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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Abstract

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2014

Rainer Müller, Matthias Vette and Matthias Scholer

The paper aims to deliver an approach of how lightweight robot systems can be used to automate manual processes for higher efficiency, increased process capability and…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to deliver an approach of how lightweight robot systems can be used to automate manual processes for higher efficiency, increased process capability and enhanced ergonomics. To show how these systems can be utilized in practice, a new collaborative testing system for an automated water leak test was designed using an image processing system utilized by the robot.

Design/methodology/approach

The “water leak test” in an automotive final assembly line is often a significant cost factor due to its labour-intensive nature. This is particularly the case for premium car manufacturers as each vehicle is watered and manually inspected for leakage. This paper delivers an approach that optimizes the efficiency and capability of the test process by using a new automated in-line inspection system whereby thermographic images are taken by a lightweight robot system and then processed to locate the leak. Such optimization allows the collaboration of robots and manual labour which, in turn, enhances the capability of the process station.

Findings

This paper examines the development of novel applications for lightweight robotic systems and provides a suitable process whereby the systems are optimized in technical, ergonomic and safety-related aspects.

Research limitations/implications

A new automated testing process in combination with a processing algorithm was developed.

Practical implications

To optimize and validate the system, it was set up in a true to reality model factory and brought to a prototypical status. Several original equipment manufacturers showed great interest in implementing the system in their assembly line.

Social implications

The direct human–robot collaboration allows humans and robots to share the same workspace without strict separation measures which is a great advantage compared with traditional industrial robots. The workers benefit from a more ergonomic workflow and are relieved from unpleasant, repetitive and burdensome tasks.

Originality/value

A lightweight robotic system was implemented in a continuous assembly line as a new area of application for these systems. The automated water leak test gives a practical example of how to enrich the assembly and commissioning lines, which are currently dominated by manual labour, with new technologies. This is necessary to reach a higher efficiency and process capability while maintaining a higher flexibility potential than fully automated systems.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2015

Matthias Scholer, Matthias Vette and Mueller Rainer

This study aims to deliver an approach of how lightweight robot systems can be used to automate manual processes for higher efficiency, increased process capability and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to deliver an approach of how lightweight robot systems can be used to automate manual processes for higher efficiency, increased process capability and enhanced ergonomics. As a use case, a new collaborative testing system for an automated water leak test was designed using an image processing system utilized by the robot.

Design/methodology/approach

The “water leak test” in an automotive final assembly line is often a significant cost factor due to its labour-intensive nature. This is particularly the case for premium car manufacturers as each vehicle is watered and manually inspected for leakage. This paper delivers an approach that optimizes the efficiency and capability of the test process by using a new automated in-line inspection system whereby thermographic images are taken by a lightweight robot system and then processed to locate the leak. Such optimization allows the collaboration of robots and manual labour, which in turn enhances the capability of the process station.

Findings

This paper examines the development of a new application for lightweight robotic systems and provides a suitable process whereby the system was optimized regarding technical, ergonomic and safety-related aspects.

Research limitations/implications

A new automated testing process in combination with a processing algorithm was developed. A modular system suitable for the integration of human–robot collaboration into the assembly line is presented as well.

Practical implications

To optimize and validate the system, it was set up in a true to reality model factory and brought to a prototypical status. Several original equipment manufacturers showed great interest in the system. Feasibility studies for a practical implementation are running at the moment.

Social implications

The direct human–robot collaboration allows humans and robots to share the same workspace without strict separation measures, which is a great advantage compared with traditional industrial robots. The workers benefit from a more ergonomic workflow and are relieved from unpleasant, repetitive and burdensome tasks.

Originality/value

A lightweight robotic system was implemented in a continuous assembly line as a new area of application for these systems. The automated water leak test gives a practical example of how to enrich the assembly and commissioning lines, which are currently dominated by manual labour, with new technologies. This is necessary to reach a higher efficiency and process capability while maintaining a higher flexibility potential than fully automated systems.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 42 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2016

Robert Bogue

– This paper aims to provide a European perspective on the collaborative robot business and to consider the factors governing future market development.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a European perspective on the collaborative robot business and to consider the factors governing future market development.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an introduction, this first describes the collaborative robots launched recently by European manufacturers and their applications. It then discusses major European research activities and finally considers the factors stimulating the market.

