KUKA has won a major automation contract from German premium car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz for the engineering and construction, as well as the assembly and commissioning, of several body-in-white production lines. From those lines, various future vehicle models will make their way to North America.
As part of its flexible production strategy, Mercedes-Benz will rely on KUKA’s extensive technological expertise and incorporate several hundred of the company’s industrial robots within four key areas of the body-in-white shop line where the main vehicle frame is assembled prior to painting and before the application of trim and engine installation.
According to Gerald Mies, CEO of KUKA Systems GmbH, key to winning this most recent contract was the company’s decades of experience in automotive manufacturing automation as well as previous successful Mercedes-Benz-related projects. The most recent of which involved frame production for the Mercedes-Benz G-Class of SUVs.
Thanks to a KUKA production line at MAGNA Presstec in the Austrian town of Lebring, the manufacture of frames for the G-Class is fully automated. Whereas the welding of many large parts was previously done manually, the task is now completed in a production line from KUKA that welds the vehicle ladder frames automatically.
KUKA is a global automation corporation with sales of around EUR 3.2 billion and around 14,000 employees. The KUKA Group is headquartered in Augsburg, Germany. As a leading global supplier of intelligent automation solutions KUKA offers its customers everything from a single source: from robots and cells to fully automated systems and their networking in markets such as automotive, electronics, general industry, consumer goods, e-commerce/retail and healthcare.