Industry 4.0 emerged as the Fourth Industrial Revolution aiming at achieving higher levels of operational efficiency, productivity and automation. In this context, manual assembly systems are still characterized by high flexibility and low productivity, if compared to fully automated systems. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to propose the design, engineering and testing of a prototypal adaptive automation assembly system, including greater levels of automation to complement the skills and capabilities of human workers.
A lab experimental field-test is presented comparing the assembly process of a full-scale industrial chiller with traditional and adaptive assembly system.
The analysis shows relevant benefits coming from the adoption of the adaptive automation assembly system. In particular, the main findings highlight improvements in the assembly cycle time and productivity, as well as reduction of the operator’s body movements.
The prototype is applied in an Italian mid-size industrial company, confirming its impact in terms of upgrades of the assembly system flexibility and productivity. Thus, the research study proposed in this paper provides valuable knowledge to support companies and industrial practitioners in the shift from traditional to advanced assembly systems matching current industrial and market features.
This paper expands the lacking research on adaptive automation assembly systems design proposing an innovative prototype able to real-time reconfigure its structure according to the product to work, e.g. work cycle, and the operator features.
Bortolini, M., Faccio, M., Galizia, F., Gamberi, M. and Pilati, F. (2020), "Design, engineering and testing of an innovative adaptive automation assembly system", Assembly Automation, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/AA-06-2019-0103Download as .RIS
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