Findings

This article shows that collaborative robots are being commercialised by the major European robot manufacturers as well as by several smaller specialists. Although most have low payload capacities they are inexpensive and offer a number of operational benefits, making them well suited to a range of existing and emerging applications. Europe has a strong research base and several EU-funded programmes aim to stimulate collaborative robot development and use. Rapid market development is anticipated, driven in the main by applications in electronic product manufacture and assembly; new applications in the automotive industry; uses by small to medium-sized manufacturers; and companies seeking robots to support agile production methods.

Originality/value

This paper provides a timely review of the rapidly developing European collaborative robot industry.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Richard Piggin

A review of safety‐technology, applicable safety‐related standards and the impact on the use of robots in industrial environments.

Abstract

Purpose

A review of safety‐technology, applicable safety‐related standards and the impact on the use of robots in industrial environments.

Design/methodology/approach

Technological developments are presented in safety‐related control technology, including programmable safety controllers, configurable safety controllers, safety networking and robotic safety in human environments. The technological developments are related to new and emerging safety standards.

Findings

The development of safety‐related technology and new international and European standards have fundamentally changed the way in which safety is now being engineered in industry. The introduction of new standards and revision of others have allowed safety‐related systems to utilise “state of the art” electronic, programmable, and network based technologies. New international standards are likely to include collaborative working with humans in the robotic workspace. This is set to change how robots are utilised in manufacturing environments.

Originality/value

The review of applicable standards and technical developments: with examples from current research and new technologies, demonstrating engineering solutions that embody the principles of the new standards.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Paul G. Ranky

Automotive robotics R&D and application developments concentrate on methods, tools, and procedures, that enable industry leaders to reduce cost, whilst simultaneously…

Abstract

Automotive robotics R&D and application developments concentrate on methods, tools, and procedures, that enable industry leaders to reduce cost, whilst simultaneously increase quality and productivity. Furthermore, in particular in the USA, manufacturing and assembly system, plant security, safety and reliability, and real‐time performance evaluation and control became key too. The focus is appropriate, since downtime in automotive robotics can mount to typically US$5‐10K, and even to $20K loss per production minute. Introduces some key trends and methods, as well as some implementation examples, showing quality solutions.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1994

Thomas R Kugler

Describes an automated laser cutting cell used in the automotiveindustry. The cell has the benefits of fast throughput because of highcutting speeds, adaptability of…

Abstract

Describes an automated laser cutting cell used in the automotive industry. The cell has the benefits of fast throughput because of high cutting speeds, adaptability of height sensing, safety of crash protection and flexibility of part modifications via robot path and program modifications. Outlines the feature of the cell which consists of two Nd:YAG lasers with fibre‐optic delivery and two five‐axis robots with trepanning heads, and describes their performance characteristics. Concludes with a summary of the advantages of using a laser cutting cell.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

John Mortimer

The automotive industry has been the principal driver in the development of robotics; however, as car design becomes more sophisticated, demands on robot makers will…

Abstract

The automotive industry has been the principal driver in the development of robotics; however, as car design becomes more sophisticated, demands on robot makers will continue undiminished.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 1 February 1994

Bo Assarsson

Outlines the background of robotized waterjet cutting and its advantagesover traditional punching and manual cutting methods. Discusses thedevelopment of the modular…

Abstract

Outlines the background of robotized waterjet cutting and its advantages over traditional punching and manual cutting methods. Discusses the development of the modular cutting box which can be adapted to the customer’s requirements covering the water pressure, the size and speed of the jet, the reduction of sound emissions and a safety zone to protect personnel. Examines the programming of the robot arm and the creation of cutting programs. Concludes that waterjet cutting has enormous potential in the automotive industry.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1996

Stuart C. Orr

Presents the findings of a longitudinal study of robot usage in Australia. The first stage was completed in 1990 and the second in 1993. In 1990, 74 companies were…

Abstract

Presents the findings of a longitudinal study of robot usage in Australia. The first stage was completed in 1990 and the second in 1993. In 1990, 74 companies were requested to give an interview, of which 32 agreed. The response rate was therefore 43 per cent. Of the 112 companies surveyed in 1993, 58 responded, giving a 52 per cent response rate. These companies had employee numbers ranging from ten through to 10,000 and included the general manufacturing, automotive, plastics moulding and electronics industries. Most of the findings were in favour of the adoption of industrial robots for Australian industry as it contributed to manufacturing competence. Some shortcomings in robot technology which were identified included; the capital outlay required, programming difficulties, availability of service and the current capacity of robot vision systems. The benefits of robots identified included productivity, flexibility, safety and quality increases.

Details

Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 7 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

Keywords

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