Industrie 4.0 at ASM

With the development of the first robot approved for human-robot collaboration, the LBR iiwa, KUKA laid the foundation for new, highly productive approaches to industrial manufacturing. An application at ASM Assembly Systems demonstrates how networked production enables the optimization of SMT lines.

The premiere of the manufacturing innovation for the electronics industry set new standards in the context of Industrie 4.0. At its headquarters in Munich, ASM Assembly Systems, one of the world’s leading suppliers of manufacturing solutions for the electronics industry, demonstrated two different variants of intelligent human-robot collaboration: with the LBR iiwa as a stationary variant in the pre-setup area and, mounted on an autonomous mobile platform, as the KMR iiwa during ongoing operations in a SIPLACE SMT line.

Industrie 4.0 at KUKA: The KMR iiwa navigates autonomously while the LBR iiwa takes over stationary pre-setup operations.

The KUKA manufacturing solution for ASM

In the pre-setup area of an SMT line, the component tables have to be supplied with component reels. With the aid of the SIPLACE Material Setup Assistant, it is determined which component reels are required on the tables. This assistant sends the appropriate request to the SIPLACE Material Manager, which automatically releases the component reels from the SIPLACE Tower.

The robot takes component reels from the SIPLACE Tower and places them on the component trolley in the desired order. Humans and robots interact directly, without a safety fence – a central requirement of Industrie 4.0. The concept achieves two key objectives: not only is the high quality of the products assured at all times thanks to the use of robots, but productivity is also increased.

LBR iiwa and KMR iiwa working together

Equipped with a custom-tailored gripper, the robot is able to pick up the component reels sensitively in the pre-setup area of the SMT line – even though the reels have different diameters and the sides of the reels are of varying thickness and flexibility. In the placement process on the running line, the SIPLACE Line Monitor informs the operator which component reel in which slot will run out next. It sends this request to the SIPLACE Material Manager, which automatically releases the reels from the SIPLACE Tower.

The KMR iiwa now travels to the SIPLACE Tower. There it feels along the lower level and left side of the shaft as well as the depth of the shaft. It determines the height of the tape reel and then loads tape reels one by one onto the mobile platform. Finally, the robot transports all of the component reels to the SMT line and hands them over to the operator at the correct location and in the correct order.

KUKA KMR iiwa and KUKA flexFELLOW optimize production at ASM:

Industrie 4.0 is enabling humans and robots to work together safely.


The robotic automation for SMT lines demonstrates potential for Industrie 4.0. This potential lies primarily in avoiding errors, lightening the workload for human operators and simplifying tasks in the pre-setup area. The LBR iiwa and KMR iiwa mobile robots are able to move freely and safely in the work environment of the human operators.

We use cookies to offer you the best service online, as well. More under Privacy Policy.