PBC Linear to Demonstrate Deeper CNC Integration for Cobot Feeder at FABTECH

PACK EXPO exhibit to also feature the Applied Cobotics Cobot Feeder.

PBC Linear

PBC Linear's Applied Cobotics Cobot Feeder includes a UR cobot arm for machine tending.
PBC Linear this week plans to show how its Applied Cobotics Cobot Feeder works with Universal Robots' technology to accelerate machine tending for manufacturers.

PBC Linear plans to demonstrate CNC integration for its Applied Cobotics Cobot Feeder at FABTECH 2023 in Chicago this week. The Roscoe, Ill.-based company said its application kit delivers and stages parts to be placed inot a machining process.

“By increasing the amount of raw materials to a workcell, the Cobot Feeder’s 17-tray, high-density, part-storage solution enables a machining, welding, stamping, forming, or deburring center to operate for longer periods of time without human interaction, significantly increasing productivity by up to 300% or more,” asserted Beau Wileman, Applied Cobotics and 3D platform product manager at PBC Linear.

“In many cases, this means a cobot workcell operating eight hours a day during normal business operations can continue to work through Shifts 2 and 3, providing lights-out operation around the clock,” he said in a release. “This considerably increases the cobot workcell’s productivity, while overcoming the ‘labor gap’ in machine tending manufacturing operations.”

Applied Cobotics Cobot Feeder standardizes part loading

Since 1983, PBC Linear (Pacific Bearing Co.) said it has created and patented linear motion systems and has greatly expanded its technology, expertise, and services. Through its partnerships in Europe and Asia and its worldwide network of distributors, the company added that it is a trusted global leader in bearing products.

The Applied Cobotics Cobot Feeder includes a base storage-and-retrieval unit with a Universal Robots (UR) collaborative robot pedestal, an enclosed steel rack dunnage tower that can store up to 50 lb. of material, and a touchscreen display for easy lift control. The system also includes Ethernet IP, Modbus, and standard UR communications.

By reliably loading and unloading dunnage trays that a UR robot can consistently access, the CNC machine-tending tool provides a standardized platform for storing, staging, and delivering parts into a position that the cobot can reach for loading and unloading, said PBC Linear.

The Cobot Feeder received UR+ partner certification earlier this year.

PBC Linear to display with UR at FABTECH

PBC Linear will show the Applied Cobotics Cobot Feeder with Universal Robots in Booth B17063 at FABTECH, which runs from Sept. 11 to 14. The Cobot Feeder demonstration will combines a UR10e with a Flexxbotics FlexxCNC to control the process of loading and unloading trays of PBC Linear FL-12 bearings into a pneumatic vise.

“The modular, flexible, and easily re-taskable Cobot Feeder empowers one machinist to do the work of up to eight while also increasing the amount of raw materials available to cobot machines tending workcells,” said PBC Linear.

The integrated feeder can boost production by up to 16 times over single-tray applications, the company said. In addition, it can save labor costs because one operator can oversee multiple stations, and it can provide a better workplace experience, improving worker retention.

PBC Linear said the Cobot Feeder and its accessories can provide a return on investment (ROI) in about six months after running a single eight-hour sift, or even in as little as two months when operating 24/7. It also offered an online ROI Calculator.

Universal Robots and PBC Linear will also show pick-and-place and machining applications at FABTECH.

Founded in 2005, Universal Robots A/S claimed that it introduced the world's first commercially viable collaborative robot in 2008. Since then, the Odense, Denmark-based company has sold more than 50,000 cobots worldwide.

The Teradyne Inc. unit has also built an ecosystem around its cobot arms offering a wide range of components, kits, and solutions for varied customer applications.

More to see at PACK EXPO

PBC Linear also plans to exhibit the Applied Cobotics Cobot Feeder at Booth SU8272 at PACK EXPO in Las Vegas this week. In its harsh environments display, the company will show its MTB actuator, which uses an anodized aluminum housing with stainless steel and magnetic strips to seal out contamination.

The display will include PBC's patented plain bearing Frelon liner technology, including its Uni-Guide actuators, which it said are suitable for packaging automation. In addition, company representatives can explain the potential value of custom linear-motion systems.

PBC Linear said its Miniature Metric Ball Screws, which combine small screws with compact nuts to yield high-precision linear motion for a range of small-scale applications, will be on display at PACK EXPO.

Editor's note: Visit Robotics 24/7's special coverage pages for more about FABTECH and PACK EXPO.

Kevin Bischel, Principal Engineer at PBC Linear, announces the new ball screw product line availability.

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PBC Linear

PBC Linear's Applied Cobotics Cobot Feeder includes a UR cobot arm for machine tending.

Robot Technologies