Automotive Body Decking



Major North American Automotive Manufacturer's required automating the marriage of the body and frame assemblies. As the last stage before rolling the vehicle off the assembly line, this has very high corporate visibility relative to the bottom line. Therefore accuracy, reliability and durability were key considerations in selecting the proper equipment for the job at hand. There are currently three installations running successfully in North America automobile plants.


Kuka Flexible Production System's in Sterling Heights, MI worked closely with GÜDEL, Inc in Ann Arbor, MI to develop a solution to exceed the application criteria. Utilizing GÜDEL standard ZP Series two axis-line gantry, the body assembly is lifted from the delivery point then moved in the horizontal direction to a position directly above the frame assembly. The system lowers the body assembly, positioning it accurately over the frame where they are joined together. This process occurs approximately 55 times per hour.

Scope of supply

GÜDEL ZP-7HD standard two-axis line gantry was customized for the job by joining two horizontal (Y-Axis) carriages together thus creating a fixed center distance between the vertical (Z-Axis) masts. Each Z-Axis has the capability to lift 3,000 Kg (over 6,000 Pounds). The standard ZP design, based on Güdel’s TM-90 linear bearing technology, calls for the Z-Axis mast itself to rise. However, due to plant ceiling height restrictions, these units were further modified by fixing the Z-masts and adding carriages that provide the vertical motion on face of the fixed mast. The body assembly is engaged on each side by end-of-arm tooling attached to the two vertical masts carriages. The motors, cables, controls, end-of-arm tooling, installation, application programming, etc were provided by Kuka Flexible Production Systems. GÜDEL provided the complete mechanical gantry assembly.


Up-time! Up-Time! Up-Time! This is the overall goal, in addition to safety, of course. The systems installed more than satisfy these and all application requirements – including the bottom line! They are truly considered workhorses by all that have had the opportunity to see them in action.

Project info

GÜDEL product
Process type
Work piece
Completed by

Güdel Inc., USA.

Project partner

Kuka Flexible
Productions Systems

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