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IndustryArena Forum > Hobby Projects > RC Robotics and Autonomous Robots > Universal Robots UR3 Robot experiences
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  1. #1
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    Universal Robots UR3 Robot experiences

    We bought 2 Universal Robots UR3 robots in late 2016. The Robots were sold to us with pneumatic grippers and they had one purpose in life, to unload tubes from CNC turning centers. We make ~8500 tubes a year, but in 2017 we bought a Doosan TT1800SY and it has an upper parts unloader capable of unloading tubes, so we began to make most of our tubes in the TT1800SY and our UR3's have to date unloaded about 14,000 parts at a cost of about $3.70 per part.

    The other day one of the UR3's broke. It began losing position in a way the control told it to feed hold. We contacted Universal Customer service, and they told us to contact our original distributor rather than just send them the robot in a box for repair.

    We also informed them that the rubber seals are not made of Viton and are thus destroyed by coolant in a few weeks to a few months. The second set we bought appeared to be of much lower quality than the first set supplied with the unit. We also mentioned that ideally the robot should have a automatic re-wind feature after an error, because an unload confirmation is something we derive by sweeping the area the part used to be located in with a part of the gripper, and if the UR3 fails to unload, it stops and at that point and quick recovery is profitable. I don't believe this support should require a $7000 torque force sensor, because torque and force have nothing to do with remembering position through a move. The $26,000 robots do a pretty poor job of unloading the parts, and they require an auto-door which is ~$4500-$9000, and companies like DMG mori will build an upper part unloader like our TT1800SY into a machine for ~$28,000 so that's a high end price for the feature we need.

    The waypoint based programming of the UR3, requires paths which are very time lossy to be programmed to prevent overspeed moves. The upper part unloader of doosan takes about 10 seconds to cycle. The UR3 takes about 40 seconds to cycle including the machine auto-door cycle time.

    UR told us to go to the distributor for repair, and that we should have been using a sleeve on the robot. The stupid concept of the sleeve is that the distributor never sold or explained a sleeve product, and the robot wraps itself up in the sleeve so the sleeve is an engineering problem to have. The robot not being coolant proof is crazy because machine unloading is a major part of what the machines do. We put our other robot on the machine we were working on today and attempted to teach it with a makeshift sleeve and the sleeve was nearly a constant issue with programming the robot. I spent 5 hours programming the robot to do the unload, and while doing the programming I watched the stupid robot make a lot of unplanned moves poorly handling the waypoint to waypoint moves and violating a lot of programmed positions.

    In my opinion the UR robot is not the quality of the lowest quality CNC machine in the shop. I'm really unhappy with customer service that says, "go see someone else for repairs", and doesn't have a Viton seal kit, or a sleeve product with the bearings to support the I believe 6 axis motion of the robot without wrapping up, or a software update to get the machine working better for the stupid simple UNLOAD job we have given it. I think the durability of the product is as poor as its quality.

    In my opinion based on the limited information I have and baseless conjecture, the UR robot is a Chinese robot sold by a Danish company apparently operated by hipsters in the US, or at least that's the best I can tell from my limited interactions with the company.

    I think when you buy the robots too, you somewhat slave yourself to the concept of unloading the parts automatically, in a way that makes human unloads a subconscious second class job, and when the product fails your shop, the robot has damaged your ability to conduct that job with your operators introducing a new problem instead of solving the original issue.

  2. #2
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    Re: Universal Robots UR3 Robot experiences

    I agree with what you have said. They are cheaper than other brands.
    Did you purchase the UR specifically for the collaborative environment? Or because your company thought it was a cheaper option than the others?

    You can get a 7-12 Kg motoman industrial robot for almost the same price, at least i can. And not hassel with a company trying to break into market.

    Although i have seen many UR robots out there but only for very simple applications and not time sensitive.

  3. #3
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    Re: Universal Robots UR3 Robot experiences

    Quote Originally Posted by bill4807 View Post
    I agree with what you have said. They are cheaper than other brands.
    Did you purchase the UR specifically for the collaborative environment? Or because your company thought it was a cheaper option than the others?

    You can get a 7-12 Kg motoman industrial robot for almost the same price, at least i can. And not hassel with a company trying to break into market.

    Although i have seen many UR robots out there but only for very simple applications and not time sensitive.
    We didn't want to put guarding around the machine, and we were told the robots would work well in the application. Now we are told that the coolant is a problem, and it doesn't appear that UR robots has a coolant sleeve solution for the robot that doesn't wrap up. It appears their customer service doesn't have a headquarters shop where they can repair robots either because they are not offering a US headquarters based solution but are instead suggesting distributors handle the repairs for them- when in this case the robot was sold by a customer of a distributor so essentially there may not be a customer service party to address the repairs?. The UR robot is seeming like a toy robot advertised to be an industrial robot.

    I think industrial in this industry is a definition that means long term durable, and this product doesn't seem to belong in that category.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green0 View Post
    We didn't want to put guarding around the machine, and we were told the robots would work well in the application. Now we are told that the coolant is a problem, and it doesn't appear that UR robots has a coolant sleeve solution for the robot that doesn't wrap up. It appears their customer service doesn't have a headquarters shop where they can repair robots either because they are not offering a US headquarters based solution but are instead suggesting distributors handle the repairs for them- when in this case the robot was sold by a customer of a distributor so essentially there may not be a customer service party to address the repairs?. The UR robot is seeming like a toy robot advertised to be an industrial robot.

    I think industrial in this industry is a definition that means long term durable, and this product doesn't seem to belong in that category.
    No the product does not belong in that category.

    If you do make a change from the UR you could look into area scanners/an area scanner to protect the robot zone instead of guarding. Depending on how your safety team evaluates it, but their are plenty out ther like that.

    I wonder how is the coolant hitting the robot, Are you flushing the fixture or part as the robot picks it?

    When we do machine tending applications yes some coolant gets to the arm, but not to much unless the part needs to path above the arm and coolant from the part drips down into it.

    Coolant and chips are always the unknown variable for us to manage. Its a pain sometimes.

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