Vendor News: First Stainless Steel Robot Installed In North America

KUKA Robotics Corp. (Clinton Township, Mich.; parent company KUKA Roboter GmbH, Augsburg, Germany) announced that Forte Automation Systems installed a KUKA KR 15 SL stainless steel robot at a Dean Foods’ dairy product manufacturing facility. The robot is reportedly the first stainless steel robot to be installed in North America. Dean Foods (Dallas) is using the stainless steel robot in its dairy case packing process.

“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.”

The KUKA KR 15 SL robot is a six-axis articulated robot made of stainless steel. The use of stainless steel and the robot’s high IP rating makes it suitable for 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.

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