COLOGNE, Germany - Working for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the high-tech robots at Ford’s state-of-the-art production facility in Niehl, Cologne, Germany, sometimes get sick.
And when that happens it’s down to robot doctors, like Gerd Zech, to help get them back to full fitness (click here to see the doc in action).
Ford has 980 robots at its plants in Germany, helping to make around 1,600 vehicles every day. The company uses two types - Comau and Kuka. Comau is a handling robot moving parts into position. Kuka is a handling robot that also welds points on the bodyshell.
“A normal day starts with error analysis,” says Zech. “ Robots are then disassembled, cleaned and measured. After servicing we reassemble the robots. In emergencies, for example when an assembly line stands still because of a defective robot, we all march out. Then we are the “production’s emergency service”.
“Every day is a new challenge with new problems to be solved. That’s hard, but also what I like the most.”