Wiley’s insider’s view: KUKA Factory Germany Tour


Wiley’s Heath Barker has arrived in Munich, Germany for the Automatica 2016 Conference, the leading trade fair for industrial automation and mechatronics.kuka_robot

Heath had the enviable position of touring the Kuka Factory, in Germany with Greg Sale, the Managing Director and CEO of Kuka Australia.

Heath has sent through his top facts from the tour, providing an insider’s eye of KUKA’s factory, one of the world’s leading suppliers of robotics.

Quick Kuka Factory Tour Facts:

  • There’s a Kuka College where robot cells are lined up for hands on programming by students from throughout the world.
  • A monorail track goes around the factory with a single Titan robot that is able to lift 1.3t. The Titan robot was in one section of the factory on a 20m track, assembling and presenting parts to operators because they are too heavy and awkward to handle themselves.kuka_robot2
  • At the factory, the robots clean the tool heads by putting them into a wash cabinet and pulling out the next clean tool.
  • There are 260 robot models made at the German factory, including all Australian deliveries.
  • Currently it takes 4 – 4.5 days to build a robot however Kuka are targeting 3.5 days.
  • Model LBR 7 axis robots on an AGV collect parts from stock trolleys and positions them on a platform on top of the AGV.
  • The LBR’s are pressure sensitive and can recognise a lack of resistance to tell them a part is missing or not as expected, these are the same resistance sensing used for human clash detection.
  • The AGVs have 3D scanners and omnidirectional They are taught their tasks with a joystick for the first time.
  • Robots are tested for accuracy without load, then tested with dumbbells spinning to move the weight distribution.kuka_robot3
  • Some robots have a hollow arm to allow other tools to pass through rather than around the object being worked on. Other tools might be welding units or extruders.
 “It was amazing to see robots assisting other robots to make robots.”
Heath Barker

Kuka are exhibiting at Automatica 2016 where they are showcasing new robots for new markets, networking in the cloud and the future of human-robot collaboration: from 21 to 24 June 2016, KUKA is presenting innovative solutions and concepts concerning Industrie 4.0 at Automatica.

“Industrie 4.0 will make production more efficient and more flexible. Hardware, software and IT merge,” says Stefan Lampa, CEO KUKA Robotics. “KUKA is playing a central role in the implementation. We are connecting humans and technology.”

Find KUKA in Hall A4, booths 221, 231, and 339.




To discuss your robotics and automation needs further, please contact Heath or Wiley.