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The economics of movement –
make processes more efficient with Karakuri/Low Cost Automation.

What does Karakuri/LCA mean?

Karakuri is an automation mechanism concept that was developed in Japan from the 17th to the 19th century. At first, most of the applications that were developed were used for leisure purposes, such as serving tea.

For decades, Karakuri and Low Cost Automation (LCA) have been central elements of the lean philosophy, where it refers to the simple but intelligent automation of processes based on physical principles – with no drives, sensors, electricity or compressed air. The intention is to use resources that are already in place – existing plants, parts and components on the one hand and the creativity of the on-site workforce on the other. Karakuri should be fun!

The benefits of Karakuri/LCA applications

Low-Cost (Intelligent) Automation (LCIA) typically costs around 80 to 90 percent less than comprehensively automating production processes – but delivers a similar level of efficiency. Discover the benefits of Karakuri/LCA with item.

Field-proven application examples

Profile Tube System D30 can be used to build intelligent Karakuri/LCA applications that exploit the laws of gravity and mechanics for their own purpose.

A number of practical examples are provided here in video format.

Products for putting your applications into practice

Just a small number of components can help you significantly improve manual processing work and put your own Karakuri/LCA applications into use with item.

item Blog

“We’ve only just started tapping into the potential of lean production” Read this interview with Stefan Armbruster, head of the development team for the Lean Production Building Kit System, or download our White Paper on lean production.

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Works like magic.
But purely mechanical.

LCIA typically costs around 80 to 90 percent less than comprehensively automating production processes - but delivers a similar level of efficiency. Discover the benefits of Karakuri/LCA with item.

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Productive and creative:
Low-cost automation that lasts

Profile Tube System D30 from item can be used to build intelligent Karakuri/LCA applications that exploit the laws of gravity and mechanics for their own purpose. Make the most of fasteners that exhibit long-term stability without having to be retightened - as if by magic. Maintenance investment is reduced and efficiency increased. Cost-effective automation solutions can thus play an important part in keeping you competitive.

Videos

Corner solution 1-1
Corner solution 1-2
Corner solution 1-3
Corner solution 2-1
Corner solution 2-2
Retaining travel direction 1
Retaining travel direction 2
Manual trigger
Karakuri release unit individual release
Karakuri plain bearing
SLC magazine
LCA Bridge 1
LCA Bridge 2
LCA Bridge 3
Foot-operated empties return 1
Foot-operated empties return 2
Hand-operated empties return
Special solution, side shooter 1
Special solution, side shooter 2
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Why wait?
Get started

Just a small number of components can help you significantly improve manual processing work and put your own Karakuri/LCAapplications into use with item.

Plain Bearings D40/D30

Plain Bearings D40/D30 are the basis for low-cost automation (LCA). They support a rotating motion because Profile Tube D40/D30 encompasses the load-bearing D30 profile and can be rotated around its axis without generating friction. Locking Ring D30 secures the position of the Plain Bearing D40/30 along its axis.

Release Unit D30

Compact Release Unit D30 makes it extremely easy to build customised shooters for loading and unloading flow racks.

Roller D39.5-25

The ball-bearing mounted Roller D39.5-25 provides reliable guidance for components.

Drawbar D25-686

Drawbar D25-686 links transport trolleys together or can form a connection with a tugger. Drawbar D25-686, Self-Lifting is particularly ergonomic and back-friendly.

Roller conveyor

Various types of roller conveyor help keep the supplies coming in from Kanban shelves. Making sure everything keeps on flowing.

Braking castor D30-23

Braking Castor D30-23 keeps things moving at a consistent speed, even on steep gradients and when working with heavy objects. As containers can start moving again, a FIFO rack or Karakuri/LCA solution can be automatically unloaded.