Robot vendors will make it easier for customers to integrate new bots into their business processes in 2023, according to a market forecast from the Danish collaborative robot vendor Universal Robots (UR).
Robotic arms are already powerful tools for industrial and manufacturing tasks like welding, palletizing, and machine tending, but sometimes manufacturers can buy a new robot arm, only to struggle figuring out how to integrate it in an application cell, the company said.
To address that challenge, UR said one of the most powerful automation drivers of 2023 will be the emergence of turnkey robotic solutions, complete with all hardware, software, sensors, and interfaces.
That development comes as sales of UR’s collaborative robots (co-bots) for integration in original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs’) solutions grew about 50% in 2022. Those integration processes are also becoming more complex, since UR enters the new year with more than 80 OEM partners integrating the company’s co-bots in turnkey systems, and over 300 partner firms launching application kits and components certified to work seamlessly with the UR co-bots.
“In 2023, co-bot automation will become more sophisticated yet more straightforward to use,” Joe Campbell, UR’s senior manager of applications development and strategic marketing, said in a release. “We are going to continue seeing phenomenal growth within complete robotic systems for applications such as welding, palletizing and machine tending, propelled by UR partners creating full solutions powered by our collaborative robot arms.”
To streamline the co-bot adoption process, UR said it would involve customers more tightly in product development cycles. The company recently reorganized its product creation teams to focus heavily on understanding the problems customers are facing before designing solutions.
“Customers understand their own needs better than anyone else, and we will increasingly involve end-users in product development,” Campbell said. “Ultimately these collaborations allow customers to directly influence the product they are buying, while at the same time delivering valuable feedback – meaning we will be able to launch a product to the benefit of the whole market.”