Robotics developers can acquire components from multiple sources, or they could use the RBTX Robotics Marketplace 2.0. Motion plastics provider igus GmbH last week announced an update to the RBTX.com marketplace it launched in 2019.
The online platform brings providers and users of low-cost robotics together with the goal of making automation more accessible. The redesiged marketplace includes enhancements and new features to make it even easier for users to find components or complete solutions that meet their requirements and budget, said igus.
“There are now 76 partners on our RBTX marketplace,” said Alexander Mühlens, head of the Automation Technology and Robotics Business Unit at igus. “RBTX is available in nine countries. Customers currently have 259 products to choose from—from robots, software, control systems, and power electronics to cameras, grippers, sensors, and motors.”
Redesigned RBTX marketplace focuses on user experience
All components are combined and tested in advance to work together perfectly, said igus. The company has also worked to improve the online marketplace's user experience to help users attain their goals more quickly.
“We want to continuously add partners and products to our online marketplace so that users always have access to a wide range of up-to-date offers in this rapidly growing market segment,” said Mühlens.
One of igus' stated corporate goals is to be “the easiest company to deal with.” This philosophy also applies to the usability of its online tools and platforms, such as RBTX.
“We have analyzed our website and obtained customer feedback to find out how we can further optimize the online marketplace and user experience,” Mühlens explained. “We hope the new design creates even more clarity and a marketplace-like character, allowing for more intuitive use. That way, anyone interested can find a suitable robotics solution as quickly and easily as possible.”
Customers can also find on the platform more than 100 ready-made, low-cost complete systems, as well as application examples with compatibility guarantees and a parts list. For instance, several bonding applications are available starting at $6,210.
In addition, the new design allows users to filter results by application or industry, making searches even easier. It now includes other product categories, such as software. This makes it easy to find G-code or CSV file converters and complete LabVIEW, MATLAB, and ROS node interfaces, said igus.
RBTxperts give step-by-step advice
If users are unsure which robot is best for them or which components are required for their automation concepts, they can get help from an RBTXpert. This service is available to users at every step on the website and can be booked directly for a consultation appointment.
Experienced igus automation experts can advise and assist interested parties, helping them find the right solution for any problem. After a free video consultation, interested parties will receive an individualized, fixed-price offer.
In a 400-sq.-m (4,305.5 sq.-ft.) customer testing area, the RBTXperts provide live video consulting every day and work with the customer to test the feasibility of an application. The robotics specialists then test the installation with the customer's workpiece, free of charge, within an hour, claimed igus.
With “test before you invest,” customers can easily submit their automation tasks, the company said.
“This service is being used more and more,” said Mühlens. “In Germany, we currently have around 10 tests per week. Customers then receive a handling test video with a fixed-price offer for the components they will need if they want to implement the application.”
“Since the beginning, we have supported over 1,200 projects, and we advise an average of 25 customers per week in Germany alone,” he said. “We provide interested parties with ideas and apply our expertise so everyone can easily find a suitable robotics solution without being slowed down by costs.”
Cologne, Germany-based igus develops and produces motion plastics, which are self-lubricating, high-performance polymers that it said can improve functionality and reduce costs. The family-run company is a global market leader in energy supplies, highly flexible cables, plain and linear bearings, and lead screw technology made of tribo-polymers.
igus conducts its own research and development, with internal startups around ball bearings, robot drives, 3D printing, “smart plastics” for Industry 4.0, and the RBTX platform for “lean robotics.” It offers 234,000 items in stock, as well as an online service-live calculator, and the “chainge” program for recycling used e-chains.
igus is represented in 35 countries and employs 4,900 people across the globe. Its North American headquarters are in East Providence, R.I. In 2021, igus generated a turnover of €961 million ($1 billion U.S.).