KUKA robots dispense glazing for polycarbonate windows

  • July 16, 2007
  • KUKA Robotics Corporation
  • News

Clinton Township, Michigan — July 16, 2007 – KUKA Robotics announced that EXATEC of Wixom, MI is using KUKA robots to integrate newly developed defroster technology with their automotive glazing systems. Previous methods of creating a defroster on glass are difficult to utilize for polycarbonate glazing. Therefore, EXATEC had to create a new system for applying defrosters. The KUKA KR 30 HA high accuracy robot is being used in the company’s system to dispense a special material that will form the defroster on the polycarbonate window. The new system is designed to meet automotive manufacturers’ production needs as they gear up for what the industry predicts will be an increased demand for vehicles using the coated polycarbonate material instead of glass. The polycarbonate, combined with EXATEC’s proprietary coating technology, and functional systems, allows for an increase of styling freedom, a 40-60% decrease in weight, an improvement in safety, and a reduction in assembly processes with glass-like weathering and abrasion performance. “As use of polycarbonate in automotive designs increases, as industry predictions indicate, manufacturers will need the most accurate, flexible and cost effective methods to meet that demand," said Stuart Shepherd, president of KUKA Robotics Corporation. “EXATEC’s glazing systems with our robots will meet and exceed those demands.” With the increased use of polycarbonate windows in vehicle design, manufacturers need a new process of creating the defroster grid on this new material. EXATEC’s system, using KUKA high accuracy robots, gives the research center high repeatability and a smoother path with better overall velocity control. The KUKA KR 30 HA is a 6 axis robot with a payload capacity of up to 30 kg, a reach up to 2033 mm and features an extremely accurate and smooth path ability with a minimum repeatability of 0.1 mm. EXATEC, a joint venture of Bayer MaterialScience and GE Plastics, continuously develops new functionalities for its proprietary EXATEC glazing systems to meet specific customer requirements for transparent surfaces in vehicles. EXATEC glazing systems for large windows, highly integrated backlites, and demanding applications like panoramic roofs and innovative door concepts meet the automotive industry's stringent requirements for abrasion resistance and UV resistance. EXATEC offers vehicle manufacturers and suppliers completely new glazing-centered design opportunities. 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 75,000 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.

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