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‘BBA Friction case study: handling of brake linings’ - .PDF file.

At BBA Friction, requirements for higher productivity and better working conditions provided the impetus to automate the handling of brake pads. A solution was found that included six Kuka robots. The parts, which are aligned in a single row, are picked up by four IR 363/30s, each equipped with a magnetic strip, and placed on workpiece carriers. Before this, the robots use a guide strip to measure their stack depth, thus determining whether the layer in question is free. This case study explains the ways in which the company benefitted from the use of the robots.

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KUKA can trace a presence in the UK back to 1976, and the founding of the business KUKA Welding Systems + Robots Limited. The business in its current form, KUKA Robotics UK Limited, is wholly-owned a subsidiary of KUKA Roboter GmbH, Europe's largest manufacturer of industrial robots; and sitting within the KUKA Group of companies – encompassing robotics and automation solutions – to an annual turnover value of 1.9 Billion Euro. In 2013,, KUKA Roboter made some 20,000 industrial robots for all applications.

Within the UK, we are a stable, profitable business that fosters and encourages an active self-improvement plan for all employees ensuring we retain experienced members of staff which improves our customer interaction markedly.

The on-going training of Robot Sales Specialists, Application Engineering staff and Customer Service team is rigorous to ensure a robust understanding of our entire range. This ensures that the correct robot is specified initially, that it is appropriate to application and environment, and that post-delivery, we can support every device 24-hours-a-day.

The company moved to its current Wednesbury home late in 2011, from where sales, support and customer service operations are centred. The training facility – containing 8 training cells – was installed in the summer of 2013; and demonstration facilities including robots of all sizes, employing an external linear axis, and a moulding machine demonstration cell is a coherent experience for any visitor.

Our showroom also allows an opportunity to see some devices, such as those ideal for platen-mounted injection moulding machine use, to be the subject of a close first-hand interaction; which also includes an example of KUKA's revolutionary and world-leading LightWeight Robot (LBR).

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