After starting its new production plant in Shanghai, KUKA now celebrated the opening: With hundreds of guests from inside and outside the country and a German star in the center that ranks among the most popular of his fellow countrymen in China: Ping pong champion Timo Boll. One of the highlights of the event was the world premiere of a movie including Timo Boll playing table tennis versus a robot.
With 350 jobs and a capacity of up to 5,000 robots every year, the new fab-rication plant of German robot manufacturer KUKA Roboter GmbH started its production at the end of last year. On 20,000 square meters the new production base of KUKA in Shanghai is now ready to produce KUKA in-dustrial robots and controllers for the Asian region directly onsite in China. “China is one of the biggest and fastest growing robot markets in the world. We have a close and long-term partnership with a considerable number of well-known Chinese customers. In order to enable a continuing growth pro-cess, we now stockpiled our capacities in Shanghai articulately”, Dr. Till Reuter says, CEO of KUKA AG. For the official opening ceremony in Shanghai, KUKA’s management had invited customers, partners and employees from inside and outside the country.
In the midst of them the new KUKA brand ambassador: ping pong star Timo Boll. The several-times European and world cup champion culti-vates a close relationship to his second sportive home: In China, Timo Boll is a superstar. KUKA had attracted broad public already before the opening ceremony. The international company promoted an elaborate film production in which Timo Boll plays ping pong against KUKA robot KR AGILUS. Right at the opening ceremony the film was published. Just about the announcement in a video teaser on the web portal Youku had been clicked plenty of thousand times. Having a commercial that arranges for so much publicity already before the official launch was a big surprise even for ping pong superstar Timo Boll: “Wherever I go, people talk to me and bring up the movie.
The campaign is more than just fun, it promotes the sport of table tennis worldwide. This makes me especially happy.” But not only with a popular campaign KUKA is about to gain more custom-ers in Asia. The market position shall be strengthened especially by shorter delivery times and a closer distance to customers in the Asian region. Kong Bing, CEO KUKA Robotics China, states: “The demand for automation so-lutions including industrial robots in China is huge. I am very happy that we have this opportunity to be set up with a new first-class production plant.” Shanghai thereby represents the Asian central point of KUKA. The good and close collaboration with China is not new for KUKA: Already in the 1990s, the company started intensive relationships with the middle kingdom. In 2000, KUKA founded a subsidiary in China.