From June 10 for four days, the Munich Trade Fair Centre in Germany will put everything in automotive manufacturing to the test at Automatica 2008. We preview a show that promises to attract 30,000 visitors to 900 exhibitors  

Automatica offers international coverage of assembly and handling technologies, robotics, machine vision and other associated disciplines. It is the first international expo to bring all branches of the robotics and automation industries together at a single event.

All users and developers of robotics and automation systems, from big multinational corporations to mediumsize enterprises and start-ups are likely to be present, with representatives of the world-wide auto industry (OEMs and suppliers), pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, medicine, mechanical and plant engineering, system houses, packaging, electrical engineering, electronics and plastics industries being available to talk to visitors.

ABB Automation – Unternehmensbereich Robotics
Hall B2, Stand 321

ABB Robotics will be featuring its ‘railguide’ journey exhibition, where visitors can find their way to Plastics Place, MetalFab Mile, Foundry Fort and Packaging and Palletising Pavilion, as well as many other interesting destinations. Examples of new and interesting products and solutions on offer include a new generation of paint robot; IRB 360 robot for pick and place applications; power robot for pre-machining; new cutting-edge robotics control software and a Global Partner Program for machine builders. Robotics Service will demonstrate the global service agreement concept, including remote service technology. The powerful technology and global presence of service engineers contribute to immediate analysis and fast assistance during commissioning phase. Customers can benefit from extended production uptime and speed up during the ramp-up phase. Robotics Service also provides a global robot refurbishment programme.

Carl Cloos Schweißtechnik
Hall B2, Stand 329

Carl Cloos Schweisstechnik will be showing an extensive selection of innovative welding equipment. Recentlyreleased products include the CS 30 anti-spatter spray, which sets new standards for protecting tooling. It forms a heat-resistant film on the surface of the tools that prevents the adherence of weld spatters to both tooling and welding torches. The improved adherence to metallic surfaces ensures a longer spray interval, reduces production stoppages and makes the removal of weld spatters much easier.

Cloos now has a complete range of industrial robots with handling weights from 16 to 180 kg for path welding, laser cutting and for handling tasks within complex production systems. All robots are controlled by the CLOOS ROTROL II robot controller and use the CAROLA operating system, which was specially developed for welding.

Epson Deutschland
Hall B2, Stand 511/512

Epson will be launching the new G-Series, its nextgeneration of SCARA robot, replacing the E-Scara series. The G-Series line-up gives customers a choice of 168 models, ranging from 450mm to 1000mm in reach and with payload capacities of up to 20kg. Because of Epson ‘smart motion’ technology, the G-Series robots have improved speed, with a longer reach, higher precision and more reliable performance. In combination with the Epson RC170 compact controller, the G-Series offers outstanding performance and ease of use. All G-Series robot arms are available in standard, Class 10 Clean, or IP54/65 configurations. They are available in table-top, wall or ceiling mount configurations and the arms all have internal cabling.

Hall B1, Stand 310
Euchner will be showing its CES-AR-C non-contact switching series, which makes it possible to monitor several safety guards at once. Up to 20 devices can be included in one switch chain. The new ZSM enabling switch from Euchner will also be displayed. More than just an ordinary enabling switch, it sets itself apart from other manually-operated control devices thanks to its modular and ergonomic design, making it suitable for many different functions. Euchner will also be showing two new safety switches, the STP Twin and SGP Twin, which allow two doors to be protected simultaneously.

Hall A2, Stand 309

All demonstrations at Automatica make extensive use of Festo’s fluidic muscles, an alternative to pneumatic cylinders and other actuators. Consisting of an elastomer tube reinforced with aramid fibres, these actuators contract quickly and exert a pulling force when they are filled with a blast of compressed air or hydraulic fluid. Much like their natural muscle counterparts, these bionic muscles experience a decay in force as they shorten, making them ideal for sensitive components. Festo’s Corporate Design Centre has developed muscles that can exert 6,000 N of force when filled to a pressure of 6 bar. They can also respond quickly at frequencies up to 100 Hz. Twenty-five per cent smaller than comparable pneumatic actuators, they also take up relatively little space.

Fronius Deutschland
Hall B3, Stand 520

Fronius International has been researching technologies to control and distribute electrical energy for more than 60 years. In addition to solar electronics, the company has welding technology and battery charging systems divisions that are internationally successful. At Automatica, Fronius will primarily be demonstrating its Acctiva battery-charging product range, and giving information outlining the savings in acquisition, energy and maintenance costs offered by these intelligent battery chargers. Fronius will also be exhibiting new products and present commercially-attractive analyses to provide visitors with informative figures relating to the often hidden cost factors in energy supply and usage.

