Experts in Man & Machine
16.06.2016

New line of industrial robots

Goal: Speed, Performance AND Safety

Focus

Key 2015 figures

• 4,300 collaborative robots sold in 2015
• 40,000 collaborative robots to be sold by 2020
• Market estimated at €111 million (US$126 million)
• 70% growth since 2013 (starting from very low volume)
• 2% of “traditional” industrial robotics market

(Source: Barclays Equity Research and ABI Research)

To meet performance and productivity objectives, manufacturers want easy-to-install robots with short cycle times that can be used in tight spaces and are safe to operate with workers nearby.

In the near future, collaborative robots designed for interaction will be productive, safe for workers, and cost-effective.

But what’s the point of safe industrial robots when they’re above market price? How can we fully benefit from collaborative robots when their programming is so complex?

These are the kinds of questions that big and small businesses alike are asking. Before they put up the cash, they want to make sure their robotics solution is safe, worth the money, and easy to use. And that’s particularly true of collaborative robots—robots that work seamlessly or even synergistically with humans. There can be no compromise on safety (read “Collaborative Robots in the Spotlight” below).

Protecting people, production and investments

« At Stäubli Robotics, safety means protecting people, production and investments », explains Gerald Vogt, Director of Stäubli Robotics. Combining these three levers makes all the difference.

When worker safety is prioritized, productivity and investment protection tend to be overlooked. Yet « our clients in various fields, from electronics to medicine and machine tools, are rather keen on protecting their production costs and the market value of products handled by their machines », continues Gerald Vogt. « Robotic peripherals like grippers, vision systems, and machines are getting more and more sophisticated and costly. Safe robots protect these investments. »

Combining the benefits of industrial and collaborative robots

Today, most manufacturers produce both standard industrial robots (98% market share in 2014) and collaborative robots (2% market share). « But why should our clients have to choose one or the other? Why should safe robots not be able to guarantee performance? » asks Gerald Vogt. « At Stäubli Robotics, we like to stay ahead of market needs. To that end, our goal is to offer a line of robots that combines all the benefits of industrial AND collaborative robots. »

With the TX2 line and the CS9 controller (which controls the entire line), Stäubli Robotics is taking a big leap forward in terms of Man–Machine cooperation. The TX2 is the only robot on the market that combines speed, performance AND safety. It will be the first industrial robot to reach the highest SIL3/PLe safety level. TUV Rheinland certification is under way. New features like Safe Speed, Safe Stop, and Safe Zone make for perfect interaction, allowing man and machine to work side-by-side with no physical barriers of any kind for the first time ever (read article on TX2 line).

With no need for safety barriers, robotic cells are much less cluttered, enabling manufacturers to substantially boost output per square foot. « Through its new TX2 line—a real boon to countless manufacturing companies—Stäubli Robotics is driving growth in the industrial robotics industry », concludes Gerald Vogt.

Collaborative Robots in the Spotlight

Collaborative robotics boosts productivity and reduces the drudgery of blue-collar work without replacing it, so look for it to continue to make inroads, especially due to advances in Man–Machine collaboration (read Trends in Man & Machine issue 1).

Considered a « real innovation » and a « breakthrough », collaborative robots now account for 2% of the global industrial robotics market.They should experience considerable growth in the coming years as industry stakeholders buy into the notion of combining performance and safety.

Stages of Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC)

EN

Man–Machine collaboration is aimed at continuously improving speed and productivity. It can involve various degrees of interaction. Full interaction in which man and robot share the same workspace and act synergistically is now in development and accounts for a small proportion of activity (5%). Safety is fundamental in such applications.

TX2: Guaranteed productivity that’s completely safe and secure

With the TX2 line and CS9 controller, Stäubli Robotics is opening a new chapter in Man–Machine cooperation.
Read the article

Man and MachineMan and Machine

Answers to questions you’ve been asking

Goal . Speed, Performance AND Safety

What’s the point of safe industrial robots when they’re above market price?

By merging the benefits of industrial and collaborative robots, Stäubli Robotics is providing clients with a more economical robotics solution: a single powerful, safe, and collaborative machine for superior results.

Better yet, because Stäubli Robotics collaborative robots protect your productivity and investment, in the end they provide a better return on investment. Our collaborative robots require no additional equipment (protective barriers) and therefore need less space to install, which naturally reduces overall costs.

 

How can we fully benefit from collaborative robots when their programming is so complex?

Stäubli robotics solutions feature five different programming modes, from simple to sophisticated.
The SP2 teach pendant associated with TX2 robots has a color touchscreen and is very user-friendly. It’s very simple to use, functioning much like a touch pad. For more complex applications, such as when the system has many peripherals to manage (vision systems, conveyors, etc.), another programming mode is available that can adapt to the needs of all users, final customers, integrators, and manufacturers.

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