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matthewd92matthewd92 Posts: 521Founding Pro, Tactile Sensor Beta Testers 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. 

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  • Samuel_BouchardSamuel_Bouchard Posts: 142 Handy
    What do you guys use @gradyturner86 @AlexYust @dhenderson ?



    CEO & Co-Founder @ Robotiq

    samuel@robotiq.com
  • Grady_TurnerGrady_Turner Posts: 67Founding Pro, Partner, Beta Tester VIsion 1.1 Program Handy
    We have used velcro, zip ties, and similar (softer) products that are reusable and adjustable.  I have seen several users do the same in production environments.  We also sell a product from a company call Murrplastik that has cable conduit and fittings designed for the 3 UR sizes.  This is a good solution for protection of cables and routing everything through one tube.  The only drawback is mobility limitation.  Users that have gone this route have not needed the full movement of the robot so it was no issue for them.

    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.
  • Kaleb_RodesKaleb_Rodes Posts: 42Founding Pro, Partner, Beta Tester VIsion 1.1 Program, Tactile Sensor Beta Testers, Beta Tester Camera URCap 1.2.0-beta Handy
    Axis Systems currently uses 3D printed brackets and a custom cable conduit for our UR cable management systems. The brackets are printed with grooves to lock the conduit down and keep it from moving. We can 3D print any size bracket, so depending on the size of the UR and the needed diameter of conduit, we can print accordingly.
    Kaleb Rodes
    Applications Engineer
    Behco-MRM
  • Samuel_BouchardSamuel_Bouchard Posts: 142 Handy
    Kaleb_Rodes would you be comfortable to share some pictures and CADs? Looks like a great idea!
    CEO & Co-Founder @ Robotiq

    samuel@robotiq.com
  • matthewd92matthewd92 Posts: 521Founding Pro, Tactile Sensor Beta Testers Handy
    edited June 2016
    We have been looking at using some 3D printed brackets as well with a conduit to run the cables through.  Has anyone had any safety concerns with the brackets?  We had tried something similar in the past but without a conduit and ran into issues with the cable jacketing getting cut when trying to hold the cables tight enough to not slip.  The other issue we run into is needing lots of range of motion on wrist 3 and wrapping the cable for the Robotiq around the wrist.  Its quite a challenge to 1) have enough slack so as not to pull on the cable where it enters the gripper base and 2) not have too much slack so that it gets caught on any of the tooling or machines that the robot is working with or around.  

    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.
  • Kaleb_RodesKaleb_Rodes Posts: 42Founding Pro, Partner, Beta Tester VIsion 1.1 Program, Tactile Sensor Beta Testers, Beta Tester Camera URCap 1.2.0-beta Handy
    Kaleb_Rodes would you be comfortable to share some pictures and CADs? Looks like a great idea!
    @Samuel_Bouchard Sorry but we can not share any pictures or CAD drawings at the moment, because we're still in the prototyping phase. Once we complete our final design I will be happy to share with everyone!

    @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
    Applications Engineer
    Behco-MRM
  • Samuel_BouchardSamuel_Bouchard Posts: 142 Handy
    @matthewd92 we don't have plans to modify that in the near term. It's not perfect I agree, but we hope that this issue will be solved in another way in the future. Thanks for the feedback.

    @Kaleb_Rodes thanks, looking forward to seeing your design!

    CEO & Co-Founder @ Robotiq

    samuel@robotiq.com
  • gerengagerenga Posts: 13Partner Apprentice
    That's what we use:


    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.
  • matthewd92matthewd92 Posts: 521Founding Pro, Tactile Sensor Beta Testers Handy
    Thanks everyone for all the great ideas. I'll probably be working on our design this week so I can print some when I'm back in the office later this week. 
  • AlexYustAlexYust Posts: 3Founding Pro, Partner Handy
    Here's what we use: IGUS energy chain
  • matthewd92matthewd92 Posts: 521Founding Pro, Tactile Sensor Beta Testers Handy
    @AlexYust are the brackets mounting it to the arm custom, or are those IGUS standard brackets?
  • tylermartintylermartin Posts: 26Founding Pro Handy
    We had custom neoprene sleeves made for the UR that have Velcro slots for the wiring.
    Sorry for the blurry picture, The Robot is in production so I couldn't stop it.

    Tyler Martin

    Automation Technician - Industrial Millwright - Industrial Electrician 
    Ultra Manufacturing LTD. Waterloo, ON.
  • AlexYustAlexYust Posts: 3Founding Pro, Partner Handy
    @matthewd92 The clamps and cable carrier are all from IGUS. See the following link for additional information: 

    http://www.igus.com/wpck/14869/N15_01_27_UR_schellen?C=US&L=en
  • RobBauerRobBauer Posts: 2Founding Pro Handy

    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.


