HAHN Group expands its footprint in the United States by acquiring REI Automation, Inc.

Frankfurt, Germany – HAHN Group acquired REI Automation, Inc., which will continue to operate under existing management.

The HAHN Group, a leading provider for factory automation and robotic solutions, has acquired REI Automation, Inc. The takeover is effective as of 01. November 2019. With the company based in Columbia, South Carolina, the HAHN Group adds a hub in the important industrial area of the Southeast and strengthens its regional coverage in the United States. REI Automation will complement the Assembly & Test Division within the HAHN Group. With 80 employees and USD 25 million revenue, REI Automation focuses on medical, electronics and consumer goods. The recent acquisition is once more reflecting the strategy of the HAHN Group to diversify its business across industries and regions.

“We found a passionate team with an impressive track record building the company in the past and ambitious plans to develop it further,” says Philipp Unterhalt, Managing Director of HAHN Group. “We are ready to support REI Automation on its further journey and are delighted to have them on board.”

Operations of REI Automation will continue under the existing management, which will also remain as shareholders going forward. Grant Phillips, CEO of REI Automation comments: “We are excited to begin planning with a partner who has all the experience in bringing a company to the next level. For REI Automation and its clients the transaction is a very important step into a reliable and sustainable future.”

With the acquisition HAHN Group continues its buy and build strategy to form a global network of automation specialists. HAHN Group is owned by Germany’s largest foundation RAG-Stiftung and employs meanwhile nearly 1.400 employees in 13 countries, serving clients in various industries around the world.

HAHN Group expands into Ruhr region

Frankfurt, Germany – HAHN Group acquires the majority stake in Ruhrbotics GmbH in Recklinghausen, Germany

As of 1. October 2019, the HAHN Group, headquartered in Rheinböllen, took over the majority of shares in Ruhrbotics GmbH. The Recklinghausen-based company with 12 employees specializes in complex robot programming. In the future, it will continue to expand these services under the name HAHN Ruhrbotics and strengthen the Robotics Division of the HAHN Group.

Philipp Unterhalt, Managing Director of the HAHN Group, is pleased about the transaction: “We receive a team with outstanding training which will also support us in projects within the group.” HAHN Ruhrbotics forms another building block in an extensive network of smaller robotics integrators. With agile organizations and proximity to the customer, the automation offer for industrial and collaborative robot solutions will be further expanded.

The founder and former CEO of Ruhrbotics, Daniel Bunse, has taken over the management of Rethink Robotics, another HAHN Group subsidiary, since October 1st. “It was important to me that the company can continue to develop solidly and sustainably,” emphasizes Bunse, and adds: “As part of the HAHN Group, Ruhrbotics employees now have the opportunity not only to harness their passion for robotics and automation in the service of their customers but also to share it with the other brands of the HAHN Group.”

The former authorized representative, Christopher Drewer, will take over the management of HAHN Ruhrbotics. He has been with the company for more than 10 years. “We have built a great company in the Ruhr area and are proud to continue this story from our location together with the HAHN Group on a global level,” says Drewer.

More durable, quieter, higher quality: The Sawyer BLACK Edition

Rheinböllen, Germany – The Sawyer BLACK Edition is now available for pre-order and will be presented for the first time at K 2019 in Düsseldorf

One year after the takeover of assets by HAHN Group, Rethink Robotics presents its hardware update: The Sawyer BLACK Edition is the result of the combination of German engineering and longstanding application experience. Sawyer is now quieter and has more reliable components with higher quality. The Sawyer BLACK Edition can be pre-ordered now; first deliveries will take place in 2019.

The Sawyer BLACK Edition contributes to a quieter working environment and is therefore even more popular among employees. The improved component quality of the Sawyer BLACK Edition significantly raises the cobot’s reliability.

At K 2019 the Sawyer BLACK Edition will be demonstrated at the HAHN Group at booth E61 in hall 10 as part of a palletizing application for the packaging of boxes and plastics parts.

With the BLACK Edition Rethink Robotics continues to stand for easy application, flexibility in use and high acceptance among employees. Tasks that are dangerous for humans are, among others, possible applications. Some of these include CNC machine assembly, circuit board assembly, metal processing, injection molding, packaging, loading and unloading, as well as tests and inspections. The cobot solution is ready for use immediately after delivery and equipped with the powerful Intera software and two camera systems.

Rethink Robotics under new leadership

Rheinböllen, Germany – Daniel Bunse is new CEO of Rethink Robotics GmbH

Since October 1, 2019, Daniel Bunse is CEO of the Rethink Robotics GmbH. He takes over from Philipp Unterhalt, who served as interim CEO up until this point and now focuses completely on his tasks as Managing Director of HAHN Group.

