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Universal Robots Works with Software Company on OPC UA Standardization

Rocketfarm’s URCap software translates information from the UR robot to OPC UA-compatible information.

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close up of UR robot

Photo: Rocketfarm

Universal Robots (UR) now supports the OPC UA standard on its collaborative robots. Norwegian software company Rocketfarm developed the application that enables UR robots to support OPC UA, which is available through the UR+ developer network.

“We initially developed the software for a local factory but thought it would be great if this functionality could be available for anyone who wants to connect UR robots with OPC UA. Finally, we have a version that fully complies with the OPC UA standard, including necessary security features,” says Egil Mundal, CEO of Rocketfarm.

The OPC UA protocol is said to be one of the fastest growing standards for machine-to-machine communication. The protocol is frequently used to enable data to flow from the production layer to either the business layer or monitoring systems.

“We know there have been a lot of requests to support OPC UA on UR robots. With this enabled, it will open even more doors for our robots and play an important role in key markets”, says Christian Fenk, UR+ ecosystem manager.

The robots themselves do not support OPC UA out of the box. The necessary software, URCap, must be downloaded and installed from UR+. URCap translates information from the UR robot to OPC UA-compatible information. By incorporating the translation in the robot, factories and production facilities can avoid installing external hardware to handle the OPC UA translation, enabling production facilities of different sizes to connect their UR collaborative robots to their monitoring systems. To improve the accessibility of the URCap.

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