Advanced Robot Assembly


ROBAS - CP94-510

Keywords: robotics, assembly process, electromagnetic valves


Start Date: 1 April 95 / Duration: 36 months

[ participants / contact]


Objectivies and Approach

The aim of the project is to develop advanced integrated solutions and techniques for more efficient industrial assembly processes. The project investigates the fundamentals of robotics assembly and parts mating processes. The implementation strategy includes the use of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques and approaches to facilitate robotics assembly and increase robot flexibility and applicability in integrated production systems.

Progress and Results

A concurrent analysis of the design of the specific industrial problem addressed - the assembly of Electromagnetic Valves (EMV)- was conducted and three abstraction levels were considered: the products, the assembly process and the assembly system. Applying DFA (design for assembly) methodology, design modifications were identified and product modifications were proposed. Finally, the characteristics and specifications of the assembly equipment required for the modified product were determined. The conducted analysis confirmed that one of the factors that restrict the widespread application of industrial robots in assembly is their inability to cope with uncertainties in the location of the components to be assembled, whereas missallignements are the main source of uncertainties during composing. To improve reliability, new models of the parts configurations and accomodation process have been developped. A knowledge based system for generation of assembly strategies has been developed and implemented.

The main achievements obtained so far are theoretical -mathematical models for describing the mating behaviour of parts during robot assembly, algorithms and programs for simulating parts accommodation, knowledge based systems for generation of assembly strategies- as well as practical -improved product design to facilitate assembly -.

Information Dissemination Activities and/or Exploitation

The concurrent design analysis resulted in a modified design of the EMVs; the manufacture of a prototype is in progress and the industrial partner intends to start serial production after having carried out tests on the prototype. Dissemination activities have been undertaken within the following European and national projects: COPERNICUS, BRITE/EURAM II, ERASMUS, TEMPUS, British Council-German Academic Collaboration Programme, National Scientific and Research Fund (BG), National Scientific and Research Fund (HU).


Coordinator

University of Wales, College of Cardiff
School of Engineering
Newport Road
PO Box 917
UK-Cardiff CF2 1XH, UK

EU Partners

University of Wales, College of Cardiff, UK
University of Patras, GR

Non-EU Partners

University of Rousse, BG
Technical University of Budapest, HU
ZITA Ltd. - Rousse, BG

CONTACT POINT

Prof. D.T. Pham
Tel: +44 1222 874 429
Fax: +44 1222 874 420
E-mail: PHAMDT@UK.AC.CARDIFF


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ROBAS - CP94-510, May 1997


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html version of synopsis by Nick Cook