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Granta Automation Ltd, named as KUKA UK’s latest addition to their Platinum system partner portfolio

The system partner program enables KUKA to strengthen the breadth and depth of expertise available to its clients, via strategic partnerships that bring in-depth knowledge of applications and specialist skills to the benefit of customers across all manufacturing sectors. For customers that need equipment integration and programming, what they bring is specialist skills, and knowledge of bespoke materials and geometries of products. KUKA’s sales force can talk about needs and introduce the specialist that have the skills to deliver the appropriate requirements and provide the best service and support..

12 February 2021

One partner who has benefited from just some of the benefits attributed to partnering with KUKA UK, is Granta Automation, whose successes in the provision of end of line palletising, has seen them promoted from Gold, to Platinum system partner.

2020 has accelerated the adoption of automation and robotics across several sectors, such as food and beverage and logistics, due to ever-increasing product iterations, rising costs and strict social distancing requirements: industry is being forced to implement new, cost-optimized processes.

At the cutting edge of automated palletising, Granta’ industry knowledge and expertise, coupled with the highly accurate and repeatable characteristics of the KUKA robots, provides a versatile and flexible option for almost every palletising requirement.

Andrea Marsh, Granta Automation: “As a specialist robotic palletising company, we chose to partner with KUKA because of their high product quality. Having installed multiple robots, we have found them to be extremely reliable and requiring very little maintenance.  Whilst they are not the cheapest robots on the market, the reliability and low maintenance saves our customers more money in the long run than having a cheaper robot with higher maintenance costs. Our strategic partnership with KUKA allows us to provide reliable palletising solutions for our customers”.

Bernard Bagley, Head of Robot Sales General Industry (UK) & Israel: ““The robot element of an automated system represents about 25%; integration, tooling and task-related software represent the other 75% and that’s the system partners area,” he explains.

“If you think of a palletisation robot, it picks things up, swings around and puts them down – it’s quite simple, really. It becomes complex when you add upstream and downstream functions, from conveyors to sorters and other pieces of equipment. KUKA is a product-based busi­ness and our robots are virtually 100% reliable. The wider system can be very diverse and it’s the likes of system partners, like Granta Automation, who are best placed to deliver in the application area.”

Whilst the UK still lags painfully behind its European manufacturing counterparts in robot density, the number of robots used within palletising applications in the UK, in 2020 rose by 140%, compared to 2019.

Andrea Marsh adds: “As a Platinum system partner we only see continued growth over the coming years. With the UK being well behind other countries in embracing robotic automation, there’s plenty of catching up to be done!”.

Working with KUKA often helps their system partners to ‘punch above its weight’; having the support of a large company can enable them to acquire business they might not otherwise.

Andrea Marsh concludes: “As a platinum partner we’re able to provide better training for our customers and internal staff. Aside from that KUKA are also a great team to work with, and as a key strategic partner for palletiser systems we look forward to a successful ongoing relationship.”.