For decades, the Robotics and Automation group, KUKA, has relied on EMKA’s precision fit closures and hinges. So, when it was developing new modular control cabinets for its robot controller and central power supply, the team at EMKA was an obvious choice. Security is vital on these control cabinets which protect the sensitive electronic system against unauthorised access and prevent water and dust permeation.
The planning stages started at the beginning of 2018, followed by approximately two years of development. In January 2021, the order for the series production was placed. During development, EMKA demonstrated its vertical range of manufacture or real net output ratio by making numerous adaptations to the customer’s requirements. In close consultation with KUKA, the hinge types and internal closures were redesigned several times. In addition to several door hinges, the core product is the swivel lever system from the 1325 range, characterised by its modularity and quick assembly.
This modular system offers variable, easily exchangeable locking centre inserts so that KUKA can respond precisely to its customers’ requirements. Furthermore, the flat design of the pre-assembled and spring-loaded swing handle and the use of flame-retardant plastic parts ensure that the system is fire-proof.
The development process focused on two aspects: EMKA developed a new 50/25/50 hole pattern, especially for the new KR C5 cabinet series. Also, the closure technology was adapted to new design requirements: In the course of a more modern look of the new series, the door construction is designed at an angle. The hinges had to be able to bear these loads and be installed accordingly. Another notable design concerns the latches’ placement: normally, the control cabinets are closed exclusively from the outside.
However, the new KUKA cabinet series specified that a side door must be opened exclusively from the inside. For this purpose, T-shaped handles with reversed latches were installed mirror-inverted to not be visible from the outside and fulfil modern design requirements. However, the design also serves a functional purpose: during repair work, employees can unhinge the doors and have more moving space.
Open and straightforward communication was particularly noteworthy in the successful completion of this major project, allied to EMKA’s ability to quickly change design features and manage the whole project in-house.