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Editor: John Mortimer
Monday, 18 August 2014
. . . As KUKA spreads its wings in China
the Augsburg-based robotics and automation company and long-time supplier
to the automotive industry, is expanding its footprint in China – the
world’s second-largest robot market.
the opening of its new production facility in Shangkai earlier this year
with an annual robot capacity of 5,000 from a workforce of 350, Reis GmbH
& Co. KG Maschinenfabrik, a subsidiary of KUKA AG has concluded a joint
venture with Jiangsu Yawei Machine Tool Co., Ltd. in China.
This joint venture allows Yawei to use the product licenses of Reis
linear robots for the Asian market.
The two companies have agreed the new joint venture will trade under
the name Yawei Reis Robot Manufacturing (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd., in which Reis
holds 49% and Yawei 51%. The contract has been concluded for 10 years. The
headquarters will be the location of Yawei in the Chinese city of Yangzhou
and the move will help strengthen the Reis brand name in China.
Yawei is a leading Chinese company specialized in manufacture of
sheet metal working machines for sheet metal working and has been publicly
traded since 2011.
In the first half of this year, KUKA’s order intake has risen 17.8
per cent to €1.185 billion, while sales revenue in the same period went up
10.9 per cent to €968.6 million. The two new business of Reis GmbH of
Obernburg, Germany and Alema Automation of Bordeaux, France contributed €45
The result is the highest level the KUKA Group has ever reported for
the first half of the year.
The company claims that high demand is driven by the automotive and
general industry sectors.
On 1 January 2014, KUKA took a 51 per cent stake in Reis GmbH
founded in 1957 by toolmaker Walter Reis. Reis has US offices in Elgin,
Illinois and Valencia, California.
KUKA took robot orders in the first half worth €443 million, a rise
of 5.4 per cent. System orders increased 26 per cent to €759.9 million with
aerospace being a significant market area.
However, following the acquisition of Utica Enterprises’ systems
business, KUKA Systems claims it has become the number one car body
manufacturer in North America.
KUKA claims to invest between seven and nine per cent of its
robotics division’s sales in research and development. In addition to
innovative standard products, KUKA is focusing on an entirely new product
line: its sensitive robot generation, which will be capable of working
hand-in-hand with humans without protective barriers being needed.
KUKA expects business in Europe to remain stable for the current
fiscal year. Slight growth is expected from the US and Asia. Given the high
order backlog and the steady excellent demand from customers, the company
expects sales at the Group level in 2014 to come in at €2 billion with an
EBIT margin of six per cent.