Kuka opens arc welding technology centre in Michigan

Industrial robotics company Kuka has opened a new metal fabrication technology centre in Shelby Township, Michigan, in the US. 

The Kuka Metal & Arc TechCenter is designed to provide the company’s customers an opportunity to see the robots close up and see them work on customised welding solutions.

The facility currently features one Kuka’s KRY Cybertech arc welding robot, as well as the company’s mobile platforms, called Kuka Carts.  Continue reading Kuka opens arc welding technology centre in Michigan

Kuka demonstrates cloud-connected robotic machining cell

Kuka has demonstrated a cloud-connected robotic work cell which it says represents “the next step towards the production of the future”.

Kuka recently showcased many of its technologies at the China International Industry Fair for the first time since joining the Midea group.

The company is promoting what it calls its “ready2_use packages”, which the company says offers “preconfigured, coordinated application packages that can be integrated quickly and easily into an existing production facility”.  Continue reading Kuka demonstrates cloud-connected robotic machining cell

Kuka launches mobile app for monitoring its robots

Kuka has launched a mobile app for monitoring its robots. 

The app – called Kuka Connect – is available for both iOS and Android platforms.

The company says the app features push notifications, which enables real-time fault discovery and the automation of routine maintenance scheduling.  Continue reading Kuka launches mobile app for monitoring its robots

Kuka wins ‘major’ contracts worth $75 million from US automotive manufacturer

Kuka Systems has received three major new systems contracts from “a leading manufacturer of premium vehicles in the US”, according to the company.

The projects comprise the engineering and construction of systems to build vehicles body structures in the USA and Mexico, says Kuka.

Kuka estimates the order value to be approximately $75 million, and says it was booked in the third quarter of 2017. Start of production is planned for mid-2019.  Continue reading Kuka wins ‘major’ contracts worth $75 million from US automotive manufacturer

Midea’s new robots could replace 400,000 pharmacists in China

Midea, the Chinese giant manufacturing giant which makes household appliances such as washing machines and refridgerators, is launching robot pharmacists which would put 400,000 humans out of work. 

That may sound unlikely in the short term, but market analysts quoted by Bloomberg estimate that robots will account for 20 per cent of all pharmaceuticals sales by 2020.

Moreover, Midea chairman and CEO Paul Fang acknowledges the potential revolution the company’s robots could start.  Continue reading Midea’s new robots could replace 400,000 pharmacists in China

Midea embarks on journey to transform itself into a ‘high-tech industry leader’

Chinese home appliances giant Midea says it has completed its acquisition of German company Kuka, one of the world’s largest industrial robot manufacturers. 

While the deal prompted some consternation among those who said the German government should stop the takeover, as well as with those people who subsequently demanded the European Union make it more difficult for Chinese companies to buy EU companies, the two companies are now part of the same group.

Technically, Kuka was acquired by Midea’s subsidiary company, Mecca International.  Continue reading Midea embarks on journey to transform itself into a ‘high-tech industry leader’

EU expected to make it more difficult for foreign companies to buy European companies

 

The European Union is re-examining the rules governing takeovers of European companies by investors from outside the EU. 

The reassessment comes in the aftermath of the takeover of German robotics and industrial automation company Kuka by Chinese household appliances maker Midea.

Midea’s acquisition of Kuka – for about $4 billion – was said by Bloomberg to be part of a “global acquisitions spree” by the Chinese company.  Continue reading EU expected to make it more difficult for foreign companies to buy European companies

Kuka to double production capacity in China in bid to overtake ABB and Fanuc

 

Kuka is determined to take advantage of its alliance with Chinese household appliances manufacturing giant Midea to become the largest robot maker in China. 

Already one of the largest industrial robot manufacturers in the world, Kuka was taken over by Midea some months ago in a move currently being scrutinised by the European Union, which may change its merges and acquisitions policies as a result.

