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On Safe Collaborative Assembly With Large Industrial Robots
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Machine Design. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9539-2163
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis pertains to industrial safety in relation to human-robot collaboration. The aim is to enhance understanding of the nature of systems where large industrial robots collaborate with humans to complete assembly tasks. This understanding may support development and safe operations of future collaborative systems.

Industrial robots are widely used to automate manufacturing operations across several industries. The automotive industry is the largest user of robots and have identified robot-based automation as a strategy to improve efficiency in manufacturing operations.

Recently, a class of machines referred to as collaborative robots have been developed by robot manufacturers to support operators in assembly tasks. The use of these robots to support human workers in an industrial context are referred to as collaborative operations.

Presently, collaborative robots have limited reach and load carrying capacity compared to standard industrial robots. Large/standard industrial robots are widely used for applications such as welding or painting. They can, in principle support operators in assembly tasks as well.

Two laboratory demonstrators representing the final results from a series of research activities will be presented. They were developed to investigate issues related to personnel and process safety while working with large industrial robots in collaborative operations. The demonstrators were partially based on assembly workstations that are currently operational and they exemplify challenges faced by the automotive industry.

Demonstrator-based Research, a methodology for collaborative research that emphasizes development of demonstrators as a research tool, forms the rationale for carrying out research operations presented in this thesis. An evaluation of the laboratory demonstrators by industrial participants suggests an increased interest and confidence in collaborative operations with large robots. The demonstrators have served as a tentative platform for participants to identify and discuss manufacturing and safety challenges in relation to their organization.

A main outcome presented in this thesis relates to specifying requirements for introducing robots in a human-populated environment. Introducing robotic systems in new environments requires reconsideration of the nature of the hazards particular to the domain. An analysis of the laboratory demonstrators suggest that, in addition to hazards associated with normal functioning of the system, limitations in human cognition must be considered. These results will be exemplified and discussed in the context of situational and mode awareness. Additionally, a model of a collaborative workstation will be presented in terms of three constituents – workspace, tasks and interaction.

This is particularly significant considering the direction of present-day research aimed at introducing robots across various industries and working environments. In response to this trend, this thesis discusses the relevance of Interactive Research and its emphasis on joint learning that goes on between academic researchers and industrial participants as a valuable principle for collaborative research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2019. , p. 79
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 2026
National Category
Robotics Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics Interaction Technologies Human Computer Interaction Computer Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-162134DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-162134ISBN: 9789179299774 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-162134DiVA, id: diva2:1371517
Public defence
2019-12-13, C3, C-huset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-11-20 Created: 2019-11-20 Last updated: 2019-11-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Design Criteria for a Conceptual End-effector for Physical Human-Robot Production Cell
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design Criteria for a Conceptual End-effector for Physical Human-Robot Production Cell
2014 (English)In: Proceedings of The 6th International Swedish Production Symposium 2014, Gothenburg: Chalmers Conferences , 2014, p. 1-7Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Speed, precision and repeatability are virtues of industrial robots which are relied on by manufacturing firms but also necessitates segregating them within controlled fenced areas. Therefore, industrial robots cannot cooperate with line workers in assembling task. With recent developments in robotics, new possibilities have emerged that can enable manufacturing firms to be flexible and cost effective. This paper presents preliminary results from investigations into the possibility of a man-machine production cell where plastic panels are assembled under the car. A conceptual man-machine collaborative production cell will be presented detailing characteristics required to ensure safety.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gothenburg: Chalmers Conferences, 2014
Keywords
Human-Robot Collaboration, Mixed-model assembly Line, Flexible Manufacturing.
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-123649 (URN)9789198097412 (ISBN)
Conference
The 6th Swedish Production Symposium, Clarion Hotel Post September 16-18, Gothenburg, Sweden
Projects
Collaborative Team of Man and Machine ToMM
Funder
Vinnova
Available from: 2016-01-04 Created: 2016-01-04 Last updated: 2019-11-20Bibliographically approved
2. Risk Assessment Process for Collaborative Assembly - A Job Safety Analysis Approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Risk Assessment Process for Collaborative Assembly - A Job Safety Analysis Approach
2016 (English)In: 6TH CIRP CONFERENCE ON ASSEMBLY TECHNOLOGIES AND SYSTEMS (CATS), ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV , 2016, Vol. 44, p. 199-203Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

International safety standards state that risk assessment is the first step in understanding and eliminating hazardous work environment. The traditional method of risk assessment using Job Safety Analysis, where sequential tasks of the operator are analysed for potential risks, needs to be adapted to applications where humans and robots collaborate to complete assembly tasks. This article proposes a novel approach by placing equal emphasis on various participants working within their workspaces. An industrial case study wil be used to showcase the merits of the process when used at an early stage in the development of a collaborative assembly cell. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2016
Series
Procedia CIRP, ISSN 2212-8271
Keywords
Human Robot Collaboration; Risk Assessment; Safety Standards; Collaborative Assembly
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-129505 (URN)10.1016/j.procir.2016.02.334 (DOI)000376432200033 ()
Conference
6th CIRP Conference on Assembly Technologies and Systems (CATS)
Available from: 2016-06-20 Created: 2016-06-20 Last updated: 2019-11-20
3. Safe Assembly Cell Layout through Risk Assessment: An Application with Hand Guided Industrial Robot
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Safe Assembly Cell Layout through Risk Assessment: An Application with Hand Guided Industrial Robot
2017 (English)In: Proceedings of the 50th CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems / [ed] Mitchell M. Tseng, Hung-Yin Tsai and Yue Wang, Elsevier, 2017, Vol. 63, no Supplement C, p. 430-435Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Risk assessment is a systematic and iterative process which involves risk analysis where the probable hazards are identified and corresponding risks are evaluated along with solutions to mitigate the effect of these risks. In this article the outcome of a risk assessment process will be detailed where a large industrial robot is being used as a intelligent and flexible lifting tool that can aid operators in assembly tasks. The realization of a collaborative assembly station has several benefits such as increased productivity and improved ergonomic work environment. The article will detail the design of the layout of a collaborative assembly cell which takes into account the safety and productivity concerns of automotive assembly plants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
Series
Procedia CIRP
Keywords
Human Robot Collaboration, Safety Standards, Collaborative Assembly, Hand-Guided Robot
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-142319 (URN)10.1016/j.procir.2017.03.160 (DOI)000418465500073 ()2-s2.0-85028677171 (Scopus ID)
Conference
Manufacturing Systems 4.0 – Proceedings of the 50th CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems
Funder
VINNOVA
Note

