KUKA has a structured partner program, that extends from entry level to Platinum partner, the statuses of which are assigned according to either length of time within the program or numbers of robots sold. One such partner who have partnered with KUKA since 2017 and continue to retain their Platinum partner status are Loop Technology Ltd.
The Dorset based industrial automation specialists expanding portfolio can be attributed to their passion for innovation and forward thinking within composite process automation solutions into the aerospace, automotive and renewable energy sectors.
KUKA made a strategic decision in 2011 to not compete with systems integrators in market sectors outside its original core area of large auto manufacturers, and instead develop strategic partnerships that bring in-depth knowledge of applications and specialist skills to the benefit of customers across all manufacturing sectors.
Bernard Bagley, Head of Robot Sales General Industry, KUKA UK says “The partner program encourages constructive engagement between KUKA and our integrators. As time goes on, our relationships evolve into open and symbiotic partnerships”.
Alun Reece, Director, Loop Technology adds “We have a great trust-based relationship with the KUKA UK team and feel our feedback is taken seriously. They do whatever they can to ensure we are well looked after”.
Partnering with KUKA provides Loop Technology with many benefits including sales leads, new business opportunities and facilitates the connection between Loop Technology and businesses who are trying to automate challenging processes, which necessitate innovative solutions that only a specialist industrial automation provider and integrator, such as Loop Technology, can provide.
“The robot element of an automated system represents about 25%. Integration, tooling and task-related software represent the other 75% and that’s the integrators’ area,” Bernard explains.
Access to KUKA’s technical and applications experts in both the UK and Germany is another important aspect of the system partner program. The extensive knowledge that is available can be helpful when creating cell configurations for new applications.
Working with KUKA often helps their system partners to “punch above their weight”; having the support of a large company with a global footprint can enable them to acquire the business they might not usually have had exposure to – and customers can have confidence that even a small, specialist company will be able to deliver novel ideas and solutions. Being a Platinum Member provides a positive endorsement for Loop Technology to KUKA’s global market, which Loop Technology feels is vital in extending their reach, both in the UK and overseas.
The partnership has been invaluable for Loop Technology during the recent design phase of a demonstration and development capability for composite preforming technology.
“Our Platinum Partnership enabled us to procure the robotics at extremely competitive rates and by working with the KUKA UK team we are confident we have furnished the robot with the right peripheral equipment,” says Alun Reece. “This facility will drive Loop Technology’s growth plans and form the key to a significant forecasted growth in revenue over the next five years by allowing us to continue enhancing our capabilities and remain at the forefront of this global opportunity”.
Of Loop Technology’s Platinum status retention, Michael Payne, Area Sales Manager – South West, KUKA UK said “We have a long-standing relationship with Loop Technology and it is of no surprise that they retain their position as one of the jewels in our band of platinum integrators. Through our long-standing relationship, we have seen Loop Technology push the boundaries of robot capability on a multitude of projects so varied that their versatility is more than apparent. With any Loop Technology project, there is always one constant; their ability to think outside the box and solve complex problems. Time and again they have found solutions on the edge of existing technologies and in some cases pushing forward the boundaries of what we deem to be possible. We are very fortunate to have the relationship we do with Loop Technology. They are a huge asset not only to us but the UK’s engineering sector”.
Alun Reece concludes “We look forward to continuing to develop our strong relationship with KUKA. We will continue to support and encourage opportunities between our two companies, as we have done for many years”.