrial robots and hi-tech automation.

The government has also identified other measures including collaborations between technology enterprises and science & technology organisations to consult and support local firms as appropriate steps to ensure the successful acceptance of robotic opportunities.

The Vietnamese economy is one of the fastest growing in the world. The country recorded a 6.8 per cent increase in GDP last year on the back of a humming manufacturing sector. The economy in 2017 was worth VND5 quadrillion (USD223 billion).

Cobot Adoption Rising

Cobots are now the fastest-growing segment of industrial automation, expected to jump tenfold to 34 percent of all industrial robot sales by 2025, according to the International Federation of Robotics.

The automotive and electronics industries are big users of cobots globally. The market value for cobots in the global automotive industry was USD23.5 million (547 billion dong) in 2015 and is projected to reach USD 470 million (10 trillion dong) by 2021, at a CAGR of 64.67 percent between 2015 and 2021. Electronics is the second largest cobot integrator, accounting for 18 per cent of global demand in 2015. By 2021, electronics is forecast to invest approximately USD 480 million (11 trillion dong) in cobots.

Since the sale of the first cobot in December 2008, UR cobots have been utilised in various industries ranging from food production to scientific research, taking on tasks that include industrial assembly, pick and place and even quality inspections. Today, UR is the unrivaled cobot market leader with a 60 percent global share, selling more cobots than all other robot makers combined.

Unlike conventional robotic solutions, UR’s cobots are designed to work hand-in-hand with operators with maximum efficiency, opening up more opportunities for human-robot collaboration in the workplace. These highly versatile cobots can take on a wide spectrum of tasks and have the fastest payback time in the industry, making them a viable option for small-scale businesses where conventional options may be too expensive.

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