Swabian Alliance - Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH and KUKA expand global alliance
Augsburg/ Hamlar, December 4, 2008 - The "Swabian alliance" will be expanded
Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH, a global manufacturer of high-tech production systems, and KUKA, a supplier of industrial robots and systems, have been working together for years in the plate glass and solar glass industries, as well as the material and baggage handling sectors. Grenzebach's purchase of a 5.43 percent share in KUKA AG strengthens the Augsburg company's leading international market position in general industry.
Grenzebach, with its innovative, process-controlled material handling systems, is a trendsetter in the plate glass and solar glass industries, delivering everything from stand-alone machines to complete production lines. Grenzebach has been using "Made in Augsburg" robotics for its systems since 2001. Over 150 robots have already been installed worldwide on various projects, and a joint subsidiary is located near Atlanta in the United States.
Grenzebach also relies on KUKA's innovative and powerful KR 1000 robot. The Hamlar-based systems experts were the first to order a "Titan" from Augsburg. Now the Titan makes a significant contribution to process optimization in plate glass manufacturing systems, where it is used to handle special large panes of glass. The advantages are clear: greater flexibility, better glass quality, as well as time and cost savings.
Automation based on robotics
Robots significantly enhance the flexibility of applications such as stacking glass and ceiling slabs or other building materials, or handling baggage at airports. One robot equipped with a universal gripper can stack objects with a wide variety of different shapes and sizes. Furthermore, robots are able to measure the size of the panes, so that they no longer have to be adjusted on the conveyor belt. This makes the system significantly less expensive than conventional technology.
Joint innovations from Swabia
KUKA Roboter GmbH is the ideal robotics partner for Grenzebach. KUKA has the engineering qualifications to help design the processes and the global infrastructure to offer Grenzebach worldwide service. The automation technology leader and the world's leading glass systems builder therefore plan to expand their cooperation agreement to promote robotics applications in additional markets such as wood, building materials and logistics and thereby tap the growth potential in these segments. This partnership has proven its worth for years, not only in Germany, but also in the United States, Canada, China, India, Poland, Turkey and Belgium. Grenzebach und KUKA will now also collaborate to a greater degree in Asia. KUKA service and sales personnel will move into Grenzebach's new, ultra-modern manufacturing plant in Shanghai. The goal is to strengthen and further expand the share of one of the world's largest markets, above all in the plate glass and solar glass industries.
Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH's purchase of shares in KUKA Aktiengesellschaft is seen as extremely positive by both players. Bernd Minning, CEO of Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH, was positive: "KUKA is one of our key business partners, particularly its Robotics division. Purchasing shares in KUKA makes the company a strategic partner in our global organization." For KUKA, the alliance with its Swabian neighbour is "an important building block in the expansion of our leading market position in general industry segments," said Dr. Horst J. Kayser, CEO of KUKA AG. "We already generate over 50 percent of our revenues from general industry in the robotics segment alone."
KUKA Aktiengesellschaft is an international group with revenues of EUR 1.3 billion and 6,000 employees worldwide. The company develops advanced automation solutions for industrial production processes and is one of the world's leading suppliers of robotics and plant engineering. KUKA Roboter sets innovative standards in the development and sales of high-end industrial robots and application modules.
Grenzebach is a leading global supplier of material handling and process technologies. The company has 1,500 employees, based in Germany, Italy, Russia, Taiwan, India, China and the United States. Revenues in 2007 were EUR 270 million.