Man-Robot collaboration is stepping more and more into production – what strategies and solutions are Stäubli deploying in response to this trend, and to what extent does the new generation of TX2 robots point towards the future?
It was Stäubli who first coined the term “Redefining Performance”. In the meantime, your market competitors have picked up on the concept. What exactly do you at Stäubli mean by this strategy?
Collet: For Stäubli, Redefining Performance is all about the process covering the ongoing systematic development of all robot series. The objectives are to drive innovation, to meet or even exceed customer requirements and to set the technological benchmark. The daily redefinition of performance is aimed at ensuring that Stäubli customers can continue to rely on the best available robotic solutions for many years to come.
Let’s take a look at the current TX2 series. What specific product benefits has Redefining Performance brought to the new robot series?
Collet: The TX2 robots are slightly lighter in weight, even more dynamic and energy efficient. Thanks to their more rigid structure, they even outperform their predecessors in terms of precision and tracking. The unique encapsulated Ethernet cabling ensures an optimal integration, change and control of any kind of griper modules, cameras or sensors. The TX2 are highly communicative. With the web server technology of our control system, Stäubli customers can check up on their robots from anywhere in the world – whether by phone, tablet or laptop. Connectivity set at this level not only enables higher production flexibility but also an ongoing quality control and online traceability. However, the really outstanding aspect of these machines is the integration of modular SIL3/Ple safety functionalities which make them ideally suited for different stages of man-robot collaboration at the highest safety level available on the market. This unique concept enables our customers to secure their ROI in the best way. They invest on a high-performance machine always fitting to their production and Man-Robot Collaboration requirements, which are constantly changing.
But the TX2 models look like “normal” industrial robots and not like the archetypal collaborative robot …
Collet: Yes, at first glance they look like conventional industrial robots. But in fact the TX2 tick all the boxes in both columns: they can handle classic robot applications as well as adapt their behavior to the different Man-Robot Collaboration levels every time it’s needed. They are simultaneously production performers and collaborative experts. That was precisely what we set out to achieve: Make Man-Robot Collaboration AND high performance production possible! In our opinion, the archetypal collaborative robots, so called “cobots”, are subject to excessive restrictions on load, precision and dynamics. They also cannot be integrated in sensitive environments. As a first step of Redefining Performance, we wanted to build a robot series for every conceivable application, every MRC stage and every type of production environment, even the most sensitive ones. With the TX2 we are confident to offer the world’s fastest and safest robot.