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UR Cable Management
/ Most recent by rardarren
matthewd92 Founding Pro, Tactile Sensor Beta Testers Posts: 1,267 Handy
edited June 2016 in Applications
curious what everyone is using for cable management up the UR arm. We try to use soft systems such as Velcro to limit the possibility that the cables get cut or we create a new pinch point. As opposed to other manufacturers which route air and power through the arm we find cable management much more of a challenge with UR.
Lastly, something I have seen and would like to try are 3D printed brackets the bolt together around the arm links, and have custom size hole passages for needed cables/hose. Seems like a very robust and flexible solution assuming one has access to a 3D printer.
If anyone is willing to share their ideas I'd appreciate it. We 3D print a lot of our fixtures and tooling already so what's a few more parts....
@Samuel_Bouchard does Robotiq have any plans or ideas on how to make this easier or possibly go back to a M12 connector on the gripper itself versus the cable coming out? WIth the UR3 the pigtail is almost the length of the robot meaning anytime I needed to pull the gripper off for any reason I had to undo all of the cable management versus just needing to unplug it from the end of the cable. Having used both the old and new style 85 grippers I can see pro's and con's to both.
@matthewd92 I have used a soft piece of foam in the conduit to control the amount of cable slack during an application. The foam keeps the cables from retracting.
@Kaleb_Rodes thanks, looking forward to seeing your design!
Company logo printed on the holders and the actual cable guiding brackets can be printed based on your needs. We separated them from the actual arm holder to stay flexible. It also allows it to mount cables faster. We use different lengths for different arms. I never like cable ties or other items as they make the setup look unprofessional and dirty soon. Ours don't make any scratches on the robot either as there are covered and screw and mounting sling are stainless steel. We are still looking into having supporting bracket for the robotiq cable right next to the gripper but didn't have time for it yet.
Sorry for the blurry picture, The Robot is in production so I couldn't stop it.
I've been 3D printing brackets for the past year in a couple different designs. I'm still experimenting with materials, and tweaking, The main design will hold a couple 6mm and one 8mm tubes or cables. The other can hold a fixed or rotating bracket, say, for a cable loom. I use Velcro One-Wrap to hold it in place. Spreading a thin layer of silicone sealer on the inside edges of the bracket and letting it cure before mounting should help keep it in position if necessary by adding friction, but I haven't needed to do so. (We currently have 10 UR-10's deployed.)
PLA plastic actually works nicely and is holding up so far, and I'm trying to get ABS to work as well. ABS is far trickier to use, and until I can get my printer enclosed for better temperature control, the parts are likely to be inconsistent as far as strength. The thought is that once the designs are finalized, if there is a big enough market it may be worth while going to injection molding and selling sets. For our internal use the printed parts are adequate.
Mathew, our environment makes something like the 3M adhesive solution a little doubtful, though if the Velcro attached to the arm also wraps completely around it and laps itself, it might hold up well enough.
For our worst case installation, the robot is located inside the machine enclosure and had to be put in a protective suit. The original was actually a large Tychem coverall (~$14 USD), using Velcro One-Wrap to bind the suit closer to the arm. The Velcro held up well, through several suits, while the suits usually lasted over a month before needing replacement. We have a better cover now, designed for the UR-10, but it still required extra Velcro strapping.
The bracket with the tennis ball was for a demo where two robots pass the ball between each other, one picking it up, the other putting it back down in the bracket/holder. My boss made the suggestion one morning, and I had the holder designed and printed, and the robots programmed, all in a couple of hours. The robots talk to each other via Modbus. I had T-Slot tracks inset into the work bench to make quick and secure setups very simple, with plastic filler strips to cover the open slots most of the time.
The (blue) Hypalon material provides a rather "grippy" surface which prevents the zip-ties from sliding or rotating on the cover--and you won't need to cinch the zip-ties so tightly that you crimp/restrict any airflow through pneumatic lines.
Adjustable Velcro loops can also be sewn along each arm--and will secure cable bundles up to 1-1/2" (38mm) in diameter (or larger if desired).
Hi all we use and sell this system from Bagger Nielsen of Denmark.
Works really well and comes with swivel joints so no tangled