HAIGER/STRIBRO – As a global leader in material handling and supply chain solutions, the KION Group relies on CLOOS automation solutions for welding industrial trucks. In total, the group uses more than 70 CLOOS robot systems at eight manufacturing sites worldwide. "In the years of collaboration with CLOOS, we were able to jointly develop new technology standards that have created added value for both sides," explains Jürgen Grünewald, Senior Project Manager Welding & Automation Production Technologies at the KION Group. For example, CLOOS and KION have developed a chained robot system for the automated welding of masts for the Stribro site. This concept is used several times around the world.
With more than 40,000 employees in over 100 countries, KION's solutions improve the flow of materials and information in production plants, warehouses and distribution centres. More than 1.6 million forklift trucks and warehouse trucks and around 8,000 installed systems are in use worldwide - at customers of various sizes in numerous industries on six continents.
High level of automation ensures one-piece flow In 2015, KION opened a new site in Stribro in the Czech Republic for the production of reach trucks and pallet stackers. As at all its sites, KION relies on innovative production technologies and invests continuously in automation and digitisation along the entire production chain. The Stribro site has grown very strongly since opening. Around 70 of the approximately 400 employees work in the welding area. Due to the general shortage of skilled workers and many industrial companies in the region, it is not easy to find qualified employees. KION wants to counter this with a high level of automation. "The safety of our employees is our top priority," emphasises Jakub Stajner, Project Leader Industrial Engineering at KION in Stribro. "In addition, our goal is to achieve a one-piece flow in our production, where we make the best possible use of the space available. Last but not least, we want to meet and exceed our customers' requirements in terms of quality, cost and delivery time."
Welding as key manufacturing process Therefore, the company relies on the CLOOS automation solutions regarding welding. In the meantime, KION uses seven robot systems in Stribro. Another one is currently in the assembly process. "We chose CLOOS because the company is the best provider on the market when it comes to combining welding processes and robot systems," Grünewald emphasises. "This is a big advantage for KION because welding is a key manufacturing process for us."
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