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Fully charged with KUKA Systems

Augsburg, November 2014 – One of the leading manufacturers of lithium-ion/polymer battery cells in the Chinese region will in future be producing with an RS3.5 friction welding machine from KUKA Systems

2014. november 25.

The system builder and automation specialist was successful in beating out the competition from Japan and Korea.

The friction welding technique offers high process reliability. This is why numerous customers, such as those in the automotive industry, rely on this process for safety-relevant components. It also makes it possible to join very different metals. The battery manufacturer takes advantage of these benefits in the production of battery contacts for an electric vehicle of a premium German manufacturer. “We initially got involved in this project through prototype production, and everything moved rather quickly from there. The customer was thrilled with our process expertise,” recounts Andreas Gistl, project manager in Technical Solutions/Welding Processes. Thanks to many years of experience with this welding technology and experience constructing machines, Augsburg-based system builder KUKA Systems was able to complete the test phase and deliver the friction welding machine within six months.

KUKA Systems means quality and safety

The battery contacts are made from two of the most conductive materials: aluminum and copper. However, these are metals that are difficult to join using a conventional welding process. With the tried-and-tested friction welding technique from KUKA Systems, these two materials can be welded simply, quickly and with high process reliability. Beyond this, the interface resistance at the weld is low so that there is no loss of energy.

With the RS3.5 friction welding machine and continuous process control through PCD parameter monitoring in a matter of milliseconds, the aluminum-copper battery contacts – parts with the highest of demands in terms of quality – are joined. Another advantage: the welding process is fully automatic, thus eliminating the need for manual production steps such as loading and unloading the machines and ensuring a very high quality standard.

There for the customer

Thanks to its subsidiaries in China, KUKA – one of the world’s leading suppliers of plant and systems technology – is in a strong position. However, KUKA Systems aims to improve its position in the Chinese market by offering “German Quality With Customer Proximity”. “We have recognized the growth market in the area of electric mobility, and through our subsidiaries we are present on the ground for our customers. This allows us to respond to their needs in a better and quicker manner,” says Walter Weh, Head of Advanced Welding Solutions at KUKA Systems GmbH.