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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2003

Paul G. Ranky

Robot tools, or in more general terms, end‐of‐arm tools, or robot end‐effectors are general purpose, programmable or task‐oriented devices connected between the robot…

Abstract

Robot tools, or in more general terms, end‐of‐arm tools, or robot end‐effectors are general purpose, programmable or task‐oriented devices connected between the robot wrist and the object or load to be manipulated and/or processed by the robot. They can offer and/or limit the versatility of grasping and/or processing of different components, sensing their characteristics and working together with the robot control system to provide a reliable “service” throughout the component manipulation cycle. Reconfigurable robot tooling enables the robot to rapidly change its end‐effectors or fingers of its end‐effectors, typically under programmable software control. The importance of providing lean‐flexibility by means of reconfigurable, automated robot hand changers (ARHC), particularly in small‐batch robotic welding, assembly, machine loading and in other flexible robot cells, is discussed with examples. Some known systems are demonstrated and the “Ranky‐type” ARHC design is illustrated in more detail.

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Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1994

Paul G Ranky

Summarizes the most important principles of concurrent engineering[CE] and computer integrated manufacturing [CIM].Discusses system data flow and IDEFo diagrams used as…

Abstract

Summarizes the most important principles of concurrent engineering [CE] and computer integrated manufacturing [CIM]. Discusses system data flow and IDEFo diagrams used as graphical descriptions of the engineering process. Introduces a software package called CIMpgr. Concludes that CIM addresses the total information requirements and management of a company from the development of a business plan through to the shipment of a product and the follow‐up support.

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Assembly Automation, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1995

John K L Ho and Paul G Ranky

Examines research work aimed at exploring and developing a new,object‐oriented system design and operation concept, and new systemsoftware and hardware design concepts…

Abstract

Examines research work aimed at exploring and developing a new, object‐oriented system design and operation concept, and new system software and hardware design concepts which could be used to design and build an open, flexible and reconfigurable material handling system in a Computer Integrated Manufacturing [CIM] environment that could cope with changes imposed by the market on today’s manufacturing industries. Looks at the design of a reconfigurable and flexible conveyor system and outlines the benefits of using a 3‐D CIM reference model when developing CIM hardware and software control. Concludes that the proposed new conveyor system helps resolves the need for an assembly system which can achieve rapid and flexible responses to meet the challenge set by changing customer requirements.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Paul G. Ranky

Automotive robot network planning needs sound methods, new management style, and practices that are based on co‐operation, respect and trust. This is fundamental because…

Abstract

Automotive robot network planning needs sound methods, new management style, and practices that are based on co‐operation, respect and trust. This is fundamental because networking means sharing and exchanging quality information at all levels of the enterprise. Robots working in welding and assembly lines need to communicate with each other, with their cell/line control computer, with the factory production control systems, with quality control systems, assuring that quality is checked at process level in order to gain valuable feedback from the shop floor. In this paper, we introduce some of the most important network planning and engineering/technology management principles and rules that robot networkers should keep in mind. In the follow‐up paper we illustrate actual simulation case studies and results, based on our established methods.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Paul G. Ranky

The fundamental purpose of building simulation models is because it is often impossible to experiment with real‐world systems. In terms of our networked robots in the…

Abstract

The fundamental purpose of building simulation models is because it is often impossible to experiment with real‐world systems. In terms of our networked robots in the automotive welding and assembly lines, simulating possible scenarios, both for design as well as for operation control purposes, is very important for the design team, as well as for management, due to the per‐minute‐cost of every failed robotic operation. In order to support, both the design as well as the management community of such systems, in this article, we discuss a generic simulation methodology, using the IT‐Guru OPNET simulation program, as well as show practical results, that demonstrate the benefits of simulation methods.

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Assembly Automation, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Paul G. Ranky

There are many methods and solutions to improve any process, and stay within the established control limits. Statistically analyzed data, received from inspection sensors…

Abstract

There are many methods and solutions to improve any process, and stay within the established control limits. Statistically analyzed data, received from inspection sensors and other devices, are one of them. Automated inspection sensors and systems are effective tools for controlling variation and obtaining process related knowledge. Automated inspection methods, discussed in this paper, represent an important, nevertheless not the only methods, that lead to process improvement, the ultimate goal of total quality management and control (TQM/TQC). Inspection, as part of the feedback control loop of the overall TQM/TQC process, involves the continual satisfaction of customer requirements at lowest cost by harnessing the efforts of everybody in the company. The key question in any inspection system is as follows: Are the measured values within tolerance, or not, and if they are outside the tolerance limits, why did we produce those parts in the first place?

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Paul G. Ranky

The modern automotive consumer is demanding high quality, reliable, safe, lower cost, environmentally friendly and easier to use product. This requirement drives…

Abstract

The modern automotive consumer is demanding high quality, reliable, safe, lower cost, environmentally friendly and easier to use product. This requirement drives engineers, and forces management to think of new methods in terms of on‐board automotive sensor‐to‐software solutions, better and more efficient engine management and control systems. In the garage, consumers finally want to know what is happening and why, what parts are changed and why and what were the exact time/cost issues of the job. This leads us to smart, advanced sensors, linked by software driven information systems that provide traceability throughout the entire lifecycle of the automobile from the engine to the tires. The traditionally very conservative automobile industry finally got the spirit from the robust client‐server Internet multimedia technology, and the real‐time (digital) distributed sensor/networking and multimedia entertainment opportunities.

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Sensor Review, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1999

Paul G. Ranky

Owing to the currently deepening economic crisis of the entire region, in the area of automation and industrial development, China is focusing on several strategic areas…

Abstract

Owing to the currently deepening economic crisis of the entire region, in the area of automation and industrial development, China is focusing on several strategic areas. These include developing its infrastructure, improving and repairing existing machinery and plants, focusing on research, development and education, to prepare itself for the challenges of the twenty‐first century. This article provides a strategic overview of recent and current development trends, as well as pointing out some of the major differences between the Chinese and the Western approaches to design, manufacturing, assembly, automation and related support systems.

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Assembly Automation, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1998

Paul G. Ranky

Owing to the advance of communications and automation technologies it is now common, that a product is designed in one part of the world, manufactured often in another…

Abstract

Owing to the advance of communications and automation technologies it is now common, that a product is designed in one part of the world, manufactured often in another continent, assembled again somewhere else and sold (with various minor customization changes) everywhere in the world. In other words we need to deal with a variety of combinations of local design and manufacture/ assembly and global design and manufacture/ assembly, on‐demand, truly just‐in‐time. We have to recognize that traditional, mass‐produced, highly‐controlled static and rigid design and assembly methods cannot cope with the increased amount of information, knowledge and inter‐referencing requirements of the customers of this rapidly changing world. The challenge is to assemble products on demand at a high quality and relatively low cost in the forthcoming “Knowledge Age”. This paper propagates the above by shedding some light on the challenges, as well as by offering generic algorithmic solutions to the problem of dynamic scheduling with integrated robot tool management and multimedia support in distributed, lean and flexible assembly and design systems (including flexible assembly systems employing human operators as well as robots) that operate on a globally distributed basis.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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