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Automated production sequences for electromobility

The Taiwanese supplier HOTA Industrial opts for automation. The automotive supplier uses KUKA robots in the automated production of drive shafts for electric motors in order to keep quality high and costs down.


Automated production of drive shafts for electric motors

Electromobility is booming – and with it grow the requirements for automotive suppliers. For HOTA Industrial Mfg. Co., headquartered in southern Taiwan, this means not only a higher order volume but also high demands in terms of the quality of the transmission components. In order to meet the needs of its customers, HOTA is relying on the support of robots. Together with KUKA system partner Da Shiang Automation Co. (DSA), the company integrated three KUKA robots into production and now benefits from many advantages. “Automation has changed our production significantly,” says Holly Sheng, CEO of HOTA Industrial. “We avoid errors, deliver consistent top quality, and the robots also help us to work more efficiently.”

Intelligent production, lower costs and a reduced use of resources

The automated production of drive shafts for electric motors, in particular, now uses robots of type KR 60 (now part of the KR IONTEC family) as well as type KR CYBERTECH (KR 22). “The greatest challenge during integration was making optimal use of the robots’ workspace. It was our aim to waste no space but to give the employees enough room to feed in materials,” says Barry Huang, Managing Director of Da Shiang Automation Co. (DSA). DSA has been collaborating with KUKA as a system partner for a number of years, integrating the automation expert’s products into various solutions. Also at HOTA, for example. “The task is to support customers in achieving intelligent production, reducing costs and saving resources.”
Space-saving, intelligent: this is where drive shafts for hybrid and electric cars are being made. 

Production data in real time on the automated manufacturing line for drive shafts

 
On the production line for drive shaft gears, two KR CYBERTECH robots now transfer the finished components to the station for laser engraving. The KR IONTEC loads and unloads the CNC milling machine. All robots are linked to an intelligent AI management system and constantly provide information on processing of the parts. “We analyze the data in real time,” says Barry Huang of DSA. “This enables HOTA to continuously monitor production intelligently. Systems like these support traditional industry in improving the production environment and developing more innovative technologies.”
Automated production sequences for electromobility: KUKA robots in operation at HOTA Industrial.

Reducing errors: robotic production line for drive shafts

Each manufactured part is given its own ID, which makes production fully traceable. Sources of error can thus be detected and eliminated more quickly. DSA is supported in this by the intelligent simulation software KUKA.Sim Pro. Huang explains the benefits: “This enables us to simulate the production lines in advance and thus puts us in a better position to assess the operating status. Errors can therefore be avoided right from the planning stage.”
Intelligent manufacturing of transmission components: insights into HOTA

Good solution to counter the shortage of skilled labor

Thanks to the automated production line, HOTA now works more smoothly and efficiently. “Whereas it used to take weeks or even months to complete a product batch, the robots can now do it in much less time,” emphasizes HOTA CEO Holly Sheng. The quality of the transmission components is continuously monitored at an inspection station. Employees who previously tended machines are deployed elsewhere.
“Given the tense situation on the market for skilled workers, automated production is a good way to ensure our employees have free capacity for important tasks. At the same time, we need additional technicians who can further automate the production line,” says Holly Sheng, CEO of HOTA. To this end, HOTA is also collaborating with schools to strengthen the cooperation between the spheres of industry and education. For the automated production of tomorrow.
HOTA Industrial opts for automated manufacturing lines for the production of drive shafts.

Thanks to automated production using KUKA robots, we are able to hold our own against competitors all over the world.

Alan Chang, Manager at Hota Industrial Mfg. Co.

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