Machinery and plant engineer Dürr has installed a total of 155 painting and application robots at VW in Bratislava in 2011 and 2012. Forty-five robots are for a new paint shop at the Slovakian auto plant. Dürr has installed another 110 robots to modernize two existing paint lines, on which VW will be able to paint both the body exterior and interior fully automatically in the future; the lines are due to be brought into operation by June 2012. The robot orders for VW Bratislava are worth €36 million.
Besides the painting robots, Dürr is also supplying the complete application and paint supply systems, featuring high-tech products such as electrostatic high-speed rotating atomizers, paint-saving color changers, and software. The scope of supply also includes robots for welded seam sealing and for applying underbody protection. In addition to the luxury SUVs Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7, bodies for the Porsche Cayenne, the new compacts Volkswagen up!, ŠKODA Citigo, and SEAT Mii are produced in Bratislava. An increase in production capacity to 400,000 vehicles is planned for this year.
“We won the order from VW on our good technical performance in terms of quality of finish, paint consumption, and total cost of ownership," said Ralf Dieter, Dürr AG’s CEO. "Bottom line, our technology increases production efficiency in Bratislava measurably.”
The Application Technology division, in which Dürr concentrates its robot and application systems activities, aims to grow its sales revenues from €407 million to over €500 million in 2012. Sales were already increased by 52 percent in 2011. The driver is the buoyant demand in the automotive industry, which has continued so far in 2012. Among the main investment motives in the automobile industry are the need for additional production capacity and the increasing automation of the painting process. For the group as a whole, Dürr expects sales revenues in excess of €2 billion in 2012.