Infosys to network all Kuka industrial robots in new global Cloud platform

The two companies say they will jointly develop Industry 4.0 solutions, while Kuka has established a new software company 

Kuka and Infosys say they will jointly develop solutions to support companies embracing Industry 4.0.

Kuka is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial robots, and Infosys specialises in software solutions for large businesses.

The aim of the collaboration is the development of a software platform that will allow customers to collect, evaluate and utilize data for improving their own processes.  Continue reading Infosys to network all Kuka industrial robots in new global Cloud platform

Kuka robots perform a dance at Hannover Messe opening ceremony

kuka robot dance hannover messe

LBR iiwa lightweight robots did a dance at the Hannover Messe opening ceremony on Sunday 24 April.

In front of almost 3,000 guests including Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama, dancers and Kuka LBR iiw robots turned human-robot-collaboration into a staged performance.

Human-robot collaboration is a central topic for the factory of the future.

The grand opening of Hannover Messe 2016 on Sunday was based entirely on the topic of Integrated Industry – Discover Solutions.

In a spectacularly choreographed performance, seven LBR iiwa robots visually depicted the five flagship themes at Hannover Fair over five acts: Digital Factory, Industrial Supply, Industrial Automation, Research & Technology, Energy.

Continue reading Kuka robots perform a dance at Hannover Messe opening ceremony

Kuka wins competition to find the most obscure board game ever invented

Professor Dr Martin Weiss (left) and Markus Webert working with the Kuka small robot KR Agilus. Source: Kuka Robotics
Professor Dr Martin Weiss (left) and Markus Webert working with the Kuka small robot KR Agilus. Source: Kuka Robotics

Becoming one of the world’s largest industrial robot companies takes time and a lot of dedication. Work, work, work. No time for play. And having got to the top, the most annoying thing for a company, like Kuka, must be to see a startup company, like DeepMind, which has yet to deliver a single commercial product, make worldwide headlines for building an artificially intelligent computer that plays an ancient Chinese board game no one understands.

So what does Kuka do to make its own headlines? Of course: find another obscure board game no one understands and teach one of its robots how to play that, and get students at a local university to do all the programming.

The board game in question is Settlers of Catan. While at least spome people had heard of Go, Settlers of Catan sounds like an old cowboy movie that no one saw because it was terrible.  Continue reading Kuka wins competition to find the most obscure board game ever invented

Kuka to build global deep learning AI network for industrial robots

Kuka, one of the world’s biggest industrial robotics companies, is to develop a smart manufacturing platform in collaboration with Chinese communications giant Huawei. 

Kuka and Huawei signed a deal to develop what could be a global network – built on the industrial internet of things – to enable the connection of robots across many factories. The companies say they plan to integrate artificial intelligence and deep learning into the system.

In the new manufacturing era, robots will play an increasingly important role in helping manufacturing businesses remain agile and drive growth, say the two companies.

Under the new agreement, Huawei and Kuka will collaborate in the areas of cloud computing, big data, mobile technology, and industrial robots to help manufacturing customers transform and embrace smart manufacturing. Continue reading Kuka to build global deep learning AI network for industrial robots

Technavio survey lists ‘world’s top four’ robot companies

industrial robot playing a vinyl record

Technavio has listed what it claims are the top four leading vendors in their recent global articulated robots market 2015-2019 report. This research report also lists numerous prominent vendors that are expected to impact the market during the forecast period.

Competitive vendor landscape

According to Bharath Kanniappan, lead research analyst at Technavio for robotics, “The top four vendors in the global articulated robots market concentrate on the development of application-specific and industry-specific articulated robots, which help them to have a competitive edge.”

ABB is the market leader in the global industrial robotics market. Fanuc is one of the leading industrial automation vendors and offers various industrial robots under its robotics business unit.  Continue reading Technavio survey lists ‘world’s top four’ robot companies

Alnea updates robot soldering system

kuka agilus alnea
The Kuka KR Agilus small robot in the ALNEA solution results in a significant increase in productivity

Alnea says its new robot-based soldering process is in compliance with international standards.

The soldering process used in so-called through-hole technology (THT) requires the utmost precision. The small structures and the close proximity of components that must not be wetted leave no room for error.

With THT, repair processes are time- and cost-intensive, often not reproducible and in some cases not even allowed.

“A reliably controlled selective soldering process is the decisive first step on the path to zero-error production for our customers,” says Krzysztof Kamiński, president of Alnea. Continue reading Alnea updates robot soldering system

Kuka palletising robot becomes art exhibit

Kuka robot as art exhibit
Paratissima art fair: the palletizing robot from Kuka gives an excellent performance, even as a work of art

After 14 years of continuous operation, a Kuka palletizing robot took up a new function recently, appearing as an art exhibit at the Italian art fair Paratissima in Turin.

