Cobots to provide support for modern workstation systems

Assembly workstations with COBOT connection –

collaborative robots provide support for the process

Cobots for optimised assembly – ergonomics meets economy and efficiency

Small collaborative six-axis robots (cobots) play an ever more important role in production and assembly processes. Their range of action can be expanded simply with linear actuators with which the cobots can be moved horizontally or vertically to the respective location of use. In conjunction with height-adjustable workstations and pick to light systems, they open up completely new assembly concepts.

Cobots can provide assembly workers with support in many ways: they lift heavy objects or take on monotonous tasks with single-sided strain, like accurately handing over parts. This way, they provide relief for workers and protect their health. Collaborative robots are also a practical option for line-controlled tasks which a human can either not perform as precisely, continuously or quickly and reliably as a machine. These include, for instance, screwing in particularly delicate screws or setting riveted or adhesive joints. Cobots also provide valuable service when there is a shortage of qualified specialists.

The demands made of modern workbenches are manifold and often cannot be met satisfactorily with standard products. It is for this reason that RK Rose+Krieger has rethought its workbench RK Easywork, which is the ideal basis for cobot assembly stations, and equipped it with numerous features which make the workbench an attractive solution for specific tasks. It is characterised by good ergonomics and high customisability. This makes it attractive above all for small and medium batch productions the use of which is not permanent. Thanks to the modular system, the rugged workbench remains upgradable and functionally modifiable even after years. RK Rose+Krieger, as a specialist for LEAN workstations, uses the RK Easywork as the basis for the construction of such a working environment built to special criteria.

Workstation systems brochure

Linear technology expands the range of the cobot

A seventh or further additional axles can be added to the six drive axles of the cobot in order to expand its range of action. The expansion of the range of action can be achieved, for instance, using the RK Rose+Krieger linear technology range. Lifting columns, such as the RK Powerlift can thus be used for the electrical height adjustment of the cobot (Y-axis). Linear actuators from the RK MonoLine or RK DuoLine ranges additionally position the cobot on the X and Z axis and thus expand its range, for example, in order to link multiple workstations or storage spaces. These linear actuators can in theory be of any length.

The power of the cobot depends on the size and weight of the parts to be handled. It can be adapted by selecting the respective cobot size and the respective dimensioning of the linear actuators and lifting columns. Many cobot applications require a system for image processing in order, for example, to grip parts from an unsorted box, carry out optical quality inspections or to check that the pick and place tasks are correctly positioned. Using special software, cameras and force detection, the cobot can insert parts exactly in position, for instance. A cobot can also be used without any problems to screw parts in place.

An example: the employee places a fully assembled component on a predefined surface at the workstation and presses a button to signal to the cobot that the part is ready for removal. The linear actuator and the lifting column move the cobot into the correct position, it detects the workpiece, using a 3D camera system, measures the height and detects whether it has to grip higher or lower. It then takes the part and conveys it to the next station. In an interlinked working environment this might be the shelf on the next workstation, a storage container or a packing station. If it is not the correct workpiece, the cobot detects the fact thanks to pattern recognition.

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Assembly workstation with Cobot

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Specialist support for your production/assembly process

The scope for use of cobots is enormous. It covers everything from standalone solutions and material feeding and removal to complex three-dimensional gantries for welding applications.

Before installation and integration of the cobot in the production environment, it makes a lot of sense to consult a specialist.

Depending on the complexity of the project we work together, for example, with the experts for the development of (semi) automatic processes of the Fraunhofer IEM or the manufacturer of cobots, Mitsubishi Electric. Because, even though a small cobot may be a lower investment than an industrial robot, it is still important to make sure that it is a profitable investment and will amortise within the budgeted period.

Contact us when planning your next project and we will get our project specialists together around the table to offer you a solution ideally tailored to the process.

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Always the right contact

Your contact at RK ROSE+KRIEGER:

Olaf Durstewitz

Olaf Durstewitz
Head of Product Consultancy

Tel. +49 571 9335 801 Start Whatsapp Chat Write an e-mail

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