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Paul von der Bank invents ‘world’s smallest’ robotic arc welding cell using Kuka industrial robot

Kuka has revealed what it claims is the world’s smallest robotic cell for arc welding, developed by a company called Paul von der Bank Schweisstechnik

The tiny cell – of about 1 cubic metre – is also said to have achieved a 50 per cent increase in productivity. It uses Kuka Agilus robots.

The cell, named the WTG 1200, is already being used by companies such as Brüninghaus & Drissner

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Cornelia Hornemann, responsible for the product launch, project management, and production planning at Paul von der Bank, says: “With the same dimensions as a Euro pallet – 1200 x 800 mm – the WTG 1200 is the smallest robotic cell on the market for arc welding.”

Furthermore, depending on the specific requirements of the customer, the optimum small robot from the KR Agilus series can be flexibly operated in the cell, claims Kuka.

The robots of the KR Agilus series are systematically designed for particularly high working speeds, says Kuka.

The KR 6 R700 sixx integrated into the mini robotic cell at Brüninghaus & Drissner, for example, has a maximum payload capacity of 6 kg and a reach of approximately 706 mm.

The sliding doors of the WTG 1200 can optionally be opened either automatically or manually before a worker loads the workpieces into the welding fixture. Once the door has closed, the robot starts its welding tasks.

Markus Nickolai, head of production at Brüninghaus & Drissner, says: “At our plant, the WTG 1200 works reliably in three-shift operation.”

Kuka claims mini robotic cell has resulted in “significant productivity gains of up to 50 per cent”, particularly as the operator is now able to prepare the next workpieces while automatic production is in progress.

Moreover, the quality of the weld seams has also improved noticeably because of the repeatability of the small robot, boasts Kuka.

Paul von der Bank is already working on the next mini-cell generation with Kuka robots for its customers. The WTG 1500 will have an external axis for turning the welding fixture, says the company.

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