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Industrial Robotics Making Way Forward

In India big automotive manufacturers like TATA, VW, Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti, Hyundai etc. are the ones who have started using robotic automation in a big way from last few years. But usage of industrial robots in the general industry has not started widely in the Indian industry. Pradeep Shoran, AGM–Marketing, KUKA Robotics India talks about robotics industry in India and his company’s achievements.
 
KUKA ROBOT is one of the pioneers in Industrial Robotics. Can you discuss about your contribution to the Indian industry?
KUKA Robotics (India) Pvt. Ltd is a 100% subsidiary of KUKA Roboter GmbH, based in Augsburg, Germany. KUKA is the World leader in industrial robots technologies. We deliver the innovative solutions of the future.
 
KUKA Robotics India was incorporated in India in May 2006. With Indian operations headquartered in Gurgaon, we have a state–of–the–art service and training centre in Pune. Today our clientele include most of the automobile and other engineering as well as non–engineering companies.
 
Highlight of our achievements in India includes:
•      Installed KUKA Robot base of more than 700 robots in a short span of four years in the Indian market.
•      KUKA got the biggest order from Tata Motors in the year 2006 of more than 300 industrial robots which was the biggest order ever for automation from the Indian Industry.
•      KUKA India has state of art KUKA College at pune which is considered to be one of the best robot training facilities in the Indian subcontinent.
•      New car models TATA Indica Vista, Sumo Grande, Xenon, Aria, Skoda Fabia, and Volkswagen Polo &Vento are being manufactured using KUKA Robots.
 
What are the solutions your company is providing to the customers?
We at KUKA robotics believe that we have the expertise in the field of robotics and our partners have the expertise in providing the complete solution with our robot in their core application areas. We work very closely with our system partners to provide turnkey solutions to our customers. The good thing is that while working together we are also able to develop new and innovative solutions for our customers.
 
Tell us about your key products and manufacturing facilities.
Our Key Products are Industrial Robots, Robot Systems, PC Based Robot Controller (KRC), Motion Control Systems (KMC), and Robot Application Software. Our manufacturing facilities are in Augsburg Germany.
 
Which are the software products your company offers for industrial robotics?
KUKA offers a variety of software within its products portfolio starting from the system software – which is the operating system and the heart of KUKA controller. We offer different application software which are used for simple programming and high process reliability.  We do offer software for additional functions, different hub technologies software and simulation software.
 
Which are the segments your products are catering for?
Industrial robots and its applications have not let any industry untouched worldwide. Today, robots in most of the industries performing different applications – be it welding, handling, palletizing, pick and place etc. Some of the key industries where we are actively present are: Automotive Manufacturers; Automotive Suppliers (Tier 1&Tier 2); Aerospace Industry; Photovoltaic & Solar Thermal Industry; Foundry & Forging Industry; Rubber & Plastics Industry; Wood & Furniture; Textiles & Clothing Industry; Printing & Paper Industry; Research & Education; Metal Products; Medical Equipments & Precision Mechanics; House Appliances (White goods); Glass Industry; Food & Beverage Industry; Electronics & Communication; Construction; Ceramics & Mineral Products; Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals; and Agriculture.
 
Do you have any plan to introduce new products in the market?
Yes we had the worldwide launch of our new product generation robot termed as Quantec Series robot in the payload category from 90–300 Kgs, the new controller KRC4, the new Smartpad and the new work visual software during the Automatica exhibition in Munich Germany in June 2010. We also plan to have a launch event in India earlier next year for our new product range.
 
How do you see the Indian market for Robotics business? What are the challenges your company is facing?
Till now we don’t have any Indian company manufacturing industrial robots. All players are international. The requirement in India is also slightly different from that of US, Europe or Japan as a lot of customization and localizations need to be done to meet the customer manufacturing process requirement. In India big automotive manufacturers like TATA, VW, Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti, Hyundai etc. are the ones who have started using robotic automation in a big way from last few years. But usage of industrial robots in the general industry has not started widely in the Indian industry so we think there is still a lot of scope for robotics automation in India. Investment cost for robotic automation has also come down drastically due to technological innovations. At the same time performance and flexibility of these systems have been increased manifold.
 
What is your company’s future outlook?
More companies in India use the robotic solutions in a sustainable manner and reap the benefits from the technology and thus become more competitive worldwide. In the coming years robots should become a common workshop “TOOL” from being a sophisticated machine.

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