KUKA Robotics Installs First Stainless Steel Robot In North America

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Jan. 24, 2006— KUKA Robotics Corporation, a leading global manufacturer of industrial robots, today announced its system partner, Forte Automation Systems, has installed a KUKA KR 15 SL stainless steel robot into Dean Foods' dairy product manufacturing facility. The robot is the first stainless steel robot to be installed in North America. Dean Foods, a division of PET Dairies LLC, is using the KUKA KR 15 SL robot in its dairy case packing process.

"KUKA Robotics' stainless steel robots have been working in many applications & industries in Europe and we are pleased to be able to offer our North American customers this option as well," said Joe Campbell, director of strategic alliances for KUKA Robotics Corporation. "Food manufacturing in particular requires extremely stringent sterility standards and stainless steel is the optimum material to meet these requirements."

"Dean Foods came to us needing to increase their case packing production using their current staff," said Toby Henderson, president of Forte Automation Systems. "We reviewed their facility and determined that the KUKA KR 15 SL with its stainless steel exterior would more than meet their wash down requirements and free up at least 4 employees."

"Food manufacturing workers are highly susceptible to work related injuries due to the highly repetitive nature of their work," said Bill Schaefer, general manager of Dean Foods. "Anytime you can move workers from tedious assignments to more mentally challenging ones the more productive you will be which is exactly what we wished to accomplish by adopting this new robot and process."

The KUKA KR 15 SL robot is a six-axis articulated robot is made of stainless steel. The use of stainless steel and the robot's high IP rating makes it suitable for all applications with stringent requirements for hygiene, sterility and absence of particles such as required in the food and beverage or medical industries.

Dean Foods is one of the leading food and beverage companies in the United States. Its Dairy Group is the largest processor and distributor of fresh milk and other dairy products in the country, with products sold under more than 50 familiar local and regional brands and a wide array of private labels. The company's WhiteWave Foods subsidiary is the nation's leading organic foods company. Dean Foods also owns the fourth largest dairy processor in Spain and the leading brand of organic dairy products in the United Kingdom. More information on the company and its products can be found on its web site at www.deanfoods.com.

Forte Automation Systems is a system integrator specializing in integrating robotic solutions with case packaging, raw food processing, and palletizing for the food and beverage industry. More information on the company and its products can be found on its web site at www.forteautomation.com.

KUKA Robotics Corporation, with its parent company KUKA Roboter GmbH, Augsburg, Germany, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of industrial robots, with an annual production volume approaching 10,000 units, and an installed base of over 60,000 units. The company's 5 and 6 axis robots range from 3kg to 500kg payloads, and 635mm to 3700mm reach, all controlled from a common PC based controller platform. KUKA robots are utilized in a diverse range of industries including the appliance, automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, logistics, food, pharmaceutical, medical, foundry and plastics industries and in multiple applications including material handling, machine loading, assembly, packaging, palletizing, welding, bending, joining, and surface finishing. For more information contact KUKA Robotics at 866-873-5852 or online at www.kukarobotics.com.

The KUKA logo is a registered trademark of KUKA Roboter GmbH. KUKA and KUKA KR 15 SL are trademarks of KUKA Roboter GmbH. All other trademarks are owned by their respective companies.



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