Immediately after graduating as a certified engineer in mechatronics, with a focus on production and automation, Bunse founded the company Ruhrbotics in 2008. Through his international customers Bunse is an expert for topics on automation applications and robotics in industrial environments. In addition he advised standardization departments of original equipment manufacturers (OEM) on the future of automation and robotics. With guest lectures in robotics classes, the Bochum University of Applied Sciences among them, Bunse maintains close contact to research and education. Furthermore, he worked in numerous research projects, together with institutions like Fraunhofer IPA, FZI and KIT, to develop innovative robotics solutions for customers in various industries.

“The competence of Daniel Bunse in the market for automation and robotics solutions is outstanding. We are happy that we were able to staff the role of CEO for Rethink Robotics with such a specialist. Particularly his expertise and experience as a founder make an important contribution for our agile and fast-growing company,” explains Philipp Unterhalt, Managing Director of HAHN Group.

More flexible solutions for plastics manufacturing

Diepenau, Germany – GeKu and HAHN Robotics work even closer together with a new location in Northern Germany and are expanding their offering for the plastics industry.

GeKu recognizes the expanded potential of collaborative robot solutions for customers in the plastics industry. The HAHN Group, together with the Managing Director of GeKu, Thorsten Gerling and Marco Unverzagt, Managing Director of HAHN Robotics, establishes a subsidiary of HAHN Robotics in Northern Germany.

For the plastics industry, the companies of the HAHN Group have jointly developed application cases with collaborative robot technology for the handling of plastic parts. For example, cobot Sawyer from Rethink Robotics proves to be very easy to install and operate in this application area. At the same time, Sawyer is very flexible and can be used in many ways in companies in the plastics industry. Employees are relieved from taking on repetitive tasks and engage in more demanding tasks in the value chain. This ensures a high level of acceptance of the cobot within the workforce. Visitors to the fair can see at booth E61 in hall 10 how collaborative robot technology will support automation processes.

For about 25 years, plastics manufacturing has profited from GeKu’s automation of highly complex injection molding processes as well as individual high-tech automation and handling solutions. The founding of the subsidiary company Diepenau in Northern Germany, under the management of industry expert Thorsten Gerling, enables an expansion of their offers with security analyzes and integration of collaborative and industrial robot systems. The resulting solutions for plastics manufacturing are even more adaptable and target the challenges of the customers. With a total investment of 1.5 million euros, GeKu and HAHN Robotics will continue to serve the continuously growing needs of the automation industry in the future.

Thorsten Gerling, Managing Director of GeKu and the new subsidiary of HAHN Robotics in Northern Germany, is excited for the possibilities: “We are looking forward to being able to offer the plastics industry in the future even more flexible and future-oriented solutions. Through the cooperation within the HAHN Group, we have already recognized numerous trends and are working on the goal-oriented implementation of solutions for the needs of our customers and cooperation partners.”

Waldorf Technik integrates digital printing and digital service for even more productivity

Engen, Germany – In the future, manufacturers of disposable syringes will be able to print directly and flexibly on cylinders through digital printing processes right inside the system. The offer by Waldorf Technik is rounded off through the use of EVE Suite – the digital service portfolio of HAHN Digital to raise productivity, efficiency and quality.

Waldorf Technik developed an automation system, together with their long-standing partner Netstal – premium brand for injection molding machines from the KraussMaffei group – which is based on their Vario TIP® System. This way syringe barrels can be printed on, directly after extraction from the injection molding machine, using digital printing. The system will be displayed in hall 15, booth D24.

Production and processing on the site runs completely cavity sorted for maximum efficiency and safety. Immediately after extraction of the syringe barrels from the injection molding machine, the piston stop of the syringe is checked for proper processing by means of camera systems. Thereafter, the barrels are set up on a moving table for transport. The next camera check controls the Luer fitting before the cylinders are transported to the print station. Before the print, the cylinders are prepared with plasma treatment. This ensures an optimal adhesion of the print. Afterwards, the prints are dried through UV radiation. Then the syringe barrels can be packed or individually processed according to the customer requirements.

The digital printing process guarantees maximum flexibility because the print data is sent directly from the computer to the printer. A modification or print head replacement is not necessary. Waldorf Technik realized this printing solution in collaboration with Hapa AG, using their compact digital print module redcube.

