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To meet the global demand for Covid-19 rapid tests, Brisbane-based Ellume, with the help of Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions (BAMS), has relied on automated production lines with 16 KR Agilus from Kuka since 2010, and now is expanding its production capacity with 144 more robots.

Bosch’s Australian division is expanding large-scale production for Covid-19 rapid tests at Ellume, following the already successful collaboration in 2020, and has the goal of implementing 27 state-of-the-art automated assembly lines to increase production capacity.

The 144 Kuka robots ordered for this purpose are from the KR Argilus series and are designed for maximum operating speeds – crucial for the Ellume project, which has a capacity of nine parts per second. 

Three lines for the Brisbane plant have already been successfully installed and full production has begun.

With a volume in the low single-digit million-euro range, this is the largest Kuka project for an Australian company to date. 

“We have spent the last decade perfecting our technology, and in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the role of rapid, accurate diagnostics has never been more important,” said Dr Sean Parsons, CEO and founder of Ellume. 

“Ellume is pleased to partner with Bosch to bring their world-leading automation expertise to our manufacturing process. This will allow Ellume to manufacture best-in-class diagnostics that can be relied on in the healthcare industry.”

In addition, another completely new plant with 24 production lines is being built in the US in Frederick, Maryland. The first delivery of US lines is currently being installed, with the last lines to follow by mid-2022.

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