Always at the cutting edge…

What is the common point between the first robot controlled by a PC (with Windows 95, as many would say : prehistory), the 4d simulator installed at Walt Disney’s Epcot® Park Florida, a global network of training in robotics and your car? They are all related to the Kuka Roboter company. And if we are far from the 1950s science-fiction stories and their humanoid robots (which are sometimes in revolt), reality is no less surprising. Meeting at Kuka Roboter Switzerland with Ms Meike Stuber, in charge of marketing and and Mr Martin Bertschi, Director.

The Kuka Roboter history is full of “world premieres” and discoveries that make the entire industry move forward. The German company is headed by innovation at the service of users and for more than 15 years already, design is an integral part of development with harmonious integration in human environment as objective. Today the company offers a wide range of modular robots that allows to deal with every situation… and its product range is constantly growing!

More than 240 solutions to implement
Kuka Roboter offers a palette of broad richness. From high precision robots with 4 to 7 axes able to manipulate loads up to 10 kilos to powerful robots that can operate parts of more than 1,000 kilograms. With such a variety of solutions, moreover in areas as varied as the food industry, nuclear energy, decontamination, manufacture of cars or more simply industrialization of machine tools, very many skills are to master. Integrators are perfectly aware of these different areas. As to their numbers, Mr. Bertschi says: “With the integrators we can deliver highly targeted solutions. They are approximately fifteen in Switzerland, 70 in Germany  and 40 in France for example. But we ensure cohesion at the global level and if the solution requires an integrator in nuclear power in a country where such a specialty doesn’t exist, we can count on the skills and experience of an Integrator from another country. Thus we provide between 7 and 10’000 solutions every single year”.

New in 2010: the Kuka college Romandie
Kuka, in collaboration with the laboratory of manufacturing and robotics of the Arc high school of engineering, has opened a Kuka College in the premises of the high school in le Locle. With a dozen robots and all teaching tools, the Kuka college provides many training courses:

  • Operators of robots (command, use and security)
  • Basic programming (course for novices dealing with programming by learning)
  • Advanced programming
  • Field bus (integration of robots, creation of communication and integration)
  • Designer and manufacturer of automated cell (integration of robots into automation solutions, detailed learning on Kuka solutions).

For more information: ARC high school, engineering, UR- LPR, Hôtel-de- Ville 7, CH-2400 Le Locle, Vincent Giacomini, Tel. + 41 32 930 14 10, fax + 41 32 930 13 14

Can we do everything?
Very many applications are nowadays possible and used in laboratories, but out of reach of industrial companies simply in terms of profitability. Mr. Bertschi says: “If we draws a parallel with mobile telephony, we see that 20 years ago the mobile phone required a big suitcase and could only call (often imperfectly). Today, a simple mobile phone costs less CHF 100.- and advanced models are able to detect movements, accelerations, altitude, GPS positioning, play videos, show pictures and so on… Robotics follows a parallel development, each year solutions become more powerful and more accessible”. He concludes: “Robotics evolves constantly, for example, today robots communicate with each other and can interact intelligently, this evolution was simply unthinkable two years ago. Another example, we offer programming ISO for industry professionals who want to use this way. These are very different developments, but both meet market needs. We can do a lot today, please feel free to put us to the test! ”

Kuka is part of the strategic committee of European development of robotics. To learn more about it, visit, [email protected]

KUKA Roboter GmbH
Zugspitzstrasse 140
86165 Augsburg
Tel. + 49 821 797-4000
Fax + 49 821 797-4040
[email protected]

In Switzerland:
KUKA Roboter Schweiz AG
Industriestrasse 9
5432 Neuenhof
Tel. + 41 44 744 90 90
Fax + 41 44 744 90 91
[email protected]

We will go into deeper detail of robotics and Kuka in Eurotec’s next issue.  (By the way you can secure its delivery to your desk by subscribing here).

