KUKA Robotics Announces New Consortium for Flexible Manufacturing
Clinton Township, Michigan August, 2005 KUKA Robotics Corporation, a leading global manufacturer of industrial robots, announced it has joined forces with five other automation companies to develop new flexible manufacturing processes for the aerospace industry. The consortium was formed to address the industry's need to reduce time-to-production cycles and capital expenditures by developing a new production model that will include new generations of flexible robots, sensors and intelligent fixturing. Joining KUKA Robotics in the consortium is Composite Systems of Arnold, CA who will be responsible for the overall program management and systems integration; Programming Plus of New Berlin, WI experts in CAD/CAM integration; New River Kinematics of Williamsburg, VA experts in sensor integration; Faro Technologies of Lake Mary, FL, experts in laser registration systems; EOA Systems of Carrollton, TX, experts in automated robotic drilling tools; and Weber Screwdrivers of Yorktown Heights, NY experts in automated screw feeding and fastening systems. The consortium's initial focus will be on airframes and aerospace structures for commercial aircraft. "We believe robotic and sensor technology is at a crossover point, and can now supplement traditional hard tooled manufacturing in a wide range of high tolerance aerospace applications," noted Mike Beaupre, director new markets for KUKA Robotics Corporation. "Our customers are demanding lower capital costs, reduced time-to-market and more flexibility in operations, and this consortium has a clear vision on how to implement flexible automation to deliver these benefits."The companies are currently working with aerospace manufacturers to identify key programs that would benefit from their new data driven approach to robotic manufacturing in aerospace. Early emphasis is being given to drilling and riveting operations, as these have historically been both labor and tooling intensive operations. KUKA Robotics Corporation, with its parent company KUKA Roboter GmbH, Augsburg, Germany, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of industrial robots, with an annual production volume approaching 10,000 units, and an installed base of over 60,000 units. The company's 5 and 6 axis robots range from 3kg to 570kg payloads, and 635mm to 3700mm reach, all controlled from a common PC based controller platform. KUKA robots are utilized in a diverse range of industries including the appliance, automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, logistics, food, pharmaceutical, medical, foundry and plastics industries and in multiple applications including material handling, machine loading, assembly, packaging, palletizing, welding, bending, joining, and surface finishing. For more information contact KUKA Robotics at 866-873-5852 or online at www.kukarobotics.com
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