igus, the Germany-based manufacturer of motion plastics, announced it is expanding its broad network of robotics providers and integrators.
Low-Cost Automation reduces the barriers to getting started with automation and gives special assistance to small and medium-sized companies in increasing their competitiveness. To this end, motion plastics specialist igus has built up a broad network of 55 robotics providers and 40 integrators over the past three years – and new partners are constantly being added.
As a result of continuous developments and product innovations, affordable robotics has become especially interesting for small and medium-sized companies. And the number of offers on the market is increasing. For instance, igus Low-Cost Automation represents a broad portfolio of articulated arm, linear, delta, and SCARA robots. Product modularity means that single components, or complete individual solutions, can be assembled according to the build-or-buy principle. The focus is always on a low entry-level price and quick payback. This is where igus high-performance plastics play to their strengths. They are tribologically optimized and especially durable. Engineered plastics from igus are lightweight, dry-running, maintenance-free, and cost-effective to produce.
The most cost-effective solution that works
Over the past three years, igus has built up a broad, constantly growing partner network. As part of the LCA partner program, the motion plastics specialist works with integrators who provide customers with additional expertise, experience with end-customer projects, and joint project experience.
“We started with seven partners around two years ago and now have almost one hundred. To refer interested parties to competent integration partners in their area, we are constantly expanding our network,” said Alexander Mühlens, Head of the Low-Cost Automation Business Unit at igus.
“Together, we can offer our customers a wide range of automation solutions – focusing on applications with a total investment volume of less than €45,000 ($47,900). We work with our customers to select the ideal integrator for the application to find the best and most cost-effective solution.”
Typical services include integrating a control system into existing machines, setting up and commissioning robots, evaluating safety measures – or, if there is simply no capacity, providing the capability of assembling machines on site.
Experience Low-Cost Automation live on site
Like igus, many integrators have set up a customer testing area so customers can experience igus Low-Cost Automation live.
“Nothing is more convincing than being able to experience, for yourself, robot programming or gripper adaptations on-site in just 30 minutes. That’s why we have over 30 customer visits a week in Cologne alone”, says Mühlens.
The range of test areas is wide: from a delta robot cell at ITQ GmbH in Garching near Munich to a 150-square-meter site with four robots and linear robot axes at Provitec near Heilbronn to a 1,400-square-meter customer testing area at Truphysics in Stuttgart with 300 square meters of space just for igus products.
With its Low-Cost Automation roadshow, igus works with integrator partners to organize events or visit customers directly on-site.
“We have already organized roadshow events in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, attracting around 3,500 visitors. The roadshow aims always to automate directly on-site,” says Mühlens.
RBTX online marketplace: new partners are adding more and more new products to the range
Since 2019, users have also had access to the igus RBTX marketplace – an online marketplace that brings users and manufacturers of low-cost robotics together.
Mühlens continued, “At RBTX.com, interested parties can find compatible components from a total of 78 partners. The marketplace currently has 100 low-cost applications with parts lists and hardware and software compatibility for price transparency. As an open marketplace, we are always interested in new partners for the low-cost robotics mission to provide interested parties with even more individual solutions for their specific application.”
Partners benefit from a new digital sales channel and can expand their customer base and open up new markets – a win for everyone involved.
Filed Under: Automation components