Hexagon Metrology
Hall B2, Stand 517

Hexagon Metrology will be showing the new Leica Absolute Tracker product line from Leica Geosystems. At 22kg and 62cm in height, this is the company’s most compact laser tracker to date.

The Leica Absolute Tracker family comprises three laser tracker systems starting with the Leica AT901-Basic entrylevel unit with a measurement volume of up to 80 metres. The Leica AT901-MR is a mid-range laser tracker with 6DOF [6 Degrees of Freedom] capabilities. Coupled to the Leica Geosystems T-Products, such as the Leica T-Probe, Leica T-Scan and Leica T-Mac, the Leica AT901-MR can operate in a measurement volume of up to 18 metres. It is the ideal laser tracker for automotive applications, allowing the placement of several bodies-in-white within its measurement envelope.

inos Automationssoftware
Hall B3, Stand 302

Inos Automationssoftware (inos) provides industrial robots with sensory capabilities. The ability to see and feel is not only useful in robotics; it can also be utilised in quality assurance, providing a flexible and intelligent production system which controls itself and is able to react to changes in production conditions.

On display will be the inos iMS flex, a flexible robot-based absolute in-line measuring system. Using the robot-based inos iMS measuring system, contactless absolute measurement can be performed on parts and bodies with a high degree of precision in the body shop or final assembly, with unpainted or painted bodies with different varieties of colour and environmental lighting.

ISRA Vision
Hall B3, Stand 309

ISRA Vision will be demonstrating a variety of sensor solutions for in-line measurement in production processes. Its Geometry Gauging Sensors (GGS) offer measurement of components or other objects in two and three-dimensions, enabling the object’s position to be reliably defined in spatial co-ordinates during the manufacturing process. Together with software from Metronom Automation, designed to process the measured data, the entire system offers key information about the measurement data for the application, together with information about the overall process. The systems offer maximum dependability with a minimum defect tolerance.

Hall B3, Stand 405

Kabelschlepp will be showing a variety of products from its range of cable carriers, guideway protection and conveyor systems. The MC-1300 will be on display as well. This is currently the largest version of the M-Series cable carrier, with a height of 87mm and an interior width of 100mm to 800mm. This new line is ideal for use in harsh environments. It is also designed for minimum joint wear, allowing it to be used in a variety of applications. This makes the new chain ideal for outdoor duty in cranes and plants. Kabelschlepp will also be showing their latest generation of light and quiet UNIFLEX Series which comes in a new, smaller design.

Kawasaki Robotics
Hall B2, Stand 331

Kawasaki Robotics will be showing its new ‘K Series’ of explosion-proof painting robots, with a line-up of eight models designed to cover all types of work, from the production of mobile phone cases to executive cars. Four basic types of robot are available, ranging from the KF121 for small work to the KE610 for automotive inner and outer chassis painting. A variety of wrists, with up to six different axes of movement (rotation or bend) offer further flexibility. All robot arms have built-in hoses as standard. Internally fitting the hoses minimises the opportunity of mist and spray sticking to piping and from dust being attracted to the workpiece. These internal hoses are either 40- or 70mm in diameter.

KUKA Roboter
Hall B3, Stand 211

KUKA Roboter will be showing DePalGo Tyre, a brandnew system for automatically unstacking pallets of tyres in automotive production. No matter how tightly the objects are packed or how much they have slipped during shipment, the KUKA robot recognises their position and is able to pick them up. This is made possible by a laser-based 3D object recognition system. With a cycle time of just 7.8 seconds, it removes up to 10,000 tyres per day, tyre by tyre, using a universal gripper system.

KUKA Roboter will also be presenting a comprehensive range of its products and services including the KR 1000 titan, currently the world’s strongest industrial robot. KUKA robots work both with other robots and with human operators. To demonstrate this, KUKA will be showing the KUKA RoboTeam and KUKA SafeRobot combined in an arc welding cell. A fully-synchronized RoboTeam - consisting of a KR 210 and two KR 6 arc welding robots - work together on a bicycle frame.

