Rotational friction welding machines

KUKA and Thompson friction welding machines make the industrial joining of a broad range of materials simple and cost-effective. You can even weld challenging and safety-relevant material combinations with high quality in technology trends such as e-mobility and lightweight construction.

Two brands, one strong partner to cover different industries with tailor-made and standard solutions.

Over 50 years ago, KUKA established rotary friction welding as an industrial joining process. The product portfolio of KUKA welding machines was expanded in 1994 with the takeover of machine manufacturer Thompson Friction Welding (UK). Since then, KUKA has been one of the global market leaders in this field with more than 1,200 rotational friction welding machines installed in over 44 countries.

Rotary friction welding technology: economical and safe joining of different materials and material combinations

KUKA friction welding machines weld metallic workpieces such as piston rods, valves or heat exchangers.
With our unique KUKA Tech Centers at Augsburg (Germany) and the Thompson welding competence centre in Halesowen (UK), we are able to test the practical viability of the innovative concepts of tomorrow. We also offer additional services, such as process validation, prototype construction or small series, or take care of the entire manufacturing process in multiple-shift operation.

Advantages of KUKA and Thompson rotational friction welding machines

The high-tech machines set standards not only in terms of precision, dynamics and process control, but also with their high productivity.

  • Maximum cost reduction: the state-of-the-art rotational friction welding machines make it possible to limit use of expensive material to those points that are relevant for the component. 
  • Wide variety of material combinations: the KUKA rotational friction welding machines also enable the welding of challenging combinations of materials, such as aluminum and copper.
  • Maximum flexibility: every technology has its advantages. Double headstock, fixed or moving headstock: we offer the ideal solution for every workpiece.
  • Utmost availability: thanks to the use of high-quality components, maintenance requirements are low and machine availability very high.
  • Component optimization: using rotational friction welding machines, the requirements of the mobility industry with regard to weight reduction are met.
  • Maximum welding quality: with rotational friction welding, you are opting for a production process in which every component is validated..
  • Maximum ergonomics: the use of intuitive touchscreen operation and the ergonomically designed working area make work faster and more effective.
  • Maximum traceability: all process data are numerically and graphically documented and electronically archived by the KUKA PCD (Process Control and Documentation) which was specially developed by KUKA for this purpose. Complaints are thus a thing of the past.

Standard and custom-tailored rotary friction welding machines with fixed headstock or moving headstock

Whether you opt for compact and universal series or special machines for particular components – we offer two different design types with fixed and moving headstocks that are tailored to your requirements as well as special sizes and designs on request.

The high-tech machines of KUKA and Thompson set standards in terms of precision, dynamic, process control, and productivity.

Rotational friction welding machines prepared for Industrie 4.0

Integrating KUKA rotational friction welding machines into your production network is a proven means of increasing your productivity. This requires open interfaces and intelligent control. As a manufacturer of flexible systems for automated production, we have the experience and expertise to develop and implement cost-effective complete solutions with high process reliability. With their easily accessible working area and the network capability of the controller, our rotational friction welding machines offer ideal conditions for the new era of Industrie 4.0.

A concrete Industrie 4.0 solution for friction welding machines has already won prizes: Thanks to the SmartConnect.frictionwelding software, the friction welding machine KUKA Genius can communicate in the cloud in a networked manner, giving users worldwide access to machine, production and process data. For this, KUKA was honored with the Industrie 4.0 Innovation Award by the jury of the VDE Verlag and the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI).
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