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Working Ideas

KUKA Roboter Headquarters, Augsburg
KUKA Roboter Headquarters, Augsburg
Compared with other technical innovations, the robot is still relatively young. The world’s first industrial robot was not installed until the middle of the 20th century. The first electrically driven robot – controlled by a microprocessor – was launched on the market in 1974. In 1996, KUKA Robot Group achieved a quantum leap in industrial robot development. That year saw the launch of the first PC-based controller, developed by KUKA. This marked the dawn of a new era of “real” mechatronics, characterized by the precise interaction of software, controller and mechanical systems.
This means that the use of robot technology ensures consistently high quality for capital goods and consumer products from a vast range of different sectors. For robots can be used in practically any application: handling, stacking, inspecting, polishing or grinding. In combination with new gripper and sensor technologies, previously unimaginable robotic applications become possible.

Creativity, dynamism and innovation are required to implement these versatile and technologically demanding applications. These attributes are the key to economic success and market leadership. KUKA Robot Group knows the challenges facing both people and machines, understands its customers’ requirements and is developing ideas to meet them – Working Ideas.

Everything that moves in automation comes from KUKA Robot Group

The continuous on-going development of robot and control technology is enabling robotics to establish itself across a broad spectrum of different markets. Cooperating robots are playing their part to optimize production processes and make them more flexible, not just in the automotive industry. In this development, several robots work together to machine the same parts at the same time, for example, thereby reducing cycle times, or they jointly handle heavy parts to share the payload. An additional new concept is focusing on improving the cooperation between robots and human operators with overlapping workspaces in order to achieve an optimal degree of automation. Well-thought-out function packages play an increasingly important role.

In General Industry, i.e. business in the non-automotive sector, the primary objective of development work is to tap into new markets, particularly in the fields of logistics, plastics, metalworking, foundry, medical technology and the entertainment industry. New function packages enable KUKA robot technology to penetrate into additional fields of application. The focus here is on logistics (palletizing, depalletizing), baggage handling at airports, handling tasks in bending processes and the seat-testing robot “Occubot”.

Essential for success – a local presence
In order to ensure flexibility and innovation, close proximity between development and assembly is important. Close links between development and manufacturing are the decisive factor when it comes to further reducing the development times of new products. In this context, it is clear that Germany, with one of the largest markets in the world for robots, is just the right production location for KUKA Robot Group. At the same time, this location also ensures optimal coordination of customer supply and support services.

KUKA Robot Group’s customer service network is continually being extended. This means that customers benefit from a local presence, wherever they may be.
Furthermore, the “Official KUKA System Partner” program has been implemented, with the aim of setting up a global network of qualified and certified system partners. This makes KUKA Robot Group a competent partner for solutions in all industries and applications. KUKA Robot Group provides its customers with expert solutions tailored to their individual needs.
For this reason, KUKA Robot Group puts intensive effort into the development of new products and the systematic improvement of existing products. At the same time, the company also gives its full attention to robot production. An integrated technological process has been established here. To this end, robot manufacturing processes have been further optimized and transferred to a dedicated production shop at KUKA Robot Group. In this way, a major goal has been achieved: high production speed with maximum accuracy, supreme quality and utmost flexibility. This adds up to an outstanding “time-to-market” and gives the company a major competitive edge.

KUKA Robot Group – a citadel of high-tech
KUKA Robot Group sees itself as a high-tech company. Alongside on-going development of the PC-based controller and the drive technology, great emphasis is placed on the development of new applications. In line with the growing importance of controllers, KUKA is intensifying its in-house development of controllers (KUKA Motion Control). The technological competence of the product range is complemented by a comprehensive range of services.
The latest technical advance is the creation of cells, in which robots of different sizes and in different constellations can “cooperate”, i.e. work together as a team. This makes it possible to exploit the robots’ potential with even greater efficiency. The objectives of this development project are more flexible manufacturing processes, a more flexible materials flow structure, and modular production units. This results in more dynamic production control, reduced manufacturing costs and shorter engineering times. Other technological development projects are investigating the use of a large range different materials to make robots lighter and even more flexible.
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