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Kuka teams up with DesignPro to develop robotic welding processes

Industrial robot maker Kuka has teamed up with automation technology developer DesignPro to create new, advanced robotic welding processes.

Automating the welding process and employing robots enables manufacturers to achieve significant returns across several areas: application precision, speed and agility of task execution, waste reductions and increased safety.

The skills gap is also driving the take-up of automated robotics, as a means to sustain legacy manufacturing processes and support operational resilience.

DesignPro and Kuka have partnered since the inception of DesignPro’s robotic welding provision. Kuka says it required a company with an established skillset that could pivot into robotic welding, whom they could support through expert staff, equipped with existing robotic welding experience, and high-quality automation hardware and software that caters to the needs DesignPro’s welding customers.

Redmond McDonnell, DesignPro CEO, says: “Kuka delivers a very high-quality product and because of our model as a company, we are able to deliver a high-quality item at the right price.”

The welding cell currently in development at DesignPro features a KR8 CyberTech industrial robot, mounted on a KL 250 linear track. The back-to-back system utilises two KP1 HC positioners: a one-ton and a two-ton.

DesignPro specifically chose the KR8 CyberTech robot owing to its reach capabilities and its repeatability. The positioner allows DesignPro to overcome accessibility constraints when it could be difficult to access certain areas.

It also allows the pioneers to address horizontal welds, as well as vertical using the Fronius power source and supports different settings and different programs.

Fergal McGinley, technical and business development, robotics says: “The reason we choose to work with Fronius is because of their product offering and their position as a market leader. We’ve undertaken a lot of work with them in the past and find their after-sales service and support excellent.”

Mark Elwell, Kuka’s head of robot sales in Ireland, sales: “The support we get from them (DesignPro) is not just as a result of their basic robotics knowledge, or their expertise in the field of digital simulation, but there’s a depth of knowledge in automated arc welding, which is of vital importance when you’re looking at commissioning an arc welding cell.

“We’ve developed an established relationship with DesignPro over four years now, that enables us to develop collaborative projects owing to our combined knowledge within the field of arc welding, supported by a wealth of knowledge in the UK and at HQ, in Germany, that we can call upon, to assist DesignPro if required.”

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