It All Began with Pizza!

Don’t all great ideas begin with pizza?  The Universal Robot did!  In 2003, the three founders of UR were faced with a creative dilemma: what would be the focus of their engineering project?  Pizza, of course!  But how were they going to incorporate engineering tools into that?!  The answer: a pizza-topping robot, and, voila!, the Universal Robot was born!

Their goal was to generate a light robot concept that included easy installation and programming, combined with the challenging standards of the food industry.  Even to this day, heavy, expensive, complicated robots comprise most of the robotics field.  The Universal Robot revolutionized the robotics market with a user-friendly, safe, robustly-engineered tool.

Europe Leads the Way!

Just like the fields of health and quality of life, Europe served as the starting point for the industrial introduction of the UR.  In 2008, Denmark saw the incredible potential and joined in the investment and management of the Danish startup.  The 2009 launch and deployment distributed the UR into Denmark and Germany.  In just two years, UR was deployed throughout Europe and within China.

New York, New York—It’s a Wonderful Town!

In 2012, the UR10 robot was introduced, and Universal Robot established an American subsidiary in New York City.  Since its beginning in the U.S., UR units deployed in America have nearly doubled every year.  And as of September 2016, there are over 10,000 UR robots deployed throughout the world.  Quite an accomplishment considering this robot is only 9 years old!

5 Key Benefits

There are 5 core reasons why the Universal Robot is being deployed more and more in the industrial world: Fun to use, fast setup, flexible deployment, freely working with people, and fastest payback in the industry.  We will look at each one of these benefits in more detail, as well as include links to documented case studies and real-world examples from within the Buckeye State!

Pizza—Fun to Eat!…UR—Fun to Use!

So easy to use, a 12-year old can program it!  Sounds like an infomercial, doesn’t it?  But it’s true!  One of Voelker Controls’ engineers showed his 12-year old son how to use the UR, and, in no time, the young man had designed a program on his own!  This out-of-the-box simplicity is highly-unique to UR.

One huge advantage that today’s engineers possess is growing up with technology.  Check out how a vocational school has included the UR in their student training here:  They are so comfortable and fluent in it that programming and deploying a collaborative robot comes naturally to them.  The UR pendant interface will remind you of an iPad look, feel and interaction.  Programs can be created, installed and edited by pressing a few buttons.

UR’s patented technology allows operators with little or no experience to easily set up and operate the cobot.  The interactive, 3D interface enables the operator to control the cobot from their point of view while moving the arm, setting waypoints or establishing safety boundaries.  One of the distinct advantages that Voelker Controls offers with the Universal Robot is a full day of free training at our headquarters in Franklin, OH.  In order to maximize hands-on time, the class sizes are kept small, usually to 6-8 people.  Every attendee learns how simple the UR is to program by starting with unpacking the UR and progressing all the way up to setting safety zones.  Most engineers leave with a strong grasp of the cobot’s capability, impressed with the ease of use and eagerly ready to apply it within their processes.

Up and Running in Just 4 Hours!

What robot do you know that can be up and running in just 4 hours?!  Unheard of in the industry!  For companies that have deployed the UR, this is everyday life.  Because the UR is only two pieces and comes fully assembled, with tools ready to use, deploying it in your facility is extremely smooth.  Average set-up time from customers are reported to be just half a day.  Operators can unpack the unit, mount it and program the first basic tasks—usually in an hour or so!  Creative Revolutions cited the ease of programming and rapid deployment as key benefits to adding the UR to their processes.  Take a look:

Taking “Universal” to a Whole New Level!

When people use the word “robot” in manufacturing, what comes to your mind?  A multi-ton, strong, fast arm surrounded by guarding, gates and sensors, requiring extensive integration and critical, expensive options?  Those 6-axis robots will always be needed to accomplish tasks that humans cannot do, due to strength, or shouldn’t due, because of ergonomics.

But what if your process only needed repeatability within thousands of an inch and needed to cover all three production shifts?  Here’s where the Universal Robot is ideal.  Offering repeatability within three thousands of an inch, the UR’s accuracy rivals that of traditional 6-axis robots.  It’s the collaborative nature and small footprint of the UR that enables it to be easily deployed throughout your facility.

