Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cognitive and collaborative: CoWeldRob – the welding robot assistant

18.03.2014

It can localize components, automatically generate programs, learn from the worker and collaborate with him.

For the European research initiative SMErobotics, scientists at Fraunhofer IPA are developing a cognitive and collaborative welding robot assistant called CoWeldRob.


CoWeldRob – the cognitive and collaborative welding robot assistant

Image credit: Fraunhofer IPA

The goal is to significantly reduce the programming effort for automated production in small and medium-sized welding businesses. A welding robot cell for welding typical components will be demonstrated at Automatica 2014.

Solid expertise combined with many years of experience: that’s what is required for the high-quality production of welded components. The welding torch needs to be accurately controlled with expert skill and the correct welding sequence must be observed.

On the other hand, the working conditions for humans are exacerbated by such factors as air pollution, heat and non-ergonomic posture. Also, as there is a growing shortage of qualified skilled workers, one possible solution might be to transfer the existing technological know-how to robot systems.

So far, however, automation has been made impossible by the high programming effort required for robot systems, especially in small-scale production and where there is high product diversity, such as in small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises. What is needed is a robot system capable of independently generating suggestions for task or program execution, continuously learning from the human worker and applying the acquired knowledge to similar components.

CoWeldRob

The European research initiative SMErobotics is developing new modular and interactive operating concepts and control systems for the efficient use of robots in a variety of applications. With this in mind, Fraunhofer IPA is designing and developing a cognitive and collaborative welding robot assistant known as CoWeldRob. The goal is to significantly reduce the programming effort for automated production in small and medium-sized welding businesses.

“CoWeldRob is designed to make the automation of welding operations profitable also in the case of small lot sizes and production quantities. It does this by being easy and intuitive to program by the welder and by continuously learning from him,” explains Thomas Dietz, project manager and group leader in the Robot and Assistance Systems department.

The welding robot assistant can automatically transfer programs to similar components without the need for major new programming effort. “This allows above all small and medium-sized enterprises to respond more flexibly to changes in customer orders,” says Dietz.

At Automatica 2014, Fraunhofer IPA will demonstrate a welding robot cell for cost-effective path welding based on the example of steel components from the agricultural machinery sector, including for extremely small lot sizes. Visitors will have an opportunity to specify their own desired welding process and have it executed by the robot system. 

System components

Automatic, model-based path and program generation: Robot programs are automatically generated on the basis of different models of the components, welding process and robot system. Intuitive operation, e.g. using a touchscreen, pointing or showing, allows changes made by the welder to be quickly incorporated and implemented. Such user inputs as well as sensor-detected data are brought into a logical relationship. This information can then be reused for various downstream processes, such as grinding or quality control. This makes it possible for programming and set-up times to be significantly reduced.

Component localization: By comparing CAD and sensor data, the welding robot assistant is able to automatically determine the precise position of the component and therefore of the welding paths. This makes it possible to adapt the robot path and to dispense with rigid fixtures for exact positioning of the components.

Robust handling of uncertainties: The developed approaches are designed to cope with and suitably react to tolerances both of the component, such as air gap and weld preparation, and of the process, such as a permitted torch orientation error. This makes CoWeldRob more robust than a conventional automated welding system. 

Learning robot: A welder knows from many years of experience which settings are required to produce a high-quality component. The process expert can transfer this experience to CoWeldRob by, for example, evaluating a suggested weld seam sequence and by thus instructing the robot system with regard to the desired mode of behaviour. Consequently, using methods from cognitive research, the robot can learn from the welder’s process know-how and continuously improve its performance over time.

More at Automatica – 6th International Trade Fair for Automation and Mechatronics
3 to 6 June 2014
New Trade Fair Centre Munich
Hall A4 | Stand 131

Contact:
Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Dietz, phone +49 711 970-1152, thomas.dietz@ipa.fraunhofer.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.automatica-munich.com
http://www.ipa.fraunhofer.de

Jörg Walz | Fraunhofer-Institut

Further reports about: Automatisierung IPA Produktionstechnik SMErobotics cognitive programming sequence

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht We will find “the fly in the ointment” and show it to you
20.05.2015 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP

nachricht JULABO – the 'World of Temperature' with many novelties
20.05.2015 | JULABO GmbH

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Advance in regenerative medicine

The only professorship in Germany to date, one master's programme, one laboratory with worldwide unique equipment and the corresponding research results: The University of Würzburg is leading in the field of biofabrication.

Paul Dalton is presently the only professor of biofabrication in Germany. About a year ago, the Australian researcher relocated to the Würzburg department for...

Im Focus: Basel Physicists Develop Efficient Method of Signal Transmission from Nanocomponents

Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.

Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...

Im Focus: IoT-based Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation System

Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services

To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...

Im Focus: First electrical car ferry in the world in operation in Norway now

  • Siemens delivers electric propulsion system and charging stations with lithium-ion batteries charged from hydro power
  • Ferry only uses 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) per route and reduces cost of fuel by 60 percent
  • Milestone on the road to operating emission-free ferries

The world's first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which...

Im Focus: Into the ice – RV Polarstern opens the arctic season by setting course for Spitsbergen

On Tuesday, 19 May 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its home port in Bremerhaven, setting a course for the Arctic. Led by Dr Ilka Peeken from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) a team of 53 researchers from 11 countries will investigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic, from the surface ice floes down to the seafloor.

RV Polarstern will enter the sea-ice zone north of Spitsbergen. Covering two shallow regions on their way to deeper waters, the scientists on board will focus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International symposium: trends in spatial analysis and modelling for a more sustainable land use

20.05.2015 | Event News

15th conference of the International Association of Colloid and Interface Scientists

18.05.2015 | Event News

EHFG 2015: Securing health in Europe. Balancing priorities, sharing responsibilities

12.05.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers develop intelligent handheld robots

27.05.2015 | Power and Electrical Engineering

"Hidden" fragrance compound can cause contact allergy

27.05.2015 | Health and Medicine

Supernovas help 'clean' galaxies

27.05.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>