KUKA opens R&D facility in France

  • April 10, 2015
  • News

April 10, 2015 -  KUKA Systems opened its new R&D and production facility for advanced automation solutions in Le Haillan, France. This invesent underscores KUKA’s commient to meeting the rising global demand for sophisticated robotic processes used in aircraft assembly.

The Le Haillan facility manufactures multi-function end effectors, as does the KUKA Systems global headquarters for aerospace in the United States. “This dual manufacturing capability creates synergy in the manufacture and support of this key technology for our customers worldwide,” says Robert Reno, Group Vice President, KUKA Systems Aerospace.

KUKA acquired the French operation, formerly known as Alema Automation, a leading manufacturer of aerospace tooling solutions for stationary, track-mounted and mobile robotic platforms, in March 2014. That followed years of a distributorship agreement and close collaboration between the companies.

Construction of the facility in Le Haillan, a suburb of Bordeaux, was finished this January, on time and on budget. The building comprises 1,445 square meters of production space and 1,123 square meters for engineering and other deparents.

“This exceptionally well-equipped building enlarges our footprint so we can continue expanding our business,” says Philippe Prat, Managing Director of KUKA Systems Aerospace – Le Haillan. “It makes a strong statement to current and prospective KUKA customers – the giants of aerospace worldwide and their Tier 1 suppliers – about our capability to support our KUKA-branded products and automate more assembly processes.”

End effectors are the functional units attached to the end of a robot arm that perform specific production or logistical tasks. In aerospace assembly, these tasks include drilling, riveting, fastening, lifting, positioning or applying a coating, adhesive or sealant. Some are multi-functional, meaning that tools can be changed by the robot, without manual intervention or taking the robotic cell or platform off-line. A robot can switch between drilling holes and inserting rivets or fasteners in those holes using the same multi-function end effector.

These robotic and other automated processes allow major aircraft manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers to build more units faster and with great precision and repeatability. They can take workers doing repetitive jobs like riveting that are hard on the body and re-assign them to value added work elsewhere in the assembly process.


KUKA Systems, part of Germany-based KUKA AG, is an international supplier of engineering services and flexible automation systems for the Automotive, Aerospace, Energy, and Industrial Solutions segments. Some 5,800 employees worldwide work on ideas, concepts and solutions for automated production and the provision of products and services for virtually all tasks in the industrial processing of metallic and non-metallic materials. The range is presented and marketed internationally via subsidiaries and sales offices in Europe, America and Asia. KUKA Systems had sales revenues of 1.28 billion euros for the 2014 business year. KUKA Systems North America LLC, based in Sterling Heights MI, is responsible for the North American business and the worldwide aerospace group.

Learn More

Did you enjoy this great article?

Check out our free e-newsletters to read more great articles..