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Partnership for Auto Control Systems

Auto Control Systems (ACS) has just announced a partnership with Universal Robots, the fast-growing, Denmark-based company with the lightweight robots famously able to work safely alongside people. 

"Manufacturing lines are probably the most direct application," explained David Prnich, marketing and product development manager at Auto Control Systems. 

"But we've had customers with a diverse range of needs approach us, including spray-painting, packaging and machining," he told PACE

"Repetitive tasks are where they fit best – there are many applications we could put them to."

Universal launched in Australia in March this year in response to the rapid increase in demand among local SMEs for robotic automation. According to International Federation of Robotics figures cited by Universal, sales of industrial robots in this country went up by 76 per cent between 2011 and 2012. 

Auto Control Systems, which has an office in Welshpool and has been operating since 2006, recently added UR units to its suite of automation, electrical and safety solutions. 

"We can automate a light going on and off in a room or we can automate a complete assembly line," said Prnich, who added that they can handle anything in between. 

"If it's along the lines of automation and electrical engineering, we can provide a solution."

ACS began its history mainly in the automation of mine blasting machinery, work it still carries out today, but has grown through continuous diversification. 

Along with the recent addition of automating manufacturing lines, its services include safety consultation, electrical servicing and maintenance, and process control system integration. 

Their solutions have been of use in Western Australia – with clients including the WA government, major mining companies – and a number of sites all over the country and internationally, including in Siberia, Africa and Indonesia. 

The company hopes its new partnership with Universal Robots, and putting the two different models to work, will help it forge new relationships with manufacturing companies. 

Both the UR5 and UR10 (named for their 5 and 10 kilogram payloads) boast repeatability of 0.1 mm, as well as near-silent operation, six-axis movement, and speeds of 180-degree per second (joint) and one metre a second (tool). 

The robots can be programmed in an hour in some cases and ACS can install and integrate a UR5 for as low as $40,000. 

"The better measure of cost is the average return on investment, which is – across the board as far as UR's experience goes – about 195 days," explained Prnich. 

"You can install it and know that within 6 -12 months, the robot will have paid for itself."

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