Hall B3, Stand 334

Recent acquisitions mean that Leoni can demonstrate ‘full service’ delivery from cable systems to industrial robotics applications. Leoni has expanded the range of products and services in its Robotic Solutions business, while increasing its competitive position in the market for robot-controlled automation technology. The Leoni subsidiary advintec ( has hitherto specialised in order picking and the installation of robot function packs, for example, spot welding of car bodyshells. The acquisition of Robot-tec has enabled the company to equip these systems directly to the corresponding application. Customers include carmakers such as General Motors, BMW, Daimler and VW, and their component suppliers.

PIAB Vakuum
Hall A2, Stand 229

PIAB will be introducing its newest conveying solution, the C2100-64. This product is engineered to be compact yet powerful, while quietly and hygienically conveying powder and bulk materials in spaces with very low ceilings or limited space. The design of the conveyor improves the vacuum-assisted flow by 25 per cent without affecting energy consumption. The C-2100-64 is able to transport between 1.0 and 1.5 tons-per-hour of powders and granules. PIAB will also be showing a variety of products from its line of vacuum pumps, vacuum accessories, vacuum conveyors and suction cups, designed for a variety of automated material handling and factory automation processes. These include the VGS series of vacuum gripper systems, featuring three gripper system sizes that allow users to increase productivity and lower operating costs. The VGS series is designed for applications throughout the production line, such as pick-and-place, injection moulding and palletising.

Hall B1, Stand 301

On the Pilz display will be a range of machine builders and system integrators using Pilz technology to safeguard its applications. These include: SafetyEYE (the world’s first 3D, vision-based safety monitoring system), PSS, PNOZmulticonfigurable modular safety controllers, interlock guard switches with solenoid locking, safety light curtains and high-integrity, coded, non-contact guard switches; perimeter fencing; interlocking devices; electro-sensitive safety systems; light beam devices; laser scanners; capacitance safety devices; pressure-sensitive mats; two-hand controls; trip devices; positive stops; brakes; emergency stop actuators; and enabling devices. Pilz, inventor of the safety relay, is the world’s leading supplier of safe automation control systems. Other firsts include a programmable safety system for machinery, an approved safe field bus, the SafetyBUSp and the recently released PNOZmulti, a freely-configurable safety relay.

Hall B3, Stand 300

QUISS will be showing its TCVision.e advanced inspection system for converted ends. TCVision.e inspects converted ends for geometric anomalies, including distortions and exact curl diameter, rivet formation, rivet diameter, tab rotation, tab ears as well as minor cracks and machine marks.

The use of high-speed Gigabit Ethernet cameras enables the smart inspection system to inspect up to 1000 parts/min on three lanes. Because of unlimited cable length, it can be customised to suit any configuration. TCVision.e generates no false rejects when deployed in continuous production. A 100Hz image capture rate permits inspection at a minimum end distance.

J Schmalz - Förder- und Handhabungstechnik
Hall A2, Stand 403

J Schmalz will be showing selections from its range of vacuum components, gripping systems, vacuum handling systems and vacuum clamping systems.

Components from its range of vacuum valves for controlling vacuum and improving the process safety in vacuum-gripper systems will be on display, along with vacuum suction cups, vacuum generator and vacuum system monitors. Schmalz is also well known for its ability to handle wooden parts and furniture components. SHFN flat suction pads and SHF suction plates can handle rough-sawn wood, laminated and unlaminated chipboard, parquet flooring and furniture elements.

Schunk - Spann- und Greiftechnik
Hall A2, Stand 103

Schunk will be demonstrating a variety of products from its work-holding and vision systems ranges, including the Intelligent Vision Sensor SRV. The SRV is a complete system that can be used without extra peripheral devices for practically all tasks in industrial image processing. The SRV can perform assembly and feature checks, recognise damage on edges, detect the position of fastenings and labels, and sort and remove defective components.

At the other end of the scale, Schunk’s new Rota NCS sealed six-jaw power chuck will also be on show. This offers high run-out accuracy with active pull-down force distributed through its six jaws for lathe-based precision machining.

Visitors can also get to grips with additions to its SLH assembly elements for the GEMOTEC modular system, which now offers elements for pipe columns 35mm in diameter.

Visual Components
Hall B3, Stand 232

Visual Components will be presenting several solution partner applications at Automatica this year. These will include production scheduling, PLC validation and controller visualisation on the Siemens 840D machine controller.

The solution partner application demonstrates a cost-effective simulation toolkit to service the complete production lifecycle from sales and marketing through to plant validation and shopfloor control visualisation. This is a unique feature of Visual Components; no other simulation supplier is said to be able to support the complete production lifecycle with material handling and robotics all on one platform.