Information and resources
+44(0) 7739 854 883
Greybern House, Templars Way, Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire,
MK441PY United Kingdom
Industrial robots, due to their highly flexible and adaptive nature, are sold as "part of a machine" that is to say, until they are installed and programmed they are not considered complete. There are a million and one applications for robots and the exact nature of the install will vary from job to job, even from day to day.
A risk assessment is required for each robot installation. It is very important that all of the safety instructions for robots are followed.
Machines installed in the UK and the EU should be CE marked. This shows compliance to a set of directives applicable to a product. The installer of a robot should CE mark the installation as a whole. As a result robots and end effectors are not sold with a CE mark. However the robot manuals and specification information would be included in the technical file associated with the installations CE mark.
For installation of the equipment sold by Hagen Automation a general level of training in electrical and mechanical systems is required. However no special knowledge of robotics is needed. Simply follow the instructions in the product manuals paying special attention to safety.
We can also offer full installation services through our UK partner companies and have preferred integrators in many countries.
Here is a more complete picture of the process the installer will need to undertake:
- Make a risk assessment to identify safety issues.
- Undertake the design of the installation as a whole with this in mind, which must include designing the installation so that safety controls cannot be modified.
- The installer must interface the robot and controller with ancillary equipment and any other machines and other safety devices as defined by the risk assessment.
- The robot software should be programmed and set up using appropriate safety settings.
- The integrator needs to provide a set of instructions for the installation's use.
- Finally there is a need to check the installation as a whole is complete and marked correctly. All relevant documentation should be placed in a technical file.
It should be noted that although this may seem a little complex, following the process actually simplifies and speeds up installation, and makes future changes much easier.
Generally speaking the desktop robots sold by Hagen Automation are lightweight machines that are unlikely to cause significant risk to their users. However additional guarding, safety systems and sensors may be needed in some circumstances.
If a system is especially complex or considered dangerous then we partner with a specialist integration and or integration design company. We are very happy to advise and recommend integration companies in your region for your specific application.
Robots for Research and Development
In the UK there is assistance and there are also significant tax incentives for companies engaging in Research and Development, that is work that seeks an advance in science or technology. While clearly not every robot installation is eligible it is worth discussing with your accountants if a robot installation, and/or the development of it, may be eligible.
Innovate UK is the UK's innovation agency sponsored by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills to assist innovative businesses take new ideas to market. They have funding opportunities for companies engaged in, or looking to engage in Research and Development.
For more information see:
Robots for Education
Low cost robots are ideal for educational requirements. Not only are they exceptionally affordable but they have other significant advantages:
- Industrial build quality
- Are used in industry (not just an educational toy)
- Offline programming and simulation software that runs on most OS
- Expandable development environment
- Multi application tool heads that are factory supported and easy to fit
- Self contained tooling (air supply included with gripper)
- High feedback sensitivity aids safety
- Lightweight, portable, quick to set up
- Standard single phase power
- Multi technology connectivity
- Precision allows more applications to be covered
Please contact us for more details and to discuss how we can support your requirements.
There are many sensor types that can be used with robots. Generally sensors communicate via Inputs and Outputs known as I/O. These are usually either on or off; also known as high or low, but some may be momentary and can be analogue. In simple processes it may be possible to use the robot’s own built-in I/O. For more complex tasks a Programmable Logic Controller or PLC is used to send and receive signals and control the robot’s processes.
Generally Industrial I/O use 24V DC signals, or for analogue 0-10V or 4-20mA is used. Smaller robots can use I/O in the 1.5-5V ranges saving the need for large power supplies and allowing the use of much cheaper chip-based sensors.
Sensor types include:
2D Vision – typically provides positional and identification information to a robot
3D Vision - typically provides positional, identification and orientation information
Accelerometers - detect movement, often have analogue outputs
Barcode scanners - read barcodes (also QR code scanners)
Biometric sensors - for person identification
Capacitive sensors - for touch or presence sensing
Current Sensors - detects current in a cable usually non invasively
Environmental Sensors - measures humidity and or temperature
Encoders - detect rotational position, for example on a conveyor drive
Feedback from other machines and equipment (MIG welding for example)
Flow sensors - detect movement and or volumes of liquids or gases
Force Sensors - detect force, strain, or measure mass
Gyroscopes - to detect orientation, often packaged on a silicon chip.
