Kuka About KUKA Roboter GmbH

Editor: Lisa Saller, Lisa Saller

KUKA Roboter GmbH, with its headquarters in Augsburg, is a member of the KUKA Aktiengesellschaft and ranks among the world’s leading suppliers of industrial robots. Core competencies are development, production and sale of industrial robots, controllers and software.

KUKA @HMI 2015
KUKA @HMI 2015

The company is the market leader in Germany and Europe and the number three in the world. KUKA Roboter GmbH employs about 3640 people worldwide. In 2014, sales totaled 834,6 million Euro. 26 subsidiaries provide a presence in the major markets of Europe, America and Asia.

The use of industrial robots has increased steadily in recent years. For KUKA’s customers, automation “made by KUKA Roboter” is the decisive key to higher productivity and greater cost-effectiveness. It improves product quality, reduces cost-intensive use of materials and minimizes the consumption of dwindling energy resources. Robots replace the rigid and expensive special machines that were still customary fifteen years ago with highly flexible automation solutions.


In the past, industrial robots were used almost exclusively in the automotive sector and in series production. Thanks to the systematic ongoing development of KUKA robot and control technology, KUKA robots have now become established in many other sectors besides the automotive industry. The primary objective here is the development of applications in new markets – particularly in the fields of foodstuffs, plastics, metalworking, foundry, electronics, medical technology and the entertainment industry.

KUKA Roboter GmbH is the one robot supplier that has dedicated itself to simplifying every dimension of robotics. The company is committed to supplying flexible solutions for all areas of automation. This is made possible by the innovative products of the Augsburg-based manufacturer. The KUKA controller generation makes automation easy: easy to plan, easy to integrate, easy to use, easy to maintain and easy to adapt to the specific needs of customers. With the KR C4 controller, the KR QUANTEC robot family, KR AGILUS series and last but not least the 2013 featured lightweight robot LBR iiwa KUKA demonstrate how safe and energy efficient robots can be.

The vision of KUKA Roboter GmbH is to establish the robot as an intelligent assistant. He shall assist the people with his high quality work and also enable the economic use of robots to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Industry 4.0 or “the fourth industrial revolution” is the current mega-topic in industry. There are still no comprehensive standards for it, nor is there a uniform perspective. Buzzwords such as “smart factory”, “smart production” or the “Internet of Things” only describe what the factory of the future could look like. What people do agree about, is that Industry 4.0 is an important, and possibly decisive, field of future activity. After all, companies not just in Germany but also further afield are expecting the intelligent networking of all production-relevant components to deliver a quantum leap in productivity, flexibility and efficiency, thereby safeguarding competitive advantages.

KUKA, as an active member of Platform 4.0, launched an initiative in March 2015 to expand the anticipated communication standard OPC UA (IEC 62541) for mechanical engineering with the important real time properties. The initiative is supported by several associations and companies, including Bosch Rexroth, Deutsche Telekom, Festo, Trumpf and HARTING. Industry 4.0 is at the center of KUKA’s strategy, so we are also going to join the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC). IIC is an open, international non-profit organization that regards the Internet of Things as its main area of activity. For KUKA, participation is an ideal adjunct to its own commitment. Furthermore, the IIC can serve as a platform for us to publicize the standards elaborated in Germany more effectively on an international stage. However, there is also movement elsewhere: the VDI (Association of German Engineers) is going to establish the administrative office of the new “Industry 4.0 Platform – Made in Germany” by autumn 2015 on behalf of the Federal Government; this will establish standards in parallel to technical development. The Federal Government has recognized the importance of Industry 4.0 for Germany, and assigned it a top priority. It is to be assumed that the new initiatives will now accelerate progress towards uniform communication standards.


Even today, KUKA is capable of implementing the networking of production and the digital world that is required for Industry 4.0. Automated production facilities have been a reality all over the world for many years. The “Internet of Robotics” already exists. However, these highly efficient, flexible systems have been specific, one-off solutions up to now, individually adapted to the particular customer’s requirements. If industry succeeds in defining open communication and data standards and establishing them worldwide, production processes will become interoperable even far beyond the factory gate. Only then will the “Internet of Automation” come into being – a Cloud solution which fully exploits the potential of combining comprehensive production data, novel production processes, flexible networking and responsive components.

Open networking and collaboration are the core ideas of Industry 4.0. This paradigm shift is already underway at KUKA today, indeed the company is deliberately forcing the pace. After all, robots will play the key role in the factory of the future. By taking these measures, industrial nations – above all Germany – will be able to expand their competitiveness and, at the same time, counteract demographic change. Consequently, Industry 4.0 is neither a Big Bang nor a buzzword that is devoid of meaning; instead, it is a sustainable investment in our future.