Industry Talk: KUKA – Heinrich Munz

Industry Talk: KUKA – Heinrich Munz

    Heinrich Munz co-founded the southern Germany based company LP Elektronik in 1985 right after finishing studies as an Engineer in Electronics. After starting with soft- and hardware contract development in the area of embedded controllers and the real-time operating system OS-9, LP Elektronik started to develop plug in boards for PCs to couple RTOSs like OS-9 and VxWorks with Microsoft DOS and later Windows. The idea from the very first beginning was to closer bring together the PC-based Office world with its powerful tools and the poorly equipped industrial automation world. In 1993, this led to the development of a Windows Real-Time Extender Technology called “VxWin” for the 16Bit Windows OSs and later also for the 32Bit Windows NT family. VxWin is a real-time virtualization technology using RTOSs like VxWorks and GPOSs like Microsoft Windows on the same processor.

    In 1995, KUKA Roboter chose this technology as the basis for their new robot controller KRC1 and acquired LP Elektronik, which in 2002 was renamed to KUKA Controls. VxWin today still is the basis for all KUKA robot controllers including the actual KRC4. Since 1999, Heinrich Munz is working for KUKA as a control system lead architect. He significantly coined the technical designs of all KUKA robot controllers from KRC1 to KRC4. Currently Heinrich Munz is co-working on the design of the KRC5 and he is KUKA’s lead architect for Industry 4.0. As such, he participates actively in the official Industry 4.0 Platform initiative of the German government and there he is a vice chairman in the working group #1 dealing with “Reference Architecture and Standardization”.

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