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Setting a new standard in the construction sector: GROPYUS enters collaboration with automation specialist KUKA

GROPYUS and automation specialist KUKA announce their collaboration to install a fully automated and digitally managed production facility at the Richen site near Heilbronn, Germany | This comprises an investment in the mid-double-digit million-euro range | This will expand GROPYUS’s production capacity to approximately 3,500 apartments per year by the end of 2024

27 September 2023

GROPYUS, a German-Austrian proptech specialised in sustainable and modular construction, and KUKA, a world-leading provider of intelligent automation solutions, have today announced their collaboration to expand the production and manufacturing facility at GROPYUS’s Richen site. The core focus of this investment is making the factory a highly automated and fully digitally integrated manufacturing site.

KUKA is supplying a flexible, turnkey system for this purpose and integrating 45 robots and 12 AGVs (automated guided vehicles). The Augsburg-based company combines in-depth process know-how from automated modular house building construction with many years of expertise from projects in the automotive industry. GROPYUS is responsible for managing the entire facility and is implementing a task-based production management system. With this investment, the proptech plans to fully digitize its production and increase its capacity to over 240,000 sqm gross floor area, which corresponds to more than 3,500 apartments. Full production capacity should be realised by the end of 2024, by which time 100 new highly skilled jobs will have been created at the Richen site.

Figures, data and facts: The fully automated production line can manufacture approximately 3500 housing units per year. © KUKA Group

Modular construction accelerates residential construction

With 86% automation, GROPYUS will be able to manufacture a wall element in 17 minutes – thanks to this new production line. A ceiling element will be ready in just 16 minutes. Markus Fuhrmann, CEO of GROPYUS, says: “Going by current calculations, we can expect a shortfall of around 900,000 to one million apartments in Germany by 2025. In combination with digitized processes, modular construction can significantly accelerate the building of new homes while reducing costs. This collaboration with our experienced automation partner, KUKA, means we will be able to massively expand our production capacity by the end of next year – enabling us to manufacture an affordable, marketable, and sustainable product on an industrial scale.”

The degree of automation is up to 86 percent. © GROPYUS

“As automation specialists, we’ve been driving an unprecedented evolution in the construction sector for many years. We’ve already been able to apply our specially developed applications and considerable process expertise outside of Europe. Being a global group headquartered in Augsburg, it’s all the more meaningful for us to now be working with GROPYUS in Germany to create a shining example for the whole of Europe. This project is setting new standards in flexibility and sustainability in automated, modular construction,” says Gerald Mies, CEO at KUKA Systems.

A solution to transform the construction sector

In light of the broader necessity for revolutionary change in the construction sector, GROPYUS is sending an industry-wide signal with this investment: bespoke, sustainable buildings are now possible with competitive pricing and can even be implemented on a large scale. This is an important step toward making the construction sector more environmentally friendly and creating affordable housing. The investment in the Richen site also bolsters Baden-Württemberg’s status as a location where economic development and sustainability are being brought to the fore.

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