Stäubli has traditionally focused on product innovations at the annual automatica trade fair, but this year the company has adopted a different approach. The robot maker will be showcasing its “Easy-to-Use” concept, designed to offer customers a complete package of benefits throughout all phases of a robot’s lifecycle.
Christophe Coulongeat, Executive President Stäubli Robotics, explains: “Ease of programming is certainly going to be central to our contribution to this year’s automatica. But that is only one aspect of ensuring maximum efficiency in the deployment of robots. The Stäubli approach goes much further in this respect. With our 40 years of experience in the field, we have taken a close look at the complete lifecycle of a robot and come up with our Easy-to-Use concept, which guarantees optimum results as well as top value in terms of TCO.”
The key point that the Stäubli Robotics team aims to get across at automatica is that the purchase price for a robot is not the decisive parameter for cost-effectiveness; rather the total cost of ownership (TCO) is determined by overall performance across the entire lifecycle.
3D drag and drop import for faster individual cell and gripper concepts.
Choosing the right robot
Easy-to-Use begins with selecting the right robot for the respective application. Stäubli offers optimal models for nearly all applications with perhaps the most comprehensive assortment of special versions currently on the market.
Take the food industry, for example, where customers who order the HE and H1 versions receive a robot that is splash-proof and lubricated with food-grade oil. “In practical everyday use, such a robot can simply be hosed down with a high-powered cleaning lance,” says Coulongeat. “This makes it easy to comply with hygiene requirements without any additional refinements.”
With uniVAL pi, robot programming can be realised in the future via the PLC, using Plug & Play in Siemens TIA Portal.
Building blocks for simplified programming
Stäubli also offers programming tools that are suitable for all possible user groups, from beginners to experts. These range from simple manual teaching and the use of prefabricated module blocks to the Stäubli Robotics Suite and VAL 3 programming for advanced users.
Users also have the option to simply program the robots via their regular multi-axis machine controller, their PLC or the Siemens TIA Portal. Communication interfaces are available in the form of uniVAL drive, uniVAL plc and uniVAL pi. These enable PLC programmers to become robot programmers in just a few steps – it’s straightforward, and saves time and money.
Stäubli drives achieve running times of up to 100,000 hours and even more depending on the load.
Long-life components for low maintenance plus long service
In practice, robots have to prove themselves in continuous operation over many years. This is where an often-neglected factor comes to the fore, namely the mechanics. Stäubli robots utilize proprietary drive technology, developed in-house, which delivers outstanding path accuracy, zero backlash, low maintenance and a service life that is far above average.
Stäubli drive technology achieves running times of up to 100,000 hours and beyond. Unlike standard gearboxes, which have to make do with grease lubrication, Stäubli gearboxes and motor gear units run in an oil bath. This has the additional benefits of better cooling, lower noise emissions and higher precision throughout the entire lifecycle.
Stäubli TX2-140: The new models in the medium payload range impress with a payload of 40 kg. All six-axis machines operate in the same control world, which facilitates the implementation of multi-robot solutions in digitally networked production environments.
State of the art in digital technology too
To emphasize the digital merits of its solutions, Stäubli has chosen a live demo application for automatica. “At our trade fair stand, we will be demonstrating a smart production line for e-bike frames,” says Coulongeat. “This gives us the opportunity to showcase our complete product range consisting of robots, cobots, mobile robot systems and AGVs.”
Stäubli’s new SCOPE digital solution provides users with robot fleet operating status data, displayed in a user-friendly dashboard format. Having easy access to relevant data and analytics at any time gives users more control over their OEE, paving the way for preventive and predictive maintenance, with the potential to avoid errors and failures, minimize downtime, optimize productivity, and extend production asset lifecycles.
Example food industry: If the user selects the HE and H1 options, he receives a robot that is splash-proof (HE stands for Humid Environment) and filled with NSF H1 class food-grade oil.
This is made possible by the capture and processing of a wide variety of machine data in real time. If required, the data can also be made available to higher-level IT systems via MQTT, PPMP and other upcoming protocols.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to explore the new Stäubli Customer Portal, which is designed to make life easier for users by bringing together everything they need to manage their robots in one place: an overview of their robot fleet, convenient product registration for new robots, quick access to spare parts lists, and documentation for any machine.
Sustainable and economical at the same time: Freshly overhauled Stäubli robots start a second life.
Sustainability: the start of a second life
In real-world industrial scenarios, Stäubli robots have a service life that is far above average. The quality of these machines pays double dividends for users. As Coulongeat explains, “Whereas standard machines have to be completely replaced after a few years, at Stäubli we aim for a general overhaul of our robots after a much longer service life. After the refit, the robots – updated and more powerful than ever – are ready to embark on a second life.” This not only makes good business sense but also helps to reduce carbon emissions.
With the overarching Easy-to-Use concept, which boasts many other highly desirable features, Stäubli is consciously putting soft facts at the center of its automatic 2022 presentation. “40 years of robotics expertise have culminated in an Easy-to-Use concept that sets the benchmark,” says Coulongeat. “The mix of exemplary mechanical qualities and innovative digital features of our robots creates added value in terms of TCO, process reliability, operability and sustainability. This is what we intend to demonstrate at automatica 2022.”