Collaboration in a Hybrid Team of Human and Robot for Improving Working Conditions in an Aircraft Riveting Process 2019-01-1372
Aircraft production is facing various technical challenges, such as large product dimensions, complex joining processes and organization of assembly tasks. Meeting the requirements that come with large dimensions, low tolerances and small batch sizes, in combination with complex joining processes, is often difficult to achieve in an economically viable way.
ZeMA believes that a semi-automated approach is the most effective for optimizing aircraft section assembly. An effective optimization of aircraft production can be achieved with a semi-automated riveting process for solid rivets using Human-Robot-Collaboration in combination with an intuitive Human-Machine-Interaction operating concept.
In the assembly of aircraft structures, in this scenario the aircraft aft section, the pressure bulk head is mounted with the section barrel. In this assembly process two operators work collaboratively in a non-ergonomic posture under high quality standards. While using dynamic task sharing between human and robot based on their skills, and considering ergonomics, the determined ideal solution involves placing a robot inside the section barrel. The robot’s workspace is expanded by mounting it on top of a lifting unit so that it can properly position the anvil. In the meantime, the human performs the more complex tasks of inserting the solid rivets and operating the riveting hammer from the outside of the section barrel.
For an effective realization of the assembly tasks the following components must be implemented. Human-Robot-Collaboration based on natural and intuitive interaction possibilities, smart and mixed reality devices for communication between human and robot in the hybrid team. By implementing a modular control system for configuration and operation of the assembly station with a variety of interaction possibilities, human and robot can perform the collaborative riveting process effectively. Additionally, due to high forces and vibrations, which are applied by the riveting hammer, a process specific tool has been developed to prevent damage to the robot system. The implementation of natural and intuitive interaction within the Human-Robot-Collaboration achieves operator acceptance, improves ergonomics and therefore effectively optimizes aircraft production.
The results are part of the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and present semi-automation shown in the HRC riveting process.
Rainer Mueller, Matthias Vette-Steinkamp, Ali Kanso, Tobias Masiak