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Kuka to Open SmartProduction Center

Matrix Production Live

On March 20, Kuka Systems GmbH will open the new "SmartProduction Center" at its Augsburg, Germany location. The aim is to test flexible solutions in production, known as matrix production. The smart system is centered on the new Kuka software package Kuka SmartProduction_control.

Together with the automated guided vehicles (AGVs), the Kuka SmartProduction_control software package, which is based on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, ensures, among other things, that production is flexible and versatile. A product-neutral production facility requires the separation of production and intralogistics. The decoupling of intralogistics from production is another key advantage of smart matrix production. Controlled by Kuka SmartProduction_control, the AGVs fetch tools from a tool store and then transport them in to the production cells that are to be equipped. At the same time, the AGVs move to the centralized material warehouse, which is decoupled from production, in order to transfer the centrally-stored components required for the production process into the cells. Matrix production can thus become a decisive competitive advantage compared with rigidly linked production concepts.

Fully automated component and tool transportation with AGVs (© Kuka)

Fully automated component and tool transportation with AGVs (© Kuka)

In order to demonstrate the principle of matrix production to customers, a pilot system has been built and is being put into operation with the opening ceremony on 20 March 2018. Here customers can experience the matrix concept at first hand. It is based on standardized production cells. All cells are equipped with product-neutral basic functions and can be simply expanded with product-specific tools depending on the level of orders and batch sizes.

Fully Automated Intralogistics with AGVs

Equipping the production cells and transporting the components: everything is carried out fully automatically by AGVs. The individual robots pick up the components supplied to them by the AGVs and join them using the corresponding technology. In the test cell, car doors and wheel arches for different OEMs are manufactured on the same system: conversion is carried out in a short space of time. The intralogistics structure consists of AGVs and a warehouse in which the components are provided. The dedicated tools, on the other hand, are located in the tool store. A software package ensures that the automatic process runs smoothly: Kuka SmartProduction_control is familiar with all activities at all times, proactively controls them, and thus has an overview of the motions of the AGVs, their battery charge and the current status of the production cells.

According to Kuka, In the SmartProduction Center, customers can see for themselves the impressive advantages of the matrix solution. The system is converted within a short time. Compared with previous rigidly linked production, the production facility requires the same space, but can be optimally distributed within that space. Due to the centralized logistics, less personnel is directly tied to the system and to the logistics. Furthermore, intermediate storage areas and material provision at the system are dispensed with. Matrix production is therefore also more cost-effective. „The versatility of the system is perhaps the most decisive criterion. In this way, we can meet customer requirements. We are at the forefront of developments in this field, “ says Larry Drake, CEO Kuka Automotive division

Company profile


Zugspitzstr. 140
DE 86165 Augsburg
Tel.: 0821 797-0
Fax: 0821 7972129


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