Methodology for the definition of the optimal assembly cycle and calculation of the optimized assembly cycle time in human-robot collaborative assembly
The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
AbstractIndustrial collaborative robotics is an enabling technology and one of the main drivers of Industry 4.0 in industrial assembly. It allows a safe physical and human-machine interaction with the aim of improving flexibility, operator's work conditions, and process performance at the same time. In this regard, collaborative assembly is one of the most interesting and useful applications of human-robot collaboration. Most of these systems arise from the re-design of existing manual assembly
... workstations. As a consequence, manufacturing companies need support for an efficient implementation of these systems. This work presents a systematical methodology for the design of human-centered and collaborative assembly systems starting from manual assembly workstations. In particular, it proposes a method for task scheduling identifying the optimal assembly cycle by considering the product and process main features as well as a given task allocation between the human and the robot. The use of the proposed methodology has been tested and validated in an industrial case study related to the assembly of a touch-screen cash register. Results show how the new assembly cycle allows a remarkable time reduction with respect to the manual cycle and a promising value in terms of payback period.