Pierre-Yves Kohler

Digital precision boring head EWD 2-54

Setting accuracy 1μm Ø, max. spindle speed 20’000 r.p.m. With a direct electronic measuring system on the tool carrier and a resolution of 0.001 mm Ø, the precision boring head EWD 2-54 enables diameter corrections with an unmatched accuracy. With one single button for the functions “on” and “reset”, handling is simple and operating errors are practically eliminated.

The boring head with CK6 tool connection is designed for ultra precise boring operations in the range from Ø 2 – 54 mm with highest spindle speeds and with the same accessories as for the thousand times proven analogue precision boring head EWN 2-50XL. Also for the digital boring head, the existing concept to avoid imbalance, did not change. With the tool carrier placed in centre position, the boring head for itself is balanced. Tool holders made of carbide with adjustable insert holders permit diameter setting on the insert holder. The heavy tool holder remains in the centre position and does not create any imbalance. The imbalance created by the insert holder is in most cases insignificant, but can be completely compensated with a screw fit balancing ring if required.
Also on the EWD there is a variable length adjustment of the tool holders which ensures the shortest and therefore the most rigid tool assembly.

Optimized battery life
Further, there is an automatic switch off function which always stores the last displayed value, and an integrated power management for an optimized battery life.
The high quality coating of the tool body ensures a complete protection against corrosion. The built in electronic is safe form dust and high pressure spray water according to the protection category IP69K

PRODEX 2010, Halle 1.0, Stand B04

Heinz Kaiser AG
Glattalstrasse 516
8153 Rümlang / Schweiz
Tel.: +41 44 817 92 00
Fax: +41 44 817 92 01
[email protected]

DestControl® reduces cost

H2o optimises VACUDEST® vacuum distillation systems. Rinsing water from surface finishing processes is often low in pH. Prior to feeding this water into conventional vacuum distillation systems it required up to date pH adaption in continuous feed neutralisation systems.

DestControl® measures the pH in the distillate and controls set points by feeding caustic soda directly into the heat exchanger of the vacuum distillation system. Thus the continuous feed neutralisation system is not required any more. This reduces investment cost and space required for the installation of the system. Lower labour involved and optimised caustic soda consumption reduces operating cost. Thus DestControl® is saving money.

To act where it matters
Due to post reactions inside the heat exchanger of the vacuum distillation system the pH can be reduced below limits, even if set properly in the upstream continuous feed neutralization system. DestControl® avoids this because it controls the pH where it matters, in the distillate. Thus DestControl® is creating higher operating safety. DestControl® keeps the distillate pH constant and ensures observation of set points and legal limits, be it because the distillate is disposed of into the public sewer system or reused in the production process. Process data are stored for several weeks and can be used for reporting to authorities if required. Thus DestControl® is reducing workload and cutting cost. DestControl® can be retrofitted to existing systems if required.

DestControl® benefits:

  • Constantly high distillate quality
  • Reliable compliance of legal limits
  • Easy to use
  • Lower operation costs due to optimised dosage of neutralisation agent
  • Lower investment and less space required due to economisation of continuous feed neutralisation system

H2Owill present its clever solutions in water treatment at AMB in Stuttgart from September 29. to October 2. 2010. Halle 6 Stand C51.

H2O GmbH process water engineering
Wiesenstrasse 32
D-79585 Steinen / Germany
Phone +49 7627 9239-310
Fax +49 7627 9239-103
[email protected]

75 years of innovation…

At Prodex, Walter Dünner SA will be presenting a new ER collet equipped with a positioning device which comes in very useful when changing tools. This innovation, developed in collaboration with  Rego-Fix, provides an efficient solution to the recurrent problem of positioning when using an ER collet, and is a great gift to the market from the company Dünner, which is celebrating 75 years of innovation in the service of microtechnology this year. We met Daniel Dünner, director of the third generation, and Pascale, his wife, administration manager.

