Parallel kinematics machine from KUKA

Our parallel kinematics machine (PKM) is perfectly suited to the precision requirements of the aerospace industry. Thanks to the greater stiffness and the five degrees of freedom, the PKM is a high-performance alternative to jointed-arm robots.

The functional principle of the parallel kinematics machine

The parallel kinematics machine – also called hexapod robot – utilizes the kinematics of rigid bodies: unlike jointed-arm robots, which move vertically or horizontally, the PKM from KUKA consists of six linear axes arranged in parallel and anchored in a fixed base.

Together, the axes control the gripper platform with three-dimensional motions. The axis is moved longitudinally by a spindle drive. With this closed kinematic chain of six extremely stable axes, the PKM achieves greater repeatability and stiffness. It is thus ideally suited to simple motion sequences that require precision and speed in a confined workspace. 

Particular advantages for the aerospace industry

The parallel kinematics machine from KUKA is designed for high forces. It thus meets the high requirements of the aerospace industry with regard to process accuracy for the handling of tools or workpieces and for drilling, grinding, cutting or welding applications.

The parallel kinematics machine from KUKA in action

In the PKM, a kinematic chain of six parallel axes controls a gripper platform.

Parallel kinematics machine: your advantages

The parallel kinematics machine from KUKA is unique on the market. It is ideally suited where high speed and precision are required in a large-area production line for the machining of very hard materials. Moreover, it can be controlled directly using a KUKA controller.

Utmost precision

Due to the parallel swivel mechanism, the PKM has a significantly more precise and larger cutting angle range than comparable parallel kinematic systems. A newly developed drive mechanism makes it possible to use a smaller motor for fast positioning operations with high accuracy. The spindles are designed for high speed and tightening torque. This enables compliance with all diametrical and position-related tolerances.

Increased production efficiency

The parallel kinematics machine from KUKA massively improves production efficiency. Fewer changes are required. This prevents dimensional errors that otherwise occur in the case of individual production loops. The PKM can process up to five surfaces with a single set-up. It also makes unreachable hole positions easily accessible – perfect for one-off operations. 

Simple machining of hard materials

A specially created machine assembly with a stiff structure gives the PKM the strength it needs for machining resistant materials. It cuts even very hard materials, such as 718 Inconcel, 300-series stainless steels and titanium, like a knife through butter – at extremely high speed. 

Extension capability

The PKM can be combined with other KUKA components for even greater flexibility. It can be installed on the KUKA omniMove transport platform, for example, thus becoming mobile and relocatable. The work envelope of the PKM can also be expanded by adding a seventh axis (linear axis or vertical axis). 

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