Skip to main content

Automation of tap production

FHNW School of Engineering developed a new method to operate the grinding and polishing facilities of tap manufacturer Franke Water Systems KWC.



Industry 4.0, automation, digitalisation


Full automation of the production process for taps with series size 1.


KWC produces high-quality taps for baths and kitchens. The company is faced with the challenge that customer demands are constantly increasing: a simple tap is no longer enough, customers now want stylish accessories. For this reason, the company would like to be able to put new taps on the market more quickly. In extreme cases, the series size has to be reduced to a single item.


The research project involved modelling, simulating and validating the grinding and polishing process, including the robot kinematics. Originally done by hand by experienced specialists, this step is now carried out by industrial robots. The challenge: The robots have to be reprogrammed for each tap, during which time the system is at a standstill and cannot continue with production. As a result of the university’s research work it was possible to reduce set-up times by around 30 per cent. In future, the aim is to allow digital control of the entire production process for manufacturing KWC taps – from casting of the blank to grinding and polishing, culminating in the final surface finish. Complete digitalisation will reduce production time by 80%.

Project information


Franke Water Systems KWC


FHNW Institut of Automation


Kommission für Technologie und Innovation KTI

Project management

Dr. Max Edelmann