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New heavyweight champion

Maximum payload of KUKA robots reaches 500 kg

April 12, 2001

The KR 500 opens up whole new fields of application for jointed-arm robots. For example, when used in an automotive body shop this heavy-duty robot is able to handle the front end and side panels. In its palletizing mode, it can carry out further tasks in the building materials, metalworking and beverage industries. It can also be used to replace lifting devices and conveyor systems. This means that the KR 500 offers not only reduced costs compared with the user-specific, custom-made lifting devices and conveyor systems which have typically been used up until now – the robot’s high flexibility also allows it to be used even after retooling of the production line in question.

Additional areas of application are the handling of heavy components at stationary adhesive nozzles and welding guns, and the installation of complete engine blocks. Morever, the KR 500 can easily cope with heightened requirements in spot welding, for example by handling a combination of two weld guns, thus eliminating the need for a tool changing station, or by working with an extra-heavy weld gun with a large load center distance.

However, the KR 500 also represents significantly longer reach, a greatly enhanced work envelope and a considerable extension of reference load center distances. Moreover, the close-fitting and integrated energy supply system reduces the robot’s interference contours, allowing better use of floor space. The in-line wrist of the KUKA heavy-duty robot has the protection rating IP 65. An optional “foundry” wrist with protection rating IP 67 and higher heat resistance opens up even more potential applications for the KR 500. 

Due to its favorable weight of only 2,350 kg in relation to its payload, the “big KUKA” is also easier to integrate into manufacturing systems. At Factory Automation KUKA demonstrated, for example, that the KR 500 can be traversed on a linear unit. This linear unit, which is also new, can be supplied in one piece up to an overall length of ten meters – an advantage which makes installation at the customer’s plant easier and reduces potential sources of error. Another positive feature is the exceptionally smooth operation provided by the linear unit’s FEM-optimized, cast-metal carriage.

KUKA Roboter GmbH is an IWKA Group company and ranks among the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial robots. The company’s core competencies are the development, production and sale of industrial robots, controllers, software and linear units. In 2000, the company achieved total sales of more than DM 500 million, with an output of 6,500 robots.