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New robotic workmate on the factory floor

New robotic workmate on the factory floor
Intelligent assistants: Innovative lightweight robots are now lending a hand on high-precision tasks. (Photo: ŠKODA AUTO a.s.)

A new, lightweight robot is now working alongside human colleagues on some high-precision tasks.

The iiwa, or intelligent industrial work assistant, weighs just 23.9 kilograms and can help workers in the one of the most delicate and precise processes in the manufacturing process: inserting the gear actuator piston

“The new lightweight robot is a useful and helpful innovation,” says Michael Oeljeklaus, ŠKODA Board Member for Production. “It makes what was once a complicated production step for our employees significantly easier and safer. We are making strides in the digitisation of our production.”

Thanks to highly sensitive sensors on each of its seven axes, the robot inserts the gear actuator pistons with great precision. The sensors register any possible contact with an employee, thus ensuring the highest possible safety standards.

The robot has been introduced as part of the ongoing modernisation of ŠKODA’s Vrchlabí plant, where the car manufacturer has been producing the innovative seven-speed direct shift gearbox used in ŠKODA vehicles – and by other brands in the Volkswagen Group – since 2012.

Around a thousand people are employed in gearbox production at Vrchlabí, making ŠKODA one of the region’s largest and most important employers.