One of the companies, 3Con Anlagenbau GmbH of Ebbs, Austria, also said it plans to start a service and assembly facility in Novi, Mich., near Detroit, as it said it sees strong sales growth in North America.
Fakuma, which took place in Friedrichshafen Oct. 14-17, is the first show that 3Con and Robot-Technology GmbH exhibited at jointly, and the first time they have disclosed the partnership, after starting the technical cooperation six months ago, said Stefan Maier, managing director of the Kleinostheim, Germany-based RT.
In an interview at their booth, executives said they see the partnership supporting two trends in the auto sector: car makers find new technology easier to adopt with stronger technical support, and the increasing number of global platforms of car models, with the same vehicle manufactured and sold in Europe, North America or Asia, is fueling demand for standardization.
“Our customers want global partners,” said Georg Schemmerer, head of sales in the United States and China, for 3Con. “More and more cars are being made on global platforms.”
The two companies are not investing in each other, and both said they prefer to keep the cooperation looser, Schemmerer said: “We are convinced the looser cooperation is the best, to be more flexible.”
Maier said that 60 to 70 percent of RT's technology, which includes laser-cutting and clip assembly for plastic components, can be integrated with 3Con's offerings, which focus on lamination, automation, welding, thermoforming and edge folding.
The venture is also designed to help control the price of such integration, he said: “We both have experience in the technology and we don't push the price so high.”