Story by: Sricharan R

The Germany-based mechanical and plant engineering firm, Durr Systems AG, a leading supplier for complete paint shops for the automotive industry, for tier – I and II suppliers and for the non-automotive industry, has launched ECORP 10 R1100, a six-axis robot. It has a maximum reach of 1,100 mm and a total payload of up to 10 kg. The new robot was showcased at the recently-held Surface & Coating Expo 2018 in Chennai. Equipped with paint application technology for 1K and 2K applications, high- and low pressure as well as water- and solvent-borne paint, the EcoRP 10 R1100 is the perfect choice for electrostatic and other paint applications, that serve the needs of various industries.

Robin Kaufmann, Leiter Sales Industrial Products, Application Technology, Durr Systems AG, said, ”It is a new small-sized industrial painting robot, that consists of the mechanics and robotic controls of Kuka and application components of Durr that comes from the automotive industry and application control from Durr. It can be used in various applications that include for water-borne or solvent-borne applications, 1 component – 2 component systems, from high to low viscosity covers all application, LS gun, air spray gun etc.”

Kuka AG is one of the world’s leading suppliers of intelligent automation solutions. Speaking about the partnership, he said, “We looked into the market potential and it is high and it made sense to create a 100% own product. We partnered with Kuka, and it was a 100% joint co-operation, to create one product that we both sell. Around 12 months of manpower has gone in from both the firms and our R&D department has worked harder to bring the new product.”

The new product has the interaction of robot and the high-speed rotating atomizer that convinces through maximum repeatability and continuous precision. The paint can be charged by a high voltage which achieves an improved transfer efficiency of up to 90%. The maintenance requirements are minimal due to the modular design and lifetime lubrication. “Durr has installed more than 15,000 robots in the automotive industry across countries making us the market leader in automotive robot painting. The average growth rate of the robotics industry is 13% globally with Asia being the main driver in the market. The main growth is in the general industry where automation is becoming the state-of-the-art. The world is changing and is changing constantly. When we do not react to the changes, we will be overtaken,” Kaufmann said.

Durr’s activities in India began when the company built a galvanising line for Tata at Jamshedpur. Today, its divisions are active and offer high-quality balancing and diagnostic machines, application, paint and final assembly systems as well as clean technology systems, industrial cleaning and consulting activities. The company has expanded its capacities in India as an engineering centre for the local and export markets.

Sharing his insights on how the product will be used in the Indian market, Prashanth Alevoor, Head, Application Technology, Durr India, said that they see this product to be used in general industries. “We see the product in the Indian market to be more towards the general industry. This could be anything from tier-I, II, specifically wheels industry, small components and also wood sector, and wherever there are small components. As the Indian industry is moving towards automation and moving away from human skill process this will help it. These requirements will be met by the new product as it is easy to use and easy to integrate. It is something like plug and play. This brings the investment cost low for the customer,” he said.

Alevoor said this product comes directly from Germany. “There, we have all the facilities and benefits of large volume for this particular product. So, we do not enter into localisation. It is a straight product sale. The customer takes it and puts it in the shop and integrates it locally. All the other things around the robot can be local,” he said.

“This is for the first time that an integrator across the globe has the possibility to get his hands on the Durr application equipment. Until now, it was exclusively for the automotive industry,” Kaufmann added.
Alevoor said that the Durr products come enabled for IoT and Industry 4.0. He stated, “They give a choice to the customer that they can ramp up in a modular fashion. Our IoT suite also gives the customer the flexibility to choose and go as per the investment strategy.”



India is one of the main markets: Michael Berger, Managing Director, Durr India Pvt. Ltd.

Q: How has the 50-year journey in India been?
Berger: India has always been an interesting market. Since building a galvanising line for Tata Motors at Jamshedpur, we have developed our activities in the Indian market. We are globally active and India is one of the main markets for us. We have established 3 locations here and in Chennai, we have it for paints, for the automotive industry. We have been building automotive plants for Hyundai, Mahindra and BMW. We entered the two-wheeler industry when the automobile industry slowed down a little bit. The belief in us is because the industry sees the German technology as a standard and Durr as a name, and we would like to continue this.

Q: What are your plans for the two-wheeler market?
Berger: Since 2008 we have a long- time partner for Royal Enfield. Our focus is on the long-term partnership, and we have plans for them in paint application. We have developed wherever quality is required. We are an established company for more than 125 years now. One of the key strengths is experienced people and we have around 16,000 people worldwide. What we are doing is niche and this is what is needed for the future. For a product, you need efficiency and it needs to be competitive. For that, you need efficient and highly qualified machinery. That is what exactly we are providing. It is maintenance friendly and we are ready for the future too, that includes smart and industry 4.0 products.

Q: What are the future plans for Durr in India?
Berger: More automation and more robots for paints will come in. We see that e-mobility will set up different needs. Many top companies have started working for EVs, both in cars and two-wheelers. So, the next generation will be e-driven. For this, there will have a change in production equipment and it requires a different setup. Digitalisation, being more greener, sustainability is also part of it. Besides mass production, it is also going to be on being more environment-friendly. We are also ready for the future with smart products, smart process and smart factories. These are the driving things that will be coming to India.

Q: What sort of investments is being made in India?
Berger: We are continuously investing in the market. We invest mainly in people, and expanding in engineering. We have also invested in the training centre and in service. Wherever our customers are we are present there as well.

Q: What percentage of localisation are you looking in India?
Berger: Localisation is key and we would like to do it. But, it depends on the technology. Key technology like robots will still be imported from Germany, while the products surrounding it is what we would like to go completely local. We are looking at 25% imports and 75% being local made. This is in the automotive industry and all these depend on the technology. In general industry, we have already localised everything. Just the key components are coming from Germany.

Q: How different is Durr from its competitors?
Berger: Quality is one of the main factors. Next, comes workmanship of our qualified people and discipline. Then, the technology, German engineering, German machinery, efficiency and eco-friendliness. R&D is putting in a lot of efforts and digitalisation is part of it.

Q: With automation and digitisation reduce human resources?
Berger: They will co-exist and automation is generating a lot of workforces. We should use automation for surrounding. For example, a painting job can be done by machines and humans can concentrate on much-needed areas.

Q: Is there a possibility for all kind of electric vehicles in India?
Berger: It is possible, but they will be Indian adaptations. There will be a mix of EVs in the city, and hybrids in long distance. For e-mobility, we need infrastructure and as it is behind the schedule, we need other solutions. There will be combustion, EVs, hybrids and the existence of many systems together.


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