Source: BMW

The use of Collaborative Robots, also call Cobots, in automotive manufacturing processes is increasing. AMS reports in a extensive article, the applications and technology of this growing trend.

It is the example of BMW that is using a new robot in its plant of Dingolfing, Germany. This robot is the first example of a trend that is becoming more frequent in the automotive industry, and that represents the collaboration between humans and robots.
In this case it is a LBR iiwa, a lightweight model robot from Kuka, which is occupying a position previously assigned to an operator. The robot collaborates on hard and repetitive tasks such as lifting and installing the differential case for front axle transmissions. The differentials can weigh 5.5 kg, and in addition to the effort involved in lifting the component for installation, precision is also required to ensure proper placement and care to avoid damaging the components.

 

Another example is Nissan Motor Company, which is using Universal Robots at its plant in Yokohama, Japan. In addition to optimizing the production processes, it is also trying to solve the problems derived from having an aging workforce with loss of physical capacity. The plant has 3,200 workers that produce electric motors and components for electric vehicles. One of the problems faced by the plant is the constant improvement of ‘takt times’ in the assembly areas. For this reason the company has had to rely on reinforce workers with the consequent increase in labor costs.
So that is why they have implemented two lines of Universal Robots UR10 robot arms in the plant so that operators can gain experience in other points of the line and thus reduce takt time. The robots are used to loosen screws in the camshaft brackets of the engine head. This is a very demanding process for robotic capabilities taking into account that the robot body must be able to move easily, be compatible with 100V electrical outlets and be able to work without a security fence.

It is clear that the use of Collaborative Robots, a technology considered enabler of the industry 4.0, is actually increasing and it will continue in that trend during the next years.

Source: AMS Magazine