Saturday, May 28, 2016

Acquisition of robot manufacturer Kuka: Chinese group wants German … – Bayerischer Rundfunk

The real and the virtual world merge, robots who control themselves and communicate with each other. Hardly a German company is so prominent for so-called industry 4.0 as Kuka. The robot Augsburg potter in car factories around the globe, at BMW in Munich as well as in Tesla in California.

Kuka is not just a robot specialist

It not only builds Kuka robot. Hardly anyone knows that: The daughter Kuka Systems even has its own car factory. In Toledo, an hour’s drive from Detroit, the company manufactures bodies for Jeep. The work is for the company something like a giant laboratory. Here, engineers can test not only new robot, they can also examine and improve how the machines communicate, says Kuka Systems CEO Larry Drake.

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“Every employee here has a device with which he has insight into the system. I could our system from Dubai . check if I wanted I go to an app in my smartphone, look me how to run the systems that is:.. if we bring such systems in the market they are tested and correspond to what the customer expects “

Larry Drake, CEO of KUKA Systems

Kuka – the pearl of German industry – is coveted

experts agree: with such technologies Kuka is among the world leaders. The company is a pearl of German industry and a key element on the way to industry 4.0. Therefore, the interest of the Chinese Midea to the company is not surprising, says Niklas Schaffmeister. The head of the management consultancy GlobeOne looked long and customers in the Far East. He is convinced that a takeover of Kuka from the Chinese perspective makes strategic sense.


“It is of course to the know-how. one of the biggest challenges for China currently is the subject of industry 4.0. the average number of robots per factory is only a fraction of the number of robots in Germany. Since there is massive pent-up demand. and for China, it is almost a matter of survival, to be exact also strong in this area. “

Niklas Schaffmeister, head of consulting Services GlobeOne

also Kuka should benefit from takeover

Conversely see specialists for Kuka perspectives when Midea takes over the management of the Group. The new mother would open the Augsburgers the huge Chinese market doors that were previously closed. Such experiences have most recently the manager of Krauss-Maffei made. The Munich-based manufacturer of plastic machinery has also been adopted by a Chinese buyer a few months ago. Observers will ever see the trend that Chinese owners run European companies on a long leash. Niklas Schaffmeister says you did not want to kill the goose that lays golden eggs eventually.

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“There are indeed just bought German companies because they are highly innovative and particularly well managed in certain areas. and therefore also Chinese investors are well advised to first place, everything leave it as it is and not intervene, but do it at the same time to bring these technologies and products in their huge domestic market for use. “

Niklas Schaffmeister, head of consulting Services GlobeOne

A possible example could be for domestic use Kuka robot. The buyer Midea bills itself as the world’s largest manufacturer of home appliances. For the staff of Kuka there was anyway already clear. Even with a takeover, there will be no job cuts nor relocations.


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