Škoda-fabriek wint een award met mens-robot-samenwerking

Škoda factory wins award with human robot interaction

MATADOR Group and