Robotic in Automotive Industries

Currently, robots have been used mainly in the automotive industries, including their supply chains, accounting for more than 60% of total robot sales. Typically prime targets for robot automation in car manufacturing are welding, assembly of body, motor and gear-box, and painting and coating. Automotive industries are the driver key of application in terms of cost, technology and services robotics industry are subject to fierce global competition. Robot systems increasingly to be the central portion of investments in automotive manufacturing which may reach 60 % of the total manufacturing equipment investment in the year 2010 (for car and 1st tier suppliers). In general it is estimated that the a robot automation investment cost in these industries accounts to 4 times the unit prize of a robot.

The automation degree in the automotive industries is expected to increase in the future as robots will push the limits towards flexibility regarding faster change-over-times of different product types (through rapid programming generation schemes), capabilities to deal with tolerances (through an extensive use of sensors) and costs (by reducing customized work-cell installations and reuse of manufacturing equipment). These challenges lead to the following present RTD trends in robotics:
• Expensive fixing equipment and single-purpose transport is replaced by standard robots thus offering continuous production flows. Remaining fixtures may be adjusted by the robot itself.
• Cooperative robots in a work-cell coordinate fixing, handling and process tasks so that robots may be adjusted easily to varying work piece geometries, process parameters and task sequences. Short change-over times are achieved by automated program generation which takes into account necessary synchronization, collision avoidance and robot-to-robot calibration.
• Increased use of sensor systems and measuring devices mounted on robots and RFID-tagged parts carrying individual information contributes to better dealing with tolerances in automated processes.
• The gap between fully manual and fully automated task execution of human-robot-cooperation bridges. Robots and people will share cognitive, sensing, and physical capabilities.

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