FANUC supplies 3,500 robots to Munich-based automotive group
Major order seals strategic partnership
Industrial robot manufacturer FANUC and the automotive group BMW AG have signed a framework agreement for the supply of 3,500 robots for new production lines and plants. FANUC robots will be used in the production of current and future generations of BMW models. The first robots were installed at the end of 2019. Further robots will be used at German and international production sites of the BMW Group in the coming years.
For FANUC, winning this project is an important milestone as a strategic partner of the BMW Group. The robot manufacturer is continuously investing in research and development as well as in the expansion of its service network to support its customers all over the world. Various FANUC robot models will be used by the BMW Group in the future, including newly developed ones that have been tailored to the customer’s individual requirements.
The robots will be primarily used in body shop construction and for the production of doors and bonnets. In cooperation with manufacturers of hose packages and traversing axes, FANUC is rounding off its range of supplies to the BMW Group by providing peripheral components.
With over 110 robot models in the range, FANUC offers the widest range of robots for industrial applications worldwide. These include particularly powerful types such as the M-2000, which can safely carry loads of up to 2.3 tonnes and move them flexibly via its six axes. The company is not only successful in the automotive industry: more than 600,000 FANUC robots have already been installed worldwide across a wide range of industries.
At its state-of-the-art headquarters in Ansty Park, Coventry, FANUC UK brings together world-leading capabilities in industrial robots, machine tools and plastic injection moulding machines to facilitate the complete integration of factory automation systems for UK manufacturers.
FANUC UK works in partnership with FANUC Europe Corporation to provide a range of customer support services, including sales, product support, parts, repairs, and training, as well as development of bespoke engineering systems. FANUC UK is a subsidiary of FANUC Europe Corporation and employs approximately 107 staff.
Discover how automation can improve your productivity
FANUC to focus on delivering productivity through automation at inaugural Open House
In order to answer some of the burgeoning questions on automation in UK manufacturing, FANUC is hosting its first ever Manufacturing, Automation, and Digital Transformation Open House.
Taking place at its state-of-the-art UK headquarters from 29thto 31stOctober 2019, the event is open to UK industry to understand how automation can improve productivity across manufacturing. Including a number of demonstrations, as well as hosting industry debate, manufacturers can sign up to attend the event via the FANUC website.
Recent figures suggest that UK automation is currently falling behind other leading manufacturing nations, which is having an impact on its ability to keep pace in terms of productivity. To illustrate the point, there are just 71 industrial robots per 10,000 workers in the UK, positioning it behind 14 other European countries. In contrast, Germany has 309 units, contributing to a production rate which is 30 percent higher per hour than that of the UK.
FANUC UK managing director,Tom Bouchier comments: “Many in UK manufacturing remain suspicious of automation, with a common misconception being that it equates to a high up-front cost. However, automation solutions are accessible to everyone, from family run subcontracting businesses, through to multi-national organisations.
“FANUC’s inaugural Open House will showcase a range of technologies, seeking to address misunderstanding within UK industry and highlight how turning to automation can drive significant and tangible productivity.”
One area of automation which will be demonstrated is collaborative robotics (cobots). With built-in sensors and vision systems, cobots are capable of working alongside human operators in a variety of different operations. Cobots are already in use in a range of processes in the UK, across a range of industries. Three distinct models will be exhibited at the Open House including the CR-35iA, which is the only cobot in the world with a 35 kg payload.
FANUC’s production equipment series: the ROBODRILL, ROBOSHOT and ROBOCUT, will also be displayed, offering visitors the chance to see these state-of-the-art machines in action. There will be live demonstrations throughout the event, illuminating the power of automation in the manufacturing process.
The ROBODRILL, a compact yet powerful 5-axis drilling machine, will be represented by the α-D21MiA with Mechatronic iTend machine-tending solution, alongside the α-D21LiB5 complete with DDR Tl-iB additional axis control.
To highlight how automating injection moulding can drive further productivity gains, FANUC will be displaying its α-S50iA injection moulding ROBOSHOT as part of a hi-tech automation pick-and-place-to-conveyor application.
The ROBOCUT wire-cutting machine exhibits will feature an aerospace application for precision machining on the C-400. The C -600 and C -800 will also be showcased.
FANUC’s software offering will also be exhibited, including its ROBOGUIDE software, Zero Downtime (ZDT) technology and the newly launched FIELD (FANUC Intelligent Edge Link & Drive) system. There will be a team of experts on hand to talk visitors through how these various pieces of technology can improve factory productivity, highlighting how the manufacturing process can be optimised.
Tom Bouchier concludes: “We’re thrilled to be able to highlight the wide range of possibilities in automation. It’s crucial that UK manufacturing maintains its position as a world leader and the adoption of automated solutions is key to this.”