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Automated, precise and fast: pick-and-place with KUKA robots

25 KUKA robots at Possehl Electronics work at three injection molding machines. In this way, they support the manufacture of control housings for electric power steering systems in automobiles.

Microelectronics: utmost precision through robot-based automation

In the video, see how 25 KUKA robots work in perfect coordination on three production lines.

A total of 25 KUKA robots at the Possehl Electronics plant in Niefern insert stamped parts in injection molding machines to within 0.1 millimeter – in very short cycle times. Possehl developed the robot-based automation system together with the FPT Group, a long-standing KUKA system partner.

The 25 KUKA robots perform their work reliably and precisely in three production lines. The production process is similar on all three lines: “Trays loaded with leadframes are delivered to a robot cell in stacks on a conveyor belt,” explains Robert Tesch, who is responsible for the Industrial Engineering area of Possehl’s stamping, injection molding and automation operations.

Handling tasks with multiple robots

A KUKA KR 5 arc robot picks up the top tray and places it in the setdown position. A KUKA KR 6 R900 preparation robot then places the leadframe in the bottom stamping die on a rotary indexing table with four stamping tools. These tools separate the vehicle connector pins from the leadframe. Four KUKA small robots from the KR AGILUS series remove six vehicle connectors, five sensor pins and two battery connector pins from each of the stamping tools and place them in transfer slides. The injection molding machine is loaded by a KUKA robot from the medium payload range. Using its special gripper, it takes four of the prepared blanks from the transfer slide and places them into the mold, where technical plastic components are produced. A KUKA small robot collects the finished control housings at a transfer station.

The core of the system: three KR AGILUS robots precisely load components into the injection molding machine.

The solution has made a significant contribution to increasing productivity. Based on our positive experience, we will continue to use KUKA six-axis robots and we will also deploy the robots now in service for subsequent generations as well

Robert Tesch, head of Industrial Engineering for stamping, injection molding and automation operations at Possehl Electronics

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