The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly changed our daily lives. Diagnostic testing remains critical for containment. So are Ellume's tests. The Australian diagnostics company is expanding its automated produc- tion with 144 KUKA robots, which will be used in a total of 27 state-of-the-art assembly lines.
Brisbane-based Ellume has developed COVID-19 rapid tests that are used in la- boratories, doctors' offices and by consumers themselves. To meet the huge global demand, the diagnostics company, with the help of Bosch Australia Man- ufacturing Solutions (BAMS), has been relying on automated production lines with 16 KR AGILUS from KUKA since 2020. Now Ellume is expanding its produc- tion capacity – with 144 more KUKA robots.
Largest KUKA project to date in Australia
Bosch's Australian division is expanding large-scale production for COVID-19 rapid tests at Ellume – following the already successful collaboration in 2020. The goal is 27 state-of-the-art automated assembly lines to increase production capacity. The 144 KUKA robots ordered for this purpose are from the KR AGILUS 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 Bris- bane plant have already been successfully installed and full production has be- gun.
In addition, another completely new plant with 24 production lines is being built in the United States in Frederick, Maryland. The first delivery of US lines is currently being installed, with the last lines to follow by mid-2022. With a vol- ume in the low single-digit million euro range, this is the largest KUKA project for an Australian company to date.
"Fast, accurate diagnostics more important than ever"
KUKA robots pick up all the individual parts and assemble the tests. This also includes an end-of-line testing system that communicates via Bluetooth, thus ensuring the high qual- ity of the test kits.
"We have spent the last decade perfecting our technology," said Dr. Sean Parsons, CEO and founder of Ellume. "In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of rapid, accurate diagnostics has never been more important. Ellume is pleased to partner with Bosch to bring their world-leading automation expertise to our manufacturing process. This will al- low Ellume to manufacture best-in-class diagnostics that can be relied on in the healthcare industry."