Imagine wheeling the Universal Robot to the spot in your process that would be ideal for adding a cobot.  Set the leveling & locking casters, queue up the saved program, and within minutes, the UR is adding precise, safe automation to your production efforts.  The largest UR arm, the UR10, only weighs 64 pounds and has a reach of 51 inches.  All UR cobots utilize standard 24V power supply; they can literally be plugged right into the wall.  The UR10, at its maximum power usage, only pulls 500 watts, the equivalent of a hair dryer!

Stop imagining!  This one-of-a-kind robotic solution can be deployed on your production space.  Not only does Voelker Controls regularly provide free on-site demonstrations at your facility, we also offer two robust moving options for the Universal Robots.  Whether you choose the basic 4-wheel stand, the handy 4-wheel cart, or the deluxe rolling cart with drawers, all models are constructed from sturdy 80/20 extrusion, can come fully assembled or can be drop-shipped as a kit.  The prices on these unique UR must-haves are hard to find and priced better than anything on the market.  More details on these options can be found on our website, here:

You will find the three options under the Mechanical group of pictures.  Feel free to contact our 80/20 design team at for more information by email.   These carts and the stand are currently in use throughout Ohio; we would love to include them in your UR experiments!

It’s one thing to say the UR can be used for a variety of applications within your facility; it’s far better to share success stories in manufacturing that prove it to be true.  So to show how “universal” the UR cobot is, take a look at these two case studies of how the UR is being used in multiple ways:

We’re 80 People Short!

A recent visit to a major central-Ohio manufacturer revealed one of the greatest challenges to industry today—finding quality team members.  This one company was short up to 80 people every day!  With the market steadily growing, the demand for U.S. manufactured goods continues to rise.  With a limited number of skilled, industrious employees available, the need to add a cost-effective, automated solution was clear.  So what was one of their solutions?  They invested in 60 Universal Robots!

One job in the production lines that the UR took over involved lifting and placing a 6-pound motor into a moving assembly.  With UR’s built-in line tracking capability and collaborative operation, the UR took an ergonomically-dangerous job, covered three shifts of production and worked right alongside the other assembly workers on either side of it.  Another application in the same factory paired a machine vision system with the UR.  This enabled multi-point inspection on partially-completed assemblies as they moved down the line.  Again, UR’s built-in line tracking capability and collaborative nature allowed it to work right alongside the assembly team members.

80% of all URs in the field operate with no guarding after a risk assessment is completed.  The safety system is certified and approved by TÜV (The German Technical Inspection Association).  Best of all, the dangerous, dirty and dull jobs are given to the UR so that skilled employees are freed to complete tasks for which people are the best way to get the job done.

We have three case studies to share with you that highlight the UR’s collaborative ability to work safely and efficiently right alongside human team members:

We Saved the Most Amazing Fact for Last!

We’ve shown you how the UR is fun to use, quickly set up, easily deployed throughout your facility and works safely right alongside people.  But do you know the best part?  Because the UR has none of the added costs that come with traditional 6-axis robots (programming, integration, guarding, and so on), it makes the UR solutions remarkably affordable.  As a matter of fact, the average ROI is less than 7 months!  That’s right—the UR boasts the fastest industry payback with an average of just 192 days.  Imagine how THAT could boost your bottom line, address your staffing challenges and be fully funded, especially if your production efforts span all three shifts!

“UR” One Call Away!

So here’s all that you need to do to revolutionize your production efforts.  Give us a call at (937) 433-8128 to schedule a free on-site demonstration.  Our UR specialists have been optimizing production and quality processes in the Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton areas for years.  And after seeing how remarkable the Universal Robot is, schedule a free day of training at Voelker Controls to learn firsthand how easily this one-of-a-kind cobot can become an invaluable member of your team.  Call us today; you’ll be glad you did!


3000 Commerce Center Dr.
Franklin, OH 45005

TELEPHONE:  937-433-8128
FAX: 937-433-6076 


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