1. History: how to find the right robot and to grow worldwide
All began in 1898 when Johann Joseph Keller and Jacob Knappich decided to build the company. The success can be found thanks to the ideas and the innovations of the group. Then in the 1920s the brand of the company was a telegram abbreviation from the first letters of “Keller und Knappich Augsburg” giving thus KUKA.
Because of the company’s expertise gained from welding and cutting plus the manufacturing of large containers and builds vehicle superstructures, KUKA became the European market leader for municipal vehicles in 1966. To reduce dependency on welding machines and municipal vehicles, a search is mounted for other areas of activity. In 1964, Keller & Knappich market-launches the compact “Princess” typewriter.
In 1970 the company changed its name to Industrie-Werke Karlsruhe Augsburg Aktiengesellschaft or IWKA AG for short. Then, the firm wrote history as a robotics pioneer by creating FAMULUS in 1973 that was the world’s first industrial robot with six electromechanically driven axes.
The company gradually expanded through the world thanks to its market presence in North America or with its numerous subsidiaries in Asia and China.
Finally, the company is well known in automation and is a driver of industry 4.0. And the group is internationally represented with about 100 companies.
2. The strategies of the group
KUKA established four ideas in order to be strategic.
First, the robots and more precisely robot-based automation is a megatrend.
Next, the company develops expansion of innovative and technological leadership. As a leading supplier of industrial robots and automated production solutions throughout Europe, KUKA and its products are directly involved in the fourth industrial revolution.
Then, KUKA concentrates on diversification of business operations in new markets and regions and above all in the automotive industry. Besides, the company aims to take advantage of regional growth potential, especially in the high-growth countries of Asia and North America.
At last but not least, it offers a program that is oriented towards profitable growth, which is founded on efficient organization of the company and sustainable alignment of products and processes with customer requirements, and on quality and efficiency.
3. Products: the company offers a comprehensive range of industrial robots.
-Robot systems: the company offers industrial robots in different versions and various payload capacities and reaches. They can adapt easily to your demands. You can find different products such as:
Industrial robots, KUKA ready2_use, KUKA ready Packs, software, and robots controllers or robots periphery.
– Production machines:
Foundry machines: are very modern and effective. The company provides a range of tools and machining stations. We can mention different examples like: Gravity Die Casting Machine, Cooling Basins, Pillar press, and Sliding Table Press.
Rotational friction welding machines: example of KUKA Genius, which is high precision and welding quality.
Linear friction welding machines: cost effective and high process reliability solutions; special sizes and designs can be required.
Magnetarc welding machines: the example of MagnetAr 620A, which is the new KUKA weld machine and it ensures maximum welding quality through controlled energy input. Thus it uses 20 percent less energy.
– Production systems: the company is an expert in system integration and the machines are scalable, flexible and efficient. Here there is a list of different production systems such as:
Technology consulting, automotive systems engineering, standardized manufacturing cells; aerospace systems engineering, customized manufacturing cells and standards products for automation.
– Mobility: it is an essential concept for the company, thus KUKA develops intelligent and mobile units. Here we can find different ideas:
KUKA mobile platforms, mobile robots and KUKA Navigation Solution.