7th axis quickly extends range for robots

September 16, 2020

New solution gives UR and robolink units dramatically increased action radius

September 16, 2020 – igus now offers a ready-to-connect 7th axis that will allow a robot to move over a distance several meters and includes a maintenance-free drylin ZLW toothed belt axis with a corresponding adapter plate, switch cabinet, cables, and software integration.

For easy integration of the axis and the robot, igus has developed two adapter kits for robolink and UR robots. They enable fast and cost-effective low-cost automation. Germany-based igus, the low-cost, highly-technical, and sustainability-focused motion plastics specialist, runs its North American operations out of Providence, R.I.

Robots insert workpieces into a milling machine, dispense chocolate bars from vending machines and place crates on pallets, which are then stacked. But how can they move vertically, horizontally or overhead in a flexible manner? The answer is a 7th axis. Specifically, for linear adjustment, igus has developed a lubrication-free, lightweight flat axis with a stroke of up to 6m and a positioning accuracy of 0.5mm with the help of its drylin linear construction kit.

To ensure that the axis can be easily combined with a robot, igus now offers overall solutions for UR3, UR5 and UR10 robots (Universal Robots), robolink DP robots and DCi robots. “A customer who acquires the new complete system receives, on the one hand, an adapter plate for easy attachment of the robot and the energy chain to the axis and, on the other, the corresponding integration solution, in other words the switch cabinet with cables, motor controller and the respective software solution,” said Alexander Mühlens, Head of Automation Technology at igus GmbH. “If a robolink robot is used, the 7th axis can be easily controlled by means of the igus robot control software. For UR robots, we supply a UR-CAP as a direct integration solution, including all the electrical modules needed.” This means that the robot can be installed and put to work within just a few minutes.   

Ready-to-connect 7th axis in desired length

Users can configure the appropriate complete solution online at https://www.igus.com/info/7th-axis-for-universal-robots The 7th axis is supplied by igus as a complete system that is ready to connect immediately, consisting of a drylin ZLW-20 toothed belt axis in the desired length exactly to the millimeter, plus the connecting cables, the switch cabinet, the power electronics, the software integration and the corresponding adapter set. Alternatively, the adapter set is separately available consisting of an adapter plate and control system.