Another highlight on the fair site is Waldorf Technik’s presentation of EVE Suite, the comprehensive digital service portfolio of HAHN Group, to which Waldorf Technik belongs as a subsidiary. With EVE Analytics system operators are, for example, able to monitor the status of their systems remotely and at any time conveniently via PC, smartphone or tablet. On top of that EVE Support offers an opportunity for guided and individual remote maintenance with the use of augmented reality and smart glasses for video calls.

The subsidiary companies GeKu, Waldorf Technik and Wemo form the division Material Handling within HAHN Group, establish a global network and bundle their extensive competencies in the plastics industries. All three will be represented jointly in hall 10, booth E61.

Smart automation – boost your productivity

Värnamo, Sweden – Wemo presents a wide range of robotics and will show several robot applications for automation in plastics manufacturing at K 2019. As a highlight, Wemo provides industrial logistics solutions for material handling. Trade show visitors are invited to experience how to boost product quality with smart automation at booth E61 in hall 10.

Wemo launches WIPS 4.0 software for a user experience in the programming of robots as one of the highlights at K 2019. The new WIPS 4.0 software platform is based on experiences from the successful dialogue programming, which was implemented in thousands of Wemo robots in the last decade. The new ergonomic and lightweight handheld controller W-Hp12, in combination with a 10.1” landscape full color screen, gives operators and programmers a better overview of the status and program structure. The handheld is equipped with three levels of safety buttons (dead-man-grip). Furthermore, the customer experience continues with hardware buttons for the most-used functions like the activation of axes movement and main operational buttons like start, stop, and reset. In addition to an integrated touch pen the screen is now equipped with swipe functionality for an intuitive usability. This improves the speed of daily use, makes the process more efficient and results in better monitoring for the user with fewer jumps to different pages. The WIPS 4.0 user friendliness is rounded off with a customized start screen.
The new software and handheld will be demonstrated at the Wemo stand at booth E61 in hall 10.
Wemo offers 21 different models for adaption to injection molding machines, of which three are displayed at K:

  • Wemo 3-5 Linear Picker: The compact, servo-driven linear robot with a handling capability up to 2.3 kg is used for sprue and part handling. The Wemo 3-5 Linear Picker can be mounted either within the machine’s protected area or above the gate to the machine safety area as a conventional linear robot. The installation is extremely compact, while the adaptation of external protections around the machine becomes significantly easier. This solution solves limits in flexibility of additional operations, as well as higher cost, due to CE regulations for approved machine protection.
  • Wemo 8-5 sDesign: The high speed linear robot for thin-wall parts in the packaging industry is best in class for packaging parts and medical applications on two-platen and stack moulds. The sDesign series is especially suited for the removal of packaging parts. The high-speed handling units are optimised for ultimate efficiency and speed. They have a cycle time of less than 2.7 seconds and may be used both for side-entry and top removal. A Wemo 8-5 sDesign application with a handling weight of up to 3 kg for machine sizes from 750 up to 3,000 kN can be seen at the Wemo booth in operation along with a servo driven stacking unit, which helps to achieve the faste cycle times.
  • Wemo 120 xLine Tandem: The Wemo tandem robot concept mounts two robots on the same Z-axis, resulting in a more cost-effective production. Often additional operations are added outside the injection molding machine, such as assembly, inspection or packing of pattern layouts in boxes. With the tandem concept, required operation processes are divided without installing two separate robots in the cell. Using this method, valuable floor space is released in comparison to previous solutions. At K 2019, Wemo will demonstrate a Wemo 120 xLine Tandem for industrial parts.

Wemo Handling Automation offers efficient industrial logistics solutions for handling parts and boxes to and from pallets. The product range of user friendly and flexible linear robots is based on the handling concept, which comes with additional modulized conveyors, End-Of-Arm tooling and safety guarding. At K 2019, visitors can discover the following solutions: The Wemo xPacker packing line consists of the Wemo xPacker mini robot to fill boxes and the larger Wemo xPacker midi robot to pack boxes on pallets.

  • Wemo xPacker mini: The fast Pick-and-Place robot for filling boxes is a speedy robot type for handling parts up to 5 kg. With its small footprint it can be used inside existing automation lines or directly after the out coming conveyor from the molding machine.
  • Wemo xPacker midi: The compact robot for palletizing boxes with 20 kg handling weight is a complete robotics unit. With an incoming conveyor and integrated safety guarding, Wemo xPacker midi is ready for easy plug-in. It is placed directly after the molding machine’s out coming conveyor belt or in a centralized logistics department. All types of boxes or packages can be handled with a unique vacuum gripper which can detect the object size and use the vacuum channels according to the needed surfaces. In combination with the intuitive programming WIPS handling software, less knowledge is required to operate this unit in an efficient way.