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igus: Broad partner network supports customers with their low-cost automation

Photo by igus GmbH

With Low Cost Automation, igus is pursuing the goal of lowering the barriers to entry into automation and enabling small and medium-sized companies in particular to increase their competitiveness. To this end, the motion plastics specialist has built up a broad network of 55 robotics suppliers and 40 integrators over the past three years – and new partners are being added all the time.

Thanks to constant further developments and product innovations, affordable robotics in particular has also become interesting for small and medium-sized companies. And the range of products on the market is increasing. With its low-cost automation, igus has developed a broad portfolio of jointed-arm and gantry robots as well as delta and scara robots. Thanks to the modularity of the products, individual components or individual complete solutions can be put together according to the build-or-buy principle. The focus is always on a favourable entry price and rapid amortisation. This is where the high-performance plastics from igus show their strengths. They are tribologically optimised and particularly durable, light, lubrication- and maintenance-free as well as cost-effective to manufacture. “We want to make the best automation solution for their individual requirements quickly and easily accessible to interested parties at the lowest budget. For example, 2-axis robots are available from as little as 1,100 euros,” explains Alexander Mühlens, Head of the Automation Technology and Robotics Business Unit at igus.

Working together for the cheapest solution that works

Over the past three years, igus has built up a broad partner network that is constantly growing. As part of the LCA partner programme, the motion plastics specialist works with integrators who support customers with additional expertise, experience with end customer projects and shared project experience. Alexander Mühlens: “About two years ago we started with 7 partners, in the meantime there are already almost 100. In order to provide interested parties with competent integration partners directly in their vicinity, we are constantly expanding our network. Together, we can offer our customers a wide range of automation solutions – with a focus on applications with a total investment volume of less than 45,000 euros. Together with our customers, we select the ideal integrator for the application in order to find the best possible and most cost-effective solution.” Typical services include, for example, integrating a control system into existing machines, setting up and commissioning a robot, assessing safety measures or, if there is simply a lack of capacity, the option of having the machines set up on site.

Experience low-cost automation live on site

Many integrators, like igus itself, have set up a customer testing area so that customers can experience igus’ low-cost automation live. “Nothing is more convincing than being able to experience robot programming or adaptations of grippers on site within 30 minutes. That’s why we have over 30 customer visits every week in Cologne alone,” says Mühlens. The range of test areas is wide: from a Delta robot cell at ITQ GmbH in Garching near Munich to a 150 square metre area with four robots and portal axes at Provitec near Heilbronn to a 1,400 square metre customer testing area at Truphysics in Stuttgart with 300 square metres of space just for igus products. With its own Low Cost Automation Roadshow and together with its integrator partners, igus also visits customers directly on site or organises events at its partners’ premises. “We have already organised roadshow events in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Belgium, France as well as in Switzerland and the Netherlands with a total of around 3,500 visitors. The aim of the roadshow is always to automate directly on site,” says Mühlens.

RBTX online marketplace: growing offer thanks to new partners
Since 2019, users have also had access to the RBTX marketplace launched by igus – an online marketplace that brings users and manufacturers of low-cost robotics to the same table. Alexander Mühlens: “On RBTX.com, interested parties can currently find compatible components from a total of 78 partners. The marketplace currently has over 100 low-cost applications with parts lists as well as hardware and software compatibility for price transparency. As an open marketplace, we are always interested in new partners for Mission Low Cost Robotics so that we can ultimately offer interested parties even more individual solutions for their specific application.” Partners benefit from a new digital sales channel and can expand their customer base as well as tap into new markets – a win-win situation for all involved.

For more information, please visit: https://www.igus.de/