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Simulation methodology for performance and safety evaluation of human-industrial robot collaboration workstation design
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation. Scania CV AB, Global Ind Dev, S-15187 Sodertalje, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2401-0380
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
Scania CV AB, Global Ind Dev, S-15187 Sodertalje, Sweden.;Univ Skovde, Sch Engn Sci, S-54128 Skovde, Sweden.;Chalmers Univ Technol, Dept Ind & Mat Sci, S-41296 Gothenburg, Sweden..
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7935-8811
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2019 (English)In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF INTELLIGENT ROBOTICS AND APPLICATIONS, ISSN 2366-5971, Vol. 3, no 3, p. 269-282Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is a strong interest in the scope of human-industrial robot collaboration (HIRC) in manufacturing industry for greater flexibility and productivity. However, HIRC in manufacturing is still in its infancy; industrial practitioners have many apprehensions and uncertainties concerning the system's performance and human operators' safety. Therefore, there is a need for investigations into design processes and methods to make sure the designed HIRC workstations successfully meet design guidelines on system performance, human safety and ergonomics for practical industrial applications. This research proposes a HIRC workstation design process. The novelty of this design process is the methodology to evaluate the HIRC workstation design alternatives by considering both performance and safety characteristics through computer-based simulations. As a proof of concept, the proposed HIRC design process is applied on an industrial manufacturing case from a heavy-vehicle manufacturing company.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 3, no 3, p. 269-282
Keywords [en]
Human industrial robot collaboration, Safety, Ergonomics, Collision model, Performance evaluation, Risk assessment
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-45373DOI: 10.1007/s41315-019-00097-0ISI: 000486179900003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85075361362OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-45373DiVA, id: diva2:1357331
Available from: 2019-10-03 Created: 2019-10-03 Last updated: 2019-12-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Designing workstations for human–industrial robot collaboration: Development and application of simulation software
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Designing workstations for human–industrial robot collaboration: Development and application of simulation software
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Human-industrial robot collaboration (HIRC) creates an opportunity for an ideal combination of human senses and industrial robot efficiency. The strength, endurance and accuracy of industrial robots can be combined with human intelligence and flexibility to create workstations with increased productivity, quality and reduced ergonomic load compared with traditional manual workstations. Even though multiple technical developments of industrial robot and safety systems have taken place over the last decade, solutions facilitating HIRC workstation design are still limited. One element in realising an efficient design of a future workstation is a simulation software. Thus the objective of this research is to (1) develop a demonstrator software that simulates, visualises and evaluates HIRC workstations and (2) propose a design process of how to apply such a simulation software in an industrial context.

The thesis comprises five papers describing the development of a HIRC simulation software and its corresponding design process. Two existing simulation software tools, one for digital human modelling and one for robotic simulation, were merged into one application. Evaluation measures concerning operation time and ergonomic load were included in the common software. Existing engineering design methods were applied in a HIRC workstation context to describe the utilisation of a HIRC simulation software. These developments were demonstrated in five actual industrial cases from a heavy vehicle manufacturing company.

The HIRC simulation software developed enables simulation, visualisation and evaluation of all kinds of HIRC workstations where human and robot simultaneously work in a collaborative environment including hand-guiding tasks. Multiple layout alternatives can be visualised and compared with quantitative numbers of total operation time and biomechanical load on the human body. An integrated HIRC workstation design process describes how such a simulation software can be applied to create suitable workstations. This process also includes a safety measure by which the collision forces between the industrial robot and the human are predicted. These forces have to be minimised to tolerable limits in order to design safe HIRC workstations.

The HIRC simulation software developed and the proposed workstation design process enable more efficient HIRC workstation design. The possibility of designing and evaluating HIRC alternatives for hand-guiding activities is rarely found in other simulation software. The evaluation could include different types of layout alternatives and workstations: HIRC, fully manual or fully automatic. All of these could be compared based on their total operation time and biomechanical load and thus be used in workstation design decision making.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2020
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 306
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-46591 (URN)978-91-7485-456-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-02-14, Filen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-12-19 Created: 2019-12-18 Last updated: 2020-01-16Bibliographically approved
2. Evaluation of Industrial Robot Mechanical Systems for Applications that Require Human-Robot Collaboration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evaluation of Industrial Robot Mechanical Systems for Applications that Require Human-Robot Collaboration
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In order to develop robot automation for new market sectors associated with short product lifetimes and frequent production change overs, industrial robots must exhibit a new level of flexibility and versatility. This situation has led to the growing interest in making humans and robots share their working environments and sometimes even allowing direct physical contact between the two in order to make them work cooperatively on the same task by enabling human-industrial robot collaboration (HIRC). In this context, it is very important to evaluate both the performance and the inherent safety characteristics associated with a given industrial robot manipulator system in HIRC workstation during the design and development stages.

This necessitates a need to formulate evaluation methods with relevant design metrics and quantitative methods based on simulations, which can support the robot mechanical designer to correlate the task-, and safety- based performance characteristics of industrial robot mechanical system for HIRC applications. The research objective perused in this research aiming to address this need.

This research project adopts research methodology based on action-reflection approach in a collaborative research setting between academia and industry. The design knowledge is gained on how to evaluate a specific industrial robot mechanical system design for usability in a specific collaborative application with humans. This is done by carrying out simulation-based evaluation tasks to measure and subsequently analyze the task-, and safety- based performance characteristics of industrial robot mechanical systems. Based on the acquired knowledge, an evaluation methodology with relevant design metrics and simulation modelling approaches is proposed in this research which integrates simulation based design processes of both Human-industrial robot workstation as well as robot mechanical system in order to make a well-grounded assessment on whether the robot mechanical system fulfills the task- and safety-based performance requirements corresponding to a specific collaborative application.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eskilstuna: Mälardalen University, 2020
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 308
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-46609 (URN)978-91-7485-457-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-02-21, Filen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-12-20 Created: 2019-12-20 Last updated: 2020-01-21Bibliographically approved

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Ore, FredrikReddy Vemula, BhanodayWiktorsson, MagnusFagerström, Björn

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