Kristian Kassow CEO of Kassow Robots with cobots
Kristian Kassow CEO of Kassow Robots with cobots

Cobots: a key part of easy industrial automation

Cobots (collaborative robots) are becoming a vital way to help manufacturers improve their productivity. Strong, fast and simple to use, they can make production processes more efficient and business more competitive. We look at what cobots do, how they support production and how Kassow Robots has been growing since the majority stake acquisition by Bosch Rexroth.

A lot has happened in the year and a half since the Danish cobot manufacturer became part of Bosch Rexroth: With the move to a new location, it was possible to expand the production capacity in a highly professional manner and to increase revenue significantly. The team has grown: in Copenhagen, where the company was founded, at the subsidiary in Prague, and within the sales team based in Ulm. Kassow Robots has greatly expanded its global sales activities by participating in trade fairs in various countries and in events within Bosch Rexroth. The dynamic development has one constant: CEO and founder Kristian Kassow as an intensive driving force.

Cobot market continues to expand

Cobots are an important part of intelligent manufacturing and an effective measure to reduce the pressure on costs while securing production in times of workforce lack. They are increasingly used in industry to automate processes which are done in the same working space as human colleagues. Cobots enable small and medium-sized enterprises to automate with their own staff – because collaborative robots can be easily programmed and operated by almost anybody. There is already a high demand for them, and the market is set to continue expanding*.

They can perform a range of jobs easily and offer plenty of flexible automation options with significant benefits:

  • They can be integrated easily into the production process with minimal changes to the rest of the line – providing a cost-effective entry-point to robotic automation, which can be expanded over time.
  • They are fast and accurate, which improves production efficiency and helps lower overall operating costs.
  • They work safely alongside people.
  • Cobots take on laborious or repetitive tasks, enabling the human workforce to focus on more value adding tasks – which helps address skill shortages.

Seven axes and powerful flexibility

At Bosch Rexroth, we see cobots as an important and versatile part of future proof solutions for factory automation – which is why we’ve expanded our product range with the collaborative robots of Kassow Robots.

The company develops, produces and sells unique and efficient 7-axes lightweight collaborative robots for industrial applications. Their cobots are extremely user-friendly, giving companies great flexibility and enabling small and medium-sized enterprises without in-house robotics specialists to achieve complex automation and programming cost-effectively and independently.

Kassow Robots has designed its cobots to work in the tightest of production spaces. Equipped with seven axes, they can reach around corners like a human arm, and can lift a payload of up to 18 kg. Currently the product family comprises five collaborative robot models, with reaches of 850 to 1800 millimeters, and joint speeds of up to 225 degrees per second.

New products are continually in development. At this year’s Automatica, Kassow Robots presented the Edge Series: a prototype of a controller integrated into the cobot base, delivery of which will start in the beginning of 2024. With no extra controller cabinet to be placed near the cobot, the 7-axes cobots can then be used in even more flexible and space-saving ways, which is very important for mobile applications like AMRs (Autonomous Mobile Robots).

Setting business up for further growth

Thanks to the majority shareholding of Bosch Rexroth, Kassow Robots is now expanding its production and its sales activities worldwide. With CEO and co-owner Kristian Kassow leading the company, the team is primed to introduce their cobots on the world stage, through trade show participation and internal events as well as developing the sales partners network. It currently includes more than 60 partners worldwide, and it continues to grow.

Engineer working on Kassow Robots Edge Series

Electronics engineer Nikolaj Thorup Frederiksen working on the new KR Edge Series (image source: Kassow Robots).

To facilitate this growth, Kassow Robots moved to a new location one year ago. The modern building in Kastrup near Copenhagen offers sufficient space not only for increasing production capacity, but also for development activities and offices. Higher production capacity also means more square meters for testing – the Kassow Robot cobots run through an automated test program after assembly, before being packed for delivery.

In the last almost 18 months we have gone through an exciting and challenging period of scaling up, which we mastered successfully thanks to our highly motivated team. Naturally our primary efforts have been to deliver cutting edge technology in high quality according to the market requirements.

Kristian Kassow

CEO of Kassow Robots

How do cobots work with Bosch Rexroth products?

All five Kassow Robots lightweight cobots communicate seamlessly with the control platform ctrlX CORE. Additionally, an ecosystem of drivers for easy configuration of peripheral devices, communicating with robots, like grippers and cameras, is being further expanded. So the number of compatible end-of-arm-tools and devices is steadily growing, enlarging the scope of application day by day.

The cobots can also be equipped with the Smart Flex Effector from Bosch Rexroth, which facilitates joining processes, complicated assembly movements, or difficult handling tasks that were previously impossible to master mechanically. Through the unique combination of a sensor system, with kinematics operating independently in six degrees of freedom, this compensation module gives industrial robots a sense of touch similar to the human hand.

Convincing benefits: a major order for cobots from Project Service & Production

For the restocking of cabling machines with bobbins, Project S&P, system integrator and customer of Kassow Robots, specializing in the optimization of production processes, has worked out an automation solution for the textile industry.

Mobile handling solution with Kassow Robots cobot

A flexible solution for the restocking of cabling machines with bobbins (image source: Project S&P and Kassow Robots).

To ensure the smooth changeover of yarn packages, Project S&P developed and built a mobile handling solution with a cobot. The automated guided vehicles are equipped with a magazine, a handling system and a KR1018 cobot from Kassow Robots. A linear axis is part of the solution, so that the cobot can load the cabling machines at different heights.

Beyond taking over the workforce’s job of handling very heavy weights, the automation capabilities of the 7-axes KR1018 contributes to smoother yarn package changes. The triple effect of reduced personnel costs, of better quality at the same time due to more gentle package handling and of the ability of material traceability – all this is an achievement of this automation solution. It would not be possible with a conventional 6-axes robot. The success of this has meant that a larger number of cobots are being delivered to the customer.

If you would like to find out more about Kassow Robots, visit the company’s website.

* https://interactanalysis.com/insight/can-the-collaborative-robot-market-experience-a-second-growth-surge-in-the-post-pandemic-era/. Sourced 05/09/2023.