Such technicalities aside, Kuka is bullish about opportunities in China and has reportedly decided to double its production capacity in the country.  Continue reading Kuka to double production capacity in China in bid to overtake ABB and Fanuc

ABB doubling investment in China to see off challenge from Kuka and surpass Fanuc

 

ABB has a significant lead in the industrial robotics and automation market in China, but it seems somewhat wary of Kuka. 

The company recently decided it would double its investment in its research and development facility in China, and effectively make it the company’s global R&D HQ.

ABB currently employs 17,000 people in 139 cities in China. Its robotics division, though huge by itself, is just one part of the Swiss multinational engineering company.

Speaking to Bloomberg, ABB CEO Ulrish Spiesshofer says: “ABB is ahead of Kuka globally, we are ahead of Kuka here in the market and our ambition is to stay so.”  Continue reading ABB doubling investment in China to see off challenge from Kuka and surpass Fanuc

Kuka launches autonomous mobile robot for logistics

Kuka has launched an autonomous logistics robot in the form of a mobile platform which are by now quite familiar in the logistics industry. 

The robot maker says its Kuka KMP 1500 navigates using the SLAM method, which stands for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping, utilising laser scanners.

It adds that the robot is highly flexible, and features precise maneuverability and positioning using the omni-directional mecanum wheels and an accurate lifting mechanism.  Continue reading Kuka launches autonomous mobile robot for logistics

Kuka to replace entire Agilus range of small robots

Kuka says it is working on innovations and improvements which will lead to the replacement of its entire Agilus range by the end of this year.

Kuka says the small robots of the KR Agilus series already feature “impressive speed, extreme agility in confined spaces, short cycle times and maximum precision”.

But Kuka has now further developed the KR Agilus sixx.  Continue reading Kuka to replace entire Agilus range of small robots

Kuka expected to roll out collaborative robot on autonomous platform in more factories

Kuka is expected to make its mobile collaborative robot available to more factories, partly as a result of its takeover by Midea, the Chinese home appliances manufacturer. 

Midea has many large factories where a mobile robot which can also pick and place objects would be very useful.

Kuka’s collaborative robot is called iiwa, and it’s already in use at various large companies, including automotive giant BMW.  Continue reading Kuka expected to roll out collaborative robot on autonomous platform in more factories

Kuka wins multi-million-dollar order to supply robotic work cell to make batteries for electric vehicles

Industrial robotics and automation company Kuka Industries has received an order from what it says is “a leading European manufacturer in the automotive industry” to supply a battery production system. 

Kuka Industries, which is part of Kuka, would not say which company it was which placed the order, but it has supplied the same company before with a similar system, and now the customer seems to be selling or expecting to sell more electric cars, or maybe battery systems for electric vehicles.

Kuka says the order value lies in the “mid-double-digit million euro range” and was booked in the second quarter of 2017. Start of production is planned for mid-2019.  Continue reading Kuka wins multi-million-dollar order to supply robotic work cell to make batteries for electric vehicles

Midea planning robot bartenders and factories with no human workers in them

Midea, the Chinese company which acquired industrial robotics and automation systems supplier Kuka, is planning to launch robot bartenders and design factories where no humans are needed. 

Neither one of the ideas is new, since most visitors to robotics industry events may have seen at least one robotic arm pouring and serving up a drink, and fully automated factories have been much discussed for some time.

However, Midea is thought to be the world’s largest appliance maker, producing a wide range of washing machines, fridge-freezers and other gadgets for the home.  Continue reading Midea planning robot bartenders and factories with no human workers in them

Kuka celebrates production of 2 million Jeep Wranglers

Kuka is apparently rather pleased with itself for having helped produce 2 million Jeep Wranglers. 

A few days ago, the Kuka Toledo Production Operations celebrated the completion of its two millionth Jeep Wrangler body-in-white.

Kuka says it’s “the latest milestone in a stellar history that has seen this unique plant rank consistently among the quality and productivity leaders in the North American automotive industry”.  Continue reading Kuka celebrates production of 2 million Jeep Wranglers