July 18, 2007 A sign we are living in the future: cars these days are so complex and advanced that even making the windows now requires the use of sophisticated robots. Granted, we aren’t flying around like the Jetsons yet, but this is a good first step. EXATEC, a provider of window glazing systems, has partnered up with KUKA, a leading manufacturer of industrial robots, to engineer a hi-tech method for applying a defroster to polycarbonate windows.
Due to their resistance to impact and temperature, and their transparent appearance, Polycarbonates are being increasingly used in many products, including window design. However the precision required to incorporate a defroster grid on this new material has introduced a demand for an effective application technology. This is where KUKA comes in. The KUKA KR 30 HA is a six axis robot with a payload capacity of up to 30 kg, a reach up to 2033 mm and features an extremely accurate and smooth path ability with a minimum repeatability of 0.1 mm.
KUKA Robotics Corporation, with its parent company KUKA Roboter GmbH, Augsburg, Germany, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of industrial robots, with an annual production volume approaching 10 000 units, and an installed base of over 75 000 units. The company’s five and six axis robots range from three kg to 570kg payloads, and 635mm to 3700mm reach, all controlled from a common PC based controller platform. KUKA robots are utilized in a diverse range of industries including the appliance, automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, logistics, food, pharmaceutical, medical, foundry and plastics industries and in multiple applications including material handling, machine loading, assembly, packaging, palletizing, welding, bending, joining, and surface finishing.
EXATEC, a joint venture of Bayer MaterialScience and GE Plastics, continuously develops new functionalities for its proprietary EXATEC glazing systems to meet specific customer requirements for transparent surfaces in vehicles. EXATEC glazing systems for large windows, highly integrated backlites, and demanding applications like panoramic roofs and innovative door concepts meet the automotive industry's stringent requirements for abrasion resistance and UV resistance.