HORSE has progressed with its pilot scenarios’ definition!

The scenarios for the pilot interventions at the pilot factories in HORSE have been defined. The pilots have selected challenging problems that need advanced collaborative robotic technologies to be remotely operated by manufacturing process management tools, which remained unsolvable with existing robotics. Safety is increased by the integration of monitoring and alerting features based on sensors at the level of the robot, the environment (cell) and the production control software.

Thomas Regout International BV, Netherlands (TRI).

Thomas Regout International BV is a Dutch manufacturer of telescopic slides (see picture 1).

Picture 1. Telescopic slide with three profiles.

The profiles of these slides are made out of steel coils. To prevent the profiles from corrosion they get a surface treatment. To get this treatment, the profiles have to be racked up one by one (see picture 2).

Picture 2. Racking-up of profiles.

The racking-up is done manually because of the high variety of the dimensions of the profiles. This type of work is labor intensive and has a high physical impact on the workers. HORSE intervention in the factory develops a demonstrator adopting the HORSE framework and a custom robotic application, which will rack up the profiles in an environment where humans and robots work in the same area. A robotic hand of KUKA has been adopted in a solution which have been designed by partner TNO and TRI experts. A manufacturing process model has been designed to monitor the production and allocate tasks in turn to worker and robot. The cell is monitored by sensors which alert the worker and the safety engineer when the risk is identified.

Picture 3. Example of a manufacturing sub-process of TRI case.

BOSCH Factory, Barcelona, Spain (BOS).

Robert Bosch España, Fábrica de Castellet produces Wiper System assemblies (WSA)

Picture 4. Front Wiper System

After the final assembly station every part has to be placed on the delivery box to be sent to the customer. The operator gets the WSA product from the conveyor belt and visually checks it before placing it in the box.

Picture 5. WSA Packaging process

This process remain manual because of the worker flexibility, to not only check various parts in different places, but also because he can easily adapt to a huge quantity of combinations of WSA’s, control features and containers layers.

This type of work puts workers in occupational hazards and health issues hurting their back, wrist, producing arm harm or hitting their fingers.

HORSE project provides a Robotic integrated system without fences, designed by the experts of Bosch, KUKA, TUE, TUM and TNO which picks up the product, automatically checks its quality and places it in the right way of every layer of the predefined box. The human and robotic agent collaboration is controlled and monitored by a Manufacturing Process Management System to ensure cycle time. In addition the safety is enhanced by the cell monitoring system of FZI.

Odlewnie Polskie SA, Starachowiche, Poland (OPSA).

Odlewnie Polskie produces annually about 16 thousand tons of cast iron castings within weight of 2 - 100 kg in different configuration and use (approx. 990 different types of castings). Most of the operations in manufacturing process are mechanized and automated. These are automatic molding processing station, automatic molding lines, pouring and shake out operations, automatic core shooters.

The biggest problem for the foundries is to improve the working conditions of the operators. Finishing operations (deburring, trimming, casting separation) are carried out mostly manually causing a serious problem due to the harsh conditions of work, musculoskeletal disorders, local dust, noise and accidents that may occur. Fettling of casting generates high costs in whole casting manufacturing process.

HORSE application will automatize this operation allowing us to make this process faster, more efficient and most importantly will improve working conditions of our workers. This is the biggest challenge for us. Another challenge is to organize the production in the automated manner covering the great variety of our over 900 products. Flexibility, re-configurability and safety are also important. The HORSE application will focus on the production organization for the various products, its direct interface (via OSGI and ROS) to the production agents (human worker and robotic equipment (CEA)) and orchestrating their collaboration, monitoring their safety for the operation of cutting metal castings by handling critical situations.

Picture 6. Robot cutting a metal object


For more information on the pilots, please visit: