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Corrosion protection and leak-tightness - seam by seam

Applying adhesive and sealants to the vehicle body: At Daimler, this was previously a manual process, carried out in three-shift operation. Now, the sensitive automation solution from KUKA provides Mercedes-Benz vehicle bodies with important corrosion protection and ensures leak-tightness. The special feature: a combination of the sensitive KUKA LBR iiwa lightweight robot with the six-axis KR 60 robot.

Sensitivity coupled with agility

The first ever fusion of these two robot systems also makes it possible to reach seams on the vehicle body that are not easily accessible. “We have developed a solution for seam sealing that unites the positive characteristics of both robots. In this way, we have achieved a flexible application with maximum accessibility and reach,” says Gerhard Hartmann, Head of Project Management & Engineering in the area of Bonding Technologies at KUKA. The application performs the monotonous and ergonomically unfavorable task of applying the PVC seam, thereby relieving the load on employees. 

The combination of the sensitive KUKA LBR iiwa lightweight robot and the six-axis KR 60 robot unites the positive characteristics of both robots for maximum reach and accessibility.

Automated sealing process

In order to prevent premature wear to the vehicle body, seam sealing is a necessary process step. For the Mercedes production series, the KUKA LBR iiwa lightweight robot guides the brush that is fastened to a quick-change unit. Its sensitive characteristics enable it to detect contacts, to reduce the velocity and force accordingly, and to determine the correct application position. It spreads an ultra-thin layer of the PVC materials on the relevant points. This makes the vehicle completely waterproof. Depending on the specific task, a quick change of brush is also possible. Maximum accessibility of the seams on the vehicle body is only achieved, however, in combination with the six-axis KUKA KR 60 industrial robot. 

The KR 60 is a masterful mover that enables us to seal all inside and outside seams perfectly. Working on the open tailgate is thus no longer a problem

Gerhard Hartmann, Head of Project Management & Engineering in the area of Bonding Technologies at KUKA

Automated brush cleaning

“Installation of the sensitive lightweight robot on the mobile industrial robot extends the workspace not only in the X direction, like a linear axis, but also in the Y and Z directions.” The brush is also cleaned automatically by wiping off excess PVC material and then reshaping the brush with rollers. 

Sensitive automation solution from KUKA for corrosion protection and leak-tightness of the vehicle body.

Maximum accessibility thanks to teamwork

Monotonous and ergonomically unfavorable: The seam application process is a strenuous task for humans. Working together as a team, the sensitive LBR iiwa lightweight robot and the mobile KR 60 ensure a constant process sequence with consistently high quality. Even seams that are difficult to access are sealed perfectly. The application is also a space-saving solution that was ideally suited to integration into the existing manual workstations.

Application, consisting of a KUKA LBR iiwa lightweight robot and the KR 60 industrial robot, performs ergonomically unfavorable and monotonous task of applying the PVC seam, thereby reducing the workload on employees

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