Next-gen robots will be used in small-scale production

21st April 2016
Posted By : Enaie Azambuja
Next-gen robots will be used in small-scale production

Soon, industrial robots will be used at lower cost in small-scale production thanks to the operating system developed by the Dutch-German partnership SInBot. Doctoral research by Maarten Essers from the University of Twente shows that the results from preliminary tests are promising. Major companies in the manufacturing industry, such as car manufacturers, are using smart robots for mass production more and more often.

This is not economically viable for small production runs, because reprogramming industrial robots is an expensive and time consuming process. An additional problem is the hierarchical structure of the operating system, which means that significantly more machines are involved than strictly necessary.

This increases the risk of production errors and it becomes difficult for robots to quickly switch between different tasks. This risk is much more acceptable in large production runs, which is why small and medium enterprises rarely use robots.

Doctoral candidate Maarten Essers of the University of Twente conducted research into improving control of industrial robotic arms. His research shows that the new generation of intelligently controlled robots is in fact capable of a quick and flexible performance of production tasks.

In the new system, robots are not controlled in a top-down manner; instead they discuss what they are going to do next. This allows them to eventually assign and execute tasks individually. This is called a heterarchical approach (instead of a hierarchical approach).

The new design architecture results in more flexible robots that are easier to use in smaller production environments. Mr Essers predicts that 'factories will get a complete overhaul in the near future, especially with respect to small and medium enterprises.

Smart factories will pop up everywhere and small-scale production will become completely automated with the help of self-learning smart robots. They will be used in the food, feed and metal industries as well as in other manufacturing sectors.

It will also be much easier to quickly switch between parts of major production lines in the petrochemical industry, for example. It will have a major impact on Dutch industry and will pave the way for a Smart Industry.


You must be logged in to comment

Write a comment

No comments




Sign up to view our publications

Sign up

Sign up to view our downloads

Sign up

embedded world 2019
26th February 2019
Germany Nuremberg
Wearable Tech Show 2019
12th March 2019
United Kingdom London
AMPER 2019
19th March 2019
Czech Republic Brno Exhibition Centre
LOPEC 2019
19th March 2019
Germany Messe Munchen
RF & Microwave 2019
20th March 2019
France Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles