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KUKA Industries: Winner of the Industrie 4.0 Innovation Award

The Industrie 4.0 solution KUKA SmartConnect.frictionwelding convinced the jury: The VDE Verlag and the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI) honored KUKA with the Industrie 4.0 Innovation Award.

November 21, 2017

The software enables the KUKA Genius friction welding machine to communicate in the cloud. This allows worldwide access to all machine data – via notebook, tablet or smartphone. In a two-level selection process, KUKA's cloud application made it first to the top ten and finally to the top of the podium. All in all, three solutions were honored out of all submissions.

KUKA SmartConnect.frictionwelding – first class

The KUKA Cloud application was able to prevail: First, it convinced the expert jury, later the community in an online voting. "In a 4.0 production, the information must be available in real time. With the KUKA SmartConnect.frictionwelding software, we offer our customers an open platform that enables worldwide access to the machine, production and process data. The data will be analyzed automatically and the machine will contact you on your smartphone if anything comes up." says Product Manager Till Maier from KUKA Industries. “These benefits will be felt by the trade public as well as our customers, who benefit from it in everyday production." Both the jury of experts and the online voices met the required criteria of the Industrie 4.0 Innovation Award: SmartConnect.frictionwelding supports the horizontal and vertical integration, supporting vendor-independent standards, ensures resource efficiency and complies with the reference architecture for Industrie 4.0 (RAMI 4.0).

Cloud communication

The KUKA SmartConnect.frictionwelding is a cloud-based software solution for the friction welding machine KUKA Genius, where all machine, production and process data can be retrieved and automatically analyzed via a secure Internet connection in real time and worldwide. The responsible persons are able to receive messages about critical machine conditions. The status data can be viewed via PC, notebook or even smartphone. This is possible by using the standardized Industrie 4.0 standard OPC UA and the KUKA Remote Service Box, on which the edge gateway by connyun adjusts the control and data communication with the cloud. The production can be monitored live, maintenance predictions can be made and errors can be detected and corrected more quickly. “Thus, up to 75% of the maintenance-expenditures can be reduced. The uptime and with that the productivity of the friction welding machines will rise”, says Till Maier. Different user views increase the user quality. The application is a component of the KUKA SmartProduction-Cloud, which allows customers to keep an overview of the data of all individual components of their production line.

This is a great award for KUKA. Many thanks to everyone who voted for us.

Till Maier, Product Manager Advanced Welding Solutions at KUKA Industries

Live production data at a click. Any time, any place!


General status data about the machine for a quick overview, including live video streams of the welding process on activation of the KUKA Remote Service.

Production Monitor

Overview of the production and the relevant statistics, as well as the quality of the component and the weld.

Process Monitor

Provides extensive data about the current welding process and the corresponding machine setup.

Service Monitor

Overview of the system with machine messages and status information about the maintenance work that is due.

Expert Analytics

Analysis of history data, formulation of rules and messages via text message/e-mail, to introduce optimization measures.