Collets during the cooling phase. There are a lot of different crafts at work in Walter Dünner SA’s workshops.

Walter Dünner was founded in 1935 with a single objective: to allow customers using automatic lathes to make the most of their production tool. This seemingly very simple view led the company to be the first to develop carbide guide bushes in 1938 and to supply constantly innovative solutions to the market.  This view has endured over the generations and is still the same in the company today. Walter Dünner SA is a reference in clamping innovation.

Exceptional products
Over the years, the manufacturer has developed a wide range of original solutions to make the most of the evolution in production equipment. Here are a few examples of products which are currently very much in demand.

  • Ceramic guide bushes – unique know-how. Mr Dünner explains, “It took a while for the ceramic guide bush to find its place on the market, as it was radically new, but it succeeded in overcoming a certain inertia in the market. Today many companies realise that this is the only guide bush which can allow then to produce certain parts satisfactorily”.
  • Large-opening collet – an efficient solution. The patented system of large-opening collets means a part can be clamped in counter-operation above a shoulder.
  • Flexible guide bush – rubber in the service of machining. When working with materials including irregularities of up to 0.5 mm, this type of guide bush compensates for any material errors. It also ensures that the bar is clamped over all its length (50 mm).

Ceramic machining, vulcanisation and much more…

All the machining operations required to produce the Dünner range are carried out in Moutier, the company’s headquarters. The company has acquired the necessary know-how in ceramic turning and in vulcanisation. Mr Dünner explains, “We have invented the necessary machines and specific tooling in order to be able to design and produce the parts we sell”.

Constantly innovating for the customer

“We produce all our guide bushes and collets in Switzerland with raw materials also purchased in Switzerland. With constantly increasing raw material prices and the euro exchange rate which is once again very low, we are facing challenges which have nothing to do with technology”, says Mr Dünner. “But this problem is dealt with in the same way as technical problems, with the interests of the customer at heart, with the objective of creating a win-win relationship “.
With its 75 years of experience in innovation, Walter Dünner SA is in a good position to help production companies to take things a step further.

To be seen at Prodex in Basel, hall 1, stand E40

Walter Dünner SA
Route de Soleure 25
2740 Moutier – Suisse
Tél. +41 (0) 32 / 493 11 52
Fax +41 (0) 32 / 493 46 79
[email protected]

We will come back on this anniversary in Eurotec’s next issue.

By the way, we already published some interesting stories about the company

Automotive industry in India? It’s here!

As demand continues to increase in India’s home market and OEMs look to grow their exports, they face the challenges of raising production and working towards global quality standards.
The balance of automation and low labour cost is constantly shifting and using the latest manufacturing technologies effectively is a central part of the plans of joint venture, domestic and foreign carmaker operations.

AMS India conference will take place on 6-9 December 2010 at Le Royal Méridien in Chennai, and will bring together domestic, foreign and JV carmakers, the principal tier suppliers, and the providers of all the technologies essential for vehicle manufacture and assembly. Attendance is at VP/production director and plant management level, and will be from within India and other key automotive production regions.

An event not to be missed
Register now to secure your place at the best-focussed and well-attended automotive manufacturing conference in India this year and save $250 if you register before 23rd October.
There is a special price for delegates based in India. Please see the registration page on the conference website for more details (here).

AMS India will offer you the chance to:

  • hear specialist presentations from our keynotes
  • learn about the latest technologies and techniques explained by users and vendors
  • take the Ford India plant tour
  • network with potential customers or suppliers in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere

(introductory cocktails, lunches, coffee breaks and the quality business dinner are all included in the delegate fee!)

Subject matter will cover:

  • OEM manufacturing strategies
  • production and plant case studies, and the blend of labour and automation
  • sessions on specific technologies, from stamping, powertrain in both i.c. and electric/hybrid, BIW and paintshop, to robotics, and testing and evaluation
  • skills and human factors
  • automation, and the planning & management of the digital factory
  • heavy vehicle – truck and bus, and two- and three-wheelers

You can view the list of this year’s key speakers here.