  • matthewd92matthewd92 Posts: 521Founding Pro, Tactile Sensor Beta Testers Handy
    @RobBauer that is very similar to what we are doing but we have not been using any printed brackets.  We have some industrial velcro that has a 3M adhesive backing that we stick to the arm and then we use a velcro wrap that sticks to that and wraps the cables.  It works pretty well as the velcro no longer moves up and down the arm as it's done in the past.  I like your idea and it's very similar to the design that has been rolling around inside my head.  One question though, what is the bracket that has the tennis ball on it?
  • matthewd92matthewd92 Posts: 521Founding Pro, Tactile Sensor Beta Testers Handy
    @tylermartin I'm assuming the sleeves just velcro onto the arm at a seam?  Did you just have a local shop make those?
  • tylermartintylermartin Posts: 26Founding Pro Handy
    @matthewd92 our UR supplier brought them in for us, from a shop in Barrie ON. They do have a velcro seam  and the neoprene is stretchy so once you put them on it doesn't slide around. The only problem I see is that for only one wire the slots built into the sleeve are a bit big, and the wire tends to pull up toward the tool as the robot works.

    Tyler Martin

    Automation Technician - Industrial Millwright - Industrial Electrician 
    Ultra Manufacturing LTD. Waterloo, ON.
  • RobBauerRobBauer Posts: 2Founding Pro Handy
    @RobBauer that is very similar to what we are doing but we have not been using any printed brackets.  We have some industrial velcro that has a 3M adhesive backing that we stick to the arm and then we use a velcro wrap that sticks to that and wraps the cables.  It works pretty well as the velcro no longer moves up and down the arm as it's done in the past.  I like your idea and it's very similar to the design that has been rolling around inside my head.  One question though, what is the bracket that has the tennis ball on it?

    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.

  • matthewd92matthewd92 Posts: 521Founding Pro, Tactile Sensor Beta Testers Handy
    edited August 2016
    So I finally got a chance to work on the design for our cable management system and did some testing of it.  It uses corrugated tube that is 1.5" OD.  We have a bracket at the gripper end that is designed to hold the tube securely in place.  It has a locking tab on the 3D printed part and then velcro secures the tube to the bracket.  The brackets on the arm are then just pass through so that the tube can slide up and down the arm as needed.  I am making some adjustments to the through brackets to let the tube slide a bit easier but its working pretty well.  We have put the tube itself through some pretty torturous tests to see how well it would hold up.  The part I like is that I can buy enough tube to do approximately 4-5 robots for $25 and then print 3 brackets and purchase 3 worm gear clamps.  After I do a little more testing on the new lower brackets I can share the models with anyone thats interested.


  • abeachy_HG24abeachy_HG24 Posts: 79 Handy
    @gerenga are those brackets and wire covering something that we can purchase?
  • gerengagerenga Posts: 13Partner Apprentice
    abeachy_HG24 yes sure. We print our company name on it as well so my guys could make a custom version for you. The wire covering is just standard wire wrapping but makes it look much better. I can add it if you can't get it on your side, no problem as well.
  • abeachy_HG24abeachy_HG24 Posts: 79 Handy
    @gerenga What would be looking as far as cost?
  • Chris_TurChris_Tur Posts: 4 Apprentice
    Other cabling options shown on a UR5 with protective Robosuit® installed on the robot.

    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).
  • Samuel_BouchardSamuel_Bouchard Posts: 142 Handy
    Here's a great video from IGUS showing how to install their cable management solution:


    CEO & Co-Founder @ Robotiq

    samuel@robotiq.com
  • Samuel_BouchardSamuel_Bouchard Posts: 142 Handy
    Seems like they've released it in the UR+ showroom.
    CEO & Co-Founder @ Robotiq

    samuel@robotiq.com
  • DidierRIBAULTDidierRIBAULT Posts: 1 Recruit
    You are right Samuel, UR is communicating on their UR+ site about our triflex®R standard brackets for UR3 + UR5 + UR10 robots :
    https://www.universal-robots.com/plus/product/igus---cable-guidance-22772-26644/


  • rardarrenrardarren Posts: 1Partner, Beta Tester Multi Gripper Recruit

    Hi all we use and sell this system from Bagger Nielsen of Denmark.

    Works really well and comes with swivel joints so no tangled

    Image result for bagger neilsen

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