Siemens Drive Technologies Division and KUKA Roboter GmbH have announced comprehensive cooperation at EMO in Hanover. The central pillar of the cooperation is integration of KUKA robots and Siemens CNC solutions for loading machine tools.
"With this joint approach, the two companies are strengthening the fundamental idea of integrated production and can, for example, develop new markets by close intermeshing of machine tool tasks and loading tasks," says Manfred Gundel, CEO of KUKA Roboter GmbH. "The CNC control from Siemens and the robot controls from KUKA are ideal for integrating robot and CNC technology. With this cooperation, we are deepening our many years of cooperation and together advancing intelligent automation solutions as outlined by the Industrie 4.0 project for the benefit of both partners and to expand business," says Dr. Robert Neuhauser, CEO of Business Unit Motion Control Systems at Siemens.
Highly flexible and fully automated production today demands complete integration of robots into the production flow and into the automation environment. In this area, in particular, applications for robots and machine tools are growing together steadily as a result of new requirements and technological progress. Given these developments, Siemens and KUKA are strengthening their cooperation in automation and industrial robots. The aim is to be better able to serve industries with high automation requirements in loading and machining. With the shared development, customers will have access to new products and solutions that are coordinated optimally over their entire life cycle, from design, to production simulation, to engineering and the production shop level. Moreover, in the long term, the two companies will be including aspects of robot automation in their activities as outlined in the Industrie 4.0 project.
With this close partnership, Siemens and KUKA can offer end customers integrated solutions with a high technological demand and level of maturity and position themselves still better on global markets. At the center of the joint development and the closely meshed marketing activities is seamless, operator-friendly integration of the robot for loading the machine tool. The companies will also develop scalable, integrated solutions for machining workpieces with robots, especially for lightweight construction. In this field, in particular, new materials such as composites require innovative machining concepts that the two companies will be intensively advancing as part of the cooperation.
KUKA will provide robot systems that make use of proven solutions in the field of CNC with Sinumerik from Siemens for integration with machine tools. The standard implementation of the concept includes loading by a KUKA robot, which is integrated in Sinumerik. A scaled offer is also planned ranging from a robot with additional CNC machining functionality to a robot as a pure CNC machining unit. Here, too, the aim is complete integration of the robot into the PLM processes.
At EMO 2011, both partners have already presented the integration of the robot into the Sinumerik user interface as an application, for programming, teach-in, and diagnostics. The next step will now be the connection to CNC tasks.