Two items from Universal Robots recently came my way. One discusses new uses for Cobots, while the other reveals Universal’s growth in 2022.
Turnkey robotic solutions, complete with all hardware, software, sensors and interfaces, will be powerful automation drivers in 2023, according to Universal Robots
“In 2023, cobot automation will become more sophisticated yet more straightforward to use,” predicts Joe Campbell, senior manager of applications development and strategic marketing at Universal Robots (UR). “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.”
Sales of UR cobots for integration in OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) solutions grew about 50% in 2022. UR enters the new year with more than 80 OEM partners integrating UR cobots in turnkey systems, and over 300 UR+ partners launching application kits and components certified to work seamlessly with the UR cobots.
A significant share of new cobot-powered turnkey systems now handle welding applications. UR’s welding channel grew over 80% in 2022 as new cobot welders hit factory floors in places such as Raymath, a sheet metal manufacturer in Ohio, where the company CEO was able to visit a local UR partner, THG Automation, offering cobot welding solutions.
As more companies move towards cobot automation, many will want to handle heavier payloads. In 2023, UR’s new UR20 cobot becomes available to customers. The UR20 is built for 20kg payloads, with faster speeds and superior motion control all within a lightweight, small footprint system.
Universal Robots Reports Record Revenue Despite Global Uncertainty
Universal Robots, the Danish collaborative robot (cobot) company, has reported Q4 revenue of USD 85 million, bringing 2022 annual revenue to USD 326 million, up 5% on 2021. On a constant currency basis, growth over the year was 12%.
The company’s Chief Financial Officer, Kim Andreasen, said: “We are proud to have continued to grow our business despite facing a difficult macroeconomic environment in 2022. We focused on those things we are able to control, and we overcame supply chain challenges to report our highest annual revenue to date.”
The demand for automation in Europe slowed in 2022 following the start of the war in Ukraine. Universal Robots’ results have also been impacted by the change in exchange rates, which created an additional headwind to growth.
Despite the change in global markets, overall demand for automation is predicted to continue to grow in 2023 and beyond, driven by growing labor shortages and changing workplace expectations.
Universal Robots has taken steps in 2022 to meet this growing demand. The company’s President, Kim Povlsen, said: “We invested last year in building world-class expertise in welding, palletizing and machine tending. We have also been working with our ecosystem partners to make automation easier for our customers than ever before. 2022 has been an important year for the company overall. We started construction on new headquarters, reached our 1000 employee milestone and launched a ground-breaking new cobot.”