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Company February 2023

Experience automation knowledge

On February 9, SCHUNK opened its eighth CoLab worldwide. The new robot application center is located at the Dutch site in 's-Hertogenbosch. Here, experts provide support along the way into automated processes, and test customer-specific automation modules realistically on different lightweight robots.
CoLab opening – Netherlands Guido Segers, General Manager of SCHUNK Intec Netherlands, sees the new
CoLab in 's-Hertogenbosch as a knowledge center.

Automation is no longer a trend, but a necessary means of keeping pace. Customers of SCHUNK Intec Netherlands can now test automation applications in the new CoLab and exchange ideas with SCHUNK experts. This is helping them to find the optimal solution for their own production – thereby minimizing their investment risk. Robots from the renowned suppliers FANUC, TechMan and Universal Robots are available for this purpose on a 75 square meter surface. The CoLab's equipment naturally also includes the latest innovative SCHUNK technologies such as the intelligent 2D Grasping Kit for handling unsorted parts,or the iTENDO² smart toolholder for transparent machining processes, as well as a 3D printer to produce gripper fingers on site.

At the opening of the CoLab at the beginning of February, General Manager, Guido Segers explained the advantages of this approach to the 50 attending guests: "The CoLab offers customers the opportunity to develop, test, and validate their application together with specialists. And this validation is an important advantage because it speeds up commissioning at the customer's site."

CoLab opening – Netherlands In the CoLab, customers can test the advantages of different gripping technologies for their requirements.

First-hand expert knowledge

SCHUNK customers gain practical knowledge in automation at the CoLab. "Our CoLab is a kind of knowledge center for the entire manufacturing industry. We are sharing this knowledge here," Segers pointed out. SCHUNK shares its expertise through partnerships in the CoLab, just like experienced robot and sensor suppliers. An abrasive belt manufacturer and a milling and drilling supplier are also available for testing applications. Live demos and workshops serve as a platform for exchange for all participants.

The CoLab in 's-Hertogenbosch already benefits from the experience of seven application centers that SCHUNK has opened worldwide since 2020. This is because the low-threshold concept of trying out different gripping technologies with different robots in a realistic manufacturing environment has quickly caught on – with customers and partners, but also in training future skilled workers. For example, the CoLab of SCHUNK Intec Sweden deliberately involves educational institutions.