Mueller, R., Vette, M., and Mailahn, O., "Empowering of Assembly Processes for Human-Robot-Cooperation in Terms of Task Assignment," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-2093, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-2093.
Many assembly processes, particularly in the manufacture of aircraft components, are still carried out by humans manually. In addition to rationalization aspects, high quality requirements, non-ergonomic activities, the lack of well-qualified workers etc. may require the use of automation technology. Through novel possibilities of human-robot-cooperation these challenges can be met through a skills-based division of labor. Tasks are assigned to humans and robots in a way that the respective strengths can be used most efficiently. This article presents, how assembly processes can get empowered for human-robot-cooperation, using a specific work description for humans and robots, an assembly priority chart and suitable robot programs, to prepare for a skills-based task assignment. In the area of formerly exclusively manual assembly, the operations for the assembly of the product must first be described in detail. In the view of the human-robot-cooperation it is particularly important that the work description covers all aspects that are necessary for the design of an automated task. By using the assembly priority chart, the assembly process gets structured. Work modules out of this chart can now be prepared for either a manual or an automated execution. In addition, assembly processes can be organized in a sequential or parallel order. Applicable robot programs are stored in a database and get adapted in advance quickly to the demanded task. A major advantage of this method is that the proportions of manual or automated tasks can get reassigned quickly and easily. Thus, the executing workforce can get chosen appropriately according the relevant conditions.