Manufacturing Systems 4.0 – Proceedings of the 50th CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems

Available from: 2017-10-25 Created: 2017-10-25 Last updated: 2019-11-20Bibliographically approved
4. Risk Assessment for Collaborative Operation: A Case Study on Hand-Guided Industrial Robots
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Risk Assessment for Collaborative Operation: A Case Study on Hand-Guided Industrial Robots
2018 (English)In: Risk Assessment / [ed] Valentina Svalova, London/Rijeka: InTech, 2018, p. 167-187Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Risk assessment is a systematic and iterative process, which involves risk analysis, where probable hazards are identified, and then corresponding risks are evaluated along with solutions to mitigate the effect of these risks. In this article, the outcome of a risk assessment process will be detailed, where a large industrial robot is used as an intelligent and flexible lifting tool that can aid operators in assembly tasks. The realization of a collaborative assembly station has several benefits, such as increased productivity and improved ergonomic work environment. The article will detail the design of the layout of a collaborative assembly workstation, which takes into account the safety and productivity concerns of automotive assembly plants. The hazards associated with hand-guided collaborative operations will also be presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London/Rijeka: InTech, 2018
Keywords
Hand-guided robots, industrial system safety, collaborative operations, human-robot collaboration, risk assessment, hazards
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-145504 (URN)10.5772/intechopen.70607 (DOI)9789535137986 (ISBN)9789535140634 (ISBN)9789535137993 (ISBN)
Available from: 2018-03-02 Created: 2018-03-02 Last updated: 2019-11-20Bibliographically approved
5. Demonstrators to support research in Industrial safety - A Methodology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Demonstrators to support research in Industrial safety - A Methodology
2018 (English)In: Procedia Manufacturing, E-ISSN 2351-9789, Vol. 17, p. 246-253Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Activities to support manufacturing research are carried out with the intention to gain knowledge of industrial problems and provide solutions that addresses these issues. In order for solution to be viable to the industry, research activities are carried out in close collaboration with participants from the industry, academia and research institutions. Interactive research approach motivates participants with multi-disciplinary perspective to collaborate and emphasizes joint learning in the change process. This article, presents a methodology, where participants with different expertise can collaborate to develop safety solutions. The concept of a demonstrator, which represents cumulative result of a series of research activities, is presented as a tool to showcase functioning and design intent in a collaborative research environment. The results of a pilot study, where manufacturing professionals evaluated design decisions that resulted in a demonstrator, will be presented. (C) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2018
Keywords
Collaborative robots; Industrial Safety; University-Industry Collaboration; Risk Assessment
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-158894 (URN)10.1016/j.promfg.2018.10.043 (DOI)000471035200031 ()
Conference
28th International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing (FAIM2018), June 11-14, 2018, Columbus, OH, USAGlobal Integration of Intelligent Manufacturing and Smart Industry for Good of Humanity, Edited by Dušan Šormaz, Gürsel Süer, F. Frank Chen
Note

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/)Peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the 28th Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing(FAIM2018) Conference.

Available from: 2019-07-16 Created: 2019-07-16 Last updated: 2019-11-20
6. Understanding situational and mode awareness for safe human‑robot collaboration: case studies on assembly applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding situational and mode awareness for safe human‑robot collaboration: case studies on assembly applications
2019 (English)In: Production Engineering, ISSN 0944-6524, E-ISSN 1863-7353, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 1-9Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In order for humans and robots to collaborate on an assembly line, safety of operations is a prerequisite. In this article, two assembly stations where a large industrial robots collaborate with humans will be analysed with the aim to 1. determine the characteristics of hazards associated with human-robot interaction and 2. design solutions that can mitigate risks associated with these hazards. To support the aim of this article, a literature review will attempt to characterize automation and detail the problems associated with human-automation interaction. The analysis points at situational awareness and mode-awareness as contributing factors to operator and process safety. These underlying mechanisms, if recognised by the risk assessment team as hazards, can mitigate risks of operator injury or production delays. This article details the function of visual and physical interfaces that allow operators to comprehend system-state in order to avoid undesirable situations

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2019
Keywords
Situational awareness, Mode awareness, Human-robot collaboration (HRC), Industrial safety
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-160304 (URN)10.1007/s11740-018-0868-2 (DOI)000457944600001 ()2-s2.0-85058656783 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Vinnova, 2015-03722
Available from: 2019-09-17 Created: 2019-09-17 Last updated: 2019-11-20Bibliographically approved

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