For more information, contact Andrew Fallon
Publisher and Conference Director
+44 208 987 0931
[email protected]

Cable carriers tested comprehensively

Kabelschlepp offers optimal solution after test run of several months under operating conditions. On Hannover Exhibition this year, Kabelschlepp presented solutions with a focus on customer individual solutions.  One of these was a powerful, robust and cost effective system required to cover the travel of three axes in a linear robotic system.

Kabelschlepp´s Uniflex Advanced 1555 cable carriers, which are especially quiet thanks to an internal noise damping system, convincingly withstood the high dynamic loads during the test run.

Comprehensive test
The customer requirement: A high performance linear robot that requires quiet cable carrier systems for the travel on 3 axes, which are able to endure the strong dynamic loads in operation. Further requirements of the cable carrier were a favorable price and a robust design, in order to maximize service life.
To prove that the cable carrier combines all these characteristics convincingly, Kabelschlepp implemented a test run simulating operating conditions for several months. The Uniflex Advanced 1555 cable carriers, which are especially quiet thanks to an internal noise damping system, convincingly withstood the high dynamic loads during the test.

Focused on activities
At this year’s April Hannover Trade Fair Kabelschlepp presented individual customer solutions in addition to the current product portfolio. The products presented included both new developments and improvements on existing solutions, as well as industry-specific special versions. They represent the company’s present focus of activities: to achieve a suitable, economical and reliable solution for every application – and therefore to implement decades of technological expertise for a fast time-to-market factor.
To discover the focus on solutions, visit the company at AMB Stuttgart, Hall 4, booth D 59.

Kabelschlepp GmbH
Daimlerstraße 2
D-57482 Wenden-Gerlingen
Phone: +49 (0)2762/4003-0
Fax: +49 (0)2762/4003-220
[email protected]

Tips for your goods

Every week we hear talking about globalization and open borders and yet, import and export of goods is always like a treasure hunt. To put the light on practices that can greatly simplify physical distribution of products, we can count on Rémy Saner, Director of Bluesped. We will regularly publish articles to bring you added value!

Bluesped is a freight forwarder specialized in Swiss and international shipping by road, air and sea.

Who travels regularly has already encountered these queues of trucks waiting at the border at the end of the afternoon. If the flow of goods is just in time, any loss of time can generate serious disorders for producers. Can we save time for customs?

Approved exporter
If the company has the status of approved exporter (EADA), the trucks containing its goods can pass the border in a much longer time frame than others (extra time from 5 pm to 10 pm). This status is specific to the company that exports, but the freight forwarder may accompany the customer in its obtaining.  Goods enter Switzerland without customs clearance at the border and the company can do it once the goods received.
This status is open to any Swiss company that has customers and suppliers outside Switzerland.

Challenge: administrative distribution
Today, physical distribution is the simplest; means of transportation are optimized and the difference is often done in the way to proceed and optimize the administrative part. The freight forwarder is a very skilled professional well aware of all administrates subtleties.
He provides primarily three benefits:

  • time of transport (example above),
  • financial gains (did you know for example that China is still exempt from customs charges as regarded as developing country?)
  • important support (papers, customs software availability, and more)

The role of approved exporter interests you? Do not hesitate to contact your customs office, your freight forwarder or Rémy Saner at the address indicated below.

Bluesped logistics Sarl
Chemin des Pommerats 5
2926 Boncourt
Jura – Switzerland
Tel.: + 41 32 495 16 16
Fax: + 41 32 495 16 15
[email protected]

PS: Yep that’s not such a technical element, but seeing these zillions of trucks stopped for the night at the boarders made me react… and thanks to Rémy, I found a first skilled answer.

There is more to come, stay tuned.

Pierre-Yves Kohler