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 www.robotics-platform.eu, [email protected]
KUKA Roboter Schweiz AG
Tel. + 41 44 744 90 90
Fax + 41 44 744 90 91
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).