The initial situation
BMW employees previously had to lift heavy, not easy to grasp differential cases during the assembly of the front axle drive by adjusting them to the millimeter. Now the robot is handling this ergonomically demanding job.
The special challenge in designing the system was the limited space available for the HRC design
. It had to be spatially integrated into the production line, in which front-axle transmissions for different series with 4-wheel drive are mounted.
The solution developed by KUKA Systems: a lean steel construction in the form of gallows to which a LBR iiwa is attached. This saves space, because the sensitive lightweight robot
can work hanging. External sensors are not required because the LBR iiwa
has joint-torque sensors in each of its seven axes. In addition, the end effector of the robot has been provided with an edge-free and rounded HRC sleeve, so that it is HRC-capable
and the worker is always protected against injuries. The compact control cabinet also found its place in the existing production line and provides the interface for system control. Humans and robots are now working together to install the differential cases for the front axle transmissions - in less than half a minute.