Jernbro has participated in the construction of a demonstration cell where humans and collaborative robots assemble a product together. The work is part of the EU project ManuWork *, where companies, colleges and the EU together have developed tools that are tested and developed in the cell. The ManuWork research project has set focus on the industry’s future workplaces.
Together with the University of Skövde, our part of the project was to develop a simulation-based balancing module for assembly work, which task is to divide the work between robots and persons to achieve optimal balance in the assembly line. By integrating manual work with automation, the assembly line can be optimized according to the goals you want to achieve, such as reducing lead times, getting a more flexible workplace, improving ergonomics, maximizing productivity or minimizing WIP (work in progress).
The actual balancing of the work between robots and persons and the addition of new components are done, among other things, based on key figures, set time and the conditions of each person, flexibility, skills, safety and total load of the line. For example, if a person is able to work 80%, the module should weigh 80% of the work to the person and the remainder to the robot.
Viktor Johansson is the project manager for Jernbro’s part in ManuWork, here next to the cell at the ASSAR Industrial Innovation Arena in Skövde.
The robot cell itself is built together with Volvo Cars and consists of 2 assembly stations with collaborative robots, UR10 and Sawyer, in one line and works with mounting engine parts. The Sawyer robot is used as a lifting tool where the robot enters zero gravity position and helps the worker lift the detail. This means a fully collaborative robot application.
The cell is built at the ASSAR Industrial Innovation Arena in Skövde where it should be accessible and continue to be developed by the University of Skövde. In order to be a safe workplace, the Robot Directive and applicable safety aspects have been followed during construction.
See the demonstration cell in work.
In addition to safety and ergonomics, the workplace of the future will place higher demands on being an attractive workplace regarding well-being, participation, information, commitment and capacity. This is what some of the other 13 participating companies have worked with in the project during October 2016 until March 2020.
* The full project name is ManuWork: Balancing Human and Automation Levels for the Manufacturing Workplaces of the Future.