IMU - combined Gyro/Accelerometer/Magnetometer
Infrared Proximity detectors - can be used to detect or measure distance
Laser beam detector (and emitter) - creates an invisible or visible link
Laser Distance - for accurate ranging and distance measurement
Laser Scanners - 2D or 3D area scanners used for industrial robot safety
Lidar Scanners - (Laser+Radar) 3D scanner for imaging and safety
Light Curtains - usually an emitter and receiver between which are laser beams.
Light Sensors - detect lights and colours
Liquid Level sensors - various types often float switches or ultrasonic
Magnetometer - detects orientation (works as a compass or level)
Radiation - known as a Geiger counter
Resolver - analogue rotational position measurement similar to encoder
RFID Readers - reads RFID codes (from phones or key fobs)
Sound or Audio sensors - can be set to frequencies and or volumes
Temperature Sensors - various types for many applications
Ultrasonic Proximity Sensor - detects by ultrasonic echo (car parking sensor)
Sensors are available from many suppliers including:
Sensor manufacturers include:
Pepperl & Fuchs
PLCs and HMIs
Programmable Logic Controllers or PLCs are industrial control computers. They have been used for automating for many years and are frequently used with robotic installations especially where there is a complex application or more than one robot. There are many manufacturers and many have their own control and programming software. PLC's are often programmed using what is called Ladder Logic, made of simple instructions that build up to control the system.
In many robotic applications a Human Machine Interface (HMI) is often utilised. This is usually a configurable screen, often touch sensitive, that allows an operator to see and control everyday functions of the robot installation. The HMI is usually controlled by the PLC and many units now combine both functions in one unit.
PLCs are available from many of the stockists listed above for sensors. PLCs do range quite widely in price and specification.
Shipping and delivery times
We offer free shipping on most UK parcel orders. We use different couriers depending on specifics, but usually DPD or a dedicated vehicle for larger orders. If for some reason delivery is projected to take longer than stated then we will call you to explain why.
For larger machines we specify a dedicated container or truck and do not use trans-shipping (where goods are unloaded and consolidated by the shipper) unless absolutely unavoidable. Customers are welcome to arrange their own transport but it must be suitable and have sufficient straps etc. We have robots at a few locations and so please discuss before arranging!
Larger orders of several machines, or those made to specific requirements may have to be ordered especially from the factory. Lead times are approximately 5 to 8 weeks. We will contact you to let you know specifics and keep you updated. If you would like to place a large or recurring order please contact us to arrange.
Used robots are tested before shipping, cleaned and can be painted if required. This does take time and may take from a few days to a few weeks. We will keep you informed!
EU customers that are registered for VAT, should contact us before buying online, or use the correct option at checkout to allow their transaction to be zero rated for VAT. For EU and worldwide shipping we use different carriers depending on circumstances, generally this will be road freight with a delivery time of less than 7 working days. Again if an order is delayed or projected to take longer than this we will contact you.
Warranty and Service
New products unless otherwise specified come with a 12 month return to base warranty. If you have an issue with a machine please contact us directly. As a factory backed Service Agent with many years robotic experience we can get many machines running again over the phone saving time and expense.
Used robots are tested before shipping unless otherwise stated.
If a product has be returned to us, please contact us first. Please pack carefully and include any notes regarding the fault. If the fault is found to be a manufacturing fault and within warranty we will refund shipping, fix the problem and return the machine to you as quickly as is practicable.
If a fault is not covered by the warranty then we will contact you to discuss the options. If you would like to return a machine for service or repair then please contact us to arrange.
If you require site support, for whatever reason, please contact us to arrange. We have several experienced third party service engineers located around the UK and EU that offer these services.