With growing demand for flexibility in manufacturing processes, interest in dexterous industrial robots is increasing. To facilitate benchmarking, and to assess the suitability of these robots for flexible manufacturing tasks, there is a need to develop new methods of capturing the relevant performance characteristics of industrial robots. This research aims to show that the Boothroyd-Dewhurst (B-D) Design-For-Assembly method, an established method for optimizing manufacturing processes, can be effectively adopted to form the basis of a comprehensive robotic dexterity assessment within flexible manufacturing. A comparative study is conducted which shows that the B-D classification tables offer the most comprehensive solution due to the range of operations and artifacts considered. Building on these tables, a framework is developed for determining the suitability of a robot system within flexible manufacturing operations. In a sample test-case scenario involving a pick-and-place operation, the framework is shown to produce an accurate estimate of robot performance that can be easily compared to human data. The framework establishes a link between manufacturing operations and robot performance metrics, which addresses the current difficulty in robot integration and highlights the framework’s potential for adoption within flexible manufacturing.
Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 11, 2017
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