The palletizing robot used to be in charge of keeping things orderly: untiring, meticulous and reliable, the KUKA robot spent 14 years sorting boxes of hinges used in furniture production.

In November 2015, it gave up its role as a diligent organizer, embracing creative chaos instead. For this, professional body painters applied their skills to transforming the robot into a work of art.

The Kuka robot was on display at the renowned Italian art fair Paratissima in Turin.

“The project was an unusual opportunity for us to share our modern robot technology with a group of people with whom we would otherwise rarely come into contact,” enthused Gian Luca Branca, CEO of Kuka Italy.

Kuka lightweight robot combines injection molding with additive manufacturing

kuka, arburg, collaborative robots, additive manufacturing
Use of the LBR iiwa enables maximum flexibility at Arburg

In the age of Industry 4.0, “smart factories” are developing at an unprecedented rate. Nowadays, automated, networked and variable production lines are in high demand as companies aim to respond quickly and flexibly to ever shorter product life cycles.

At the same time, the issue of how to incorporate individual customer requirements into industrial series production is growing in significance.

The German machinery manufacturer Arburg has developed a fully automated production line, completely networked in terms of IT processes, which allows series-manufactured injection moldings to be individualized right at the production line, according to the customer’s requirements. Continue reading Kuka lightweight robot combines injection molding with additive manufacturing

Kuka streamlines own logistics processes

kuka robotics
Kuka robots have been given new jobs in the company’s own logistics operations

Kuka is implementing an autonomous transportation solution in its own production with the KMR iiwa mobile robot.

The company’s own robot production facility has now switched from a multiple-line system to single-line manufacturing in accordance with cutting-edge lean production methods.

The mobile Roboter KMR iiwa (KMR stands for Kuka Mobile Robotics, iiwa for intelligent industrial work assistant) is an autonomously navigating platform combined with a Kuka LBR iiwa lightweight robot. Continue reading Kuka streamlines own logistics processes

Top 14 industrial robot companies and how many robots they have around the world

Finding statistics on the install base of robots is not as straightforward as it might be, but RoboticsandAutomationNews.com has compiled its own list of available data and the bar chart below is the result.

Many well known companies are missing from the list and graph, but that’s because we could not find any credible and up to date figures for their install base.

We will of course try and persuade those companies to release that information to us so that we can provide a more complete picture of the market.

We’ve called this list “Top 9”, but that is based on available information.

Update: Fanuc claims to have sold 400,000 robots worldwide. That takes it from fourth on our previous list to first place in the new 2016 list. So, Fanuc is now the world’s largest maker of industrial robots according to the latest information we have. We will update the list as and when we get more information.

Update: Epson claims to have sold 10,000 more robots worldwide since our previous list. The company says it now has 55,000 industrial robots installed worldwide. Our previous list had their install base at 45,000 – this has now been updated (below).

Update: Comau says it has 30,000 robots installed worldwide. In exclusive comments to Robotics and Automation News, a senior executive at the Italian company provided the statistic as part of an extended interview. Our previous list did not include Comau as we could not find the data – this has now been updated (below).

Update: Universal Robots says it has installed 10,000 of its collaborative industrial robots worldwide.

Update: ABB says it has 300,000 robots installed worldwide, up from our previous number of 250,000. We have updated the list, and will update the pie chart at a later date. The new figure places ABB in joint-second place, along with Yaskawa, although our list shows ABB at number 3.

Update: Foxconn says it has installed 40,000 industrial robots in China, according to reports. We had not found this in official company documents, which is why we did not initially include it in the list for now. However, the report was in a reliable publication, so we have decided to include it.

Update: Mitsubishi Robotics says it has 70,000 industrial robots installed worldwide, which makes it number 8 in our list. The parent company is going through some interesting times, after a $2.3 billion capital injection, and reports that it is preparing to triple its executive pay.

Update: Stäubli is one of the original robot manufacturers, and still one of the largest. We estimate that the company has a large number of robots installed worldwide. However, in the absence of any available data, we have made our estimate as to how many robots the company has installed worldwide.

Update: Denso reveals it has a total of 95,000 robots installed.

Top robot companies in the world – robot install base worldwide

  1. Fanuc – 400,000
  2. Yaskawa – 300,000
  3. ABB – 300,000
  4. Kawasaki – 110,000
  5. Nachi – 100,000
  6. Denso – 95,000
  7. Kuka – 80,000
  8. Mitsubishi – 70,000
  9. Epson – 55,000
  10. Stäubli – 45,000
  11. Foxconn – 40,000
  12. Comau – 30,000
  13. Omron / Adept – 25,000
  14. Universal – 10,000

Source: RoboticsAndAutomationNews.com

If new information becomes available, we would be happy to make additions and corrections if appropriate.

We recently found out that Nachi Robotics has a substantial number of industrial robots installed worldwide, which is why we have included it in the list.

We would very much welcome any information that will help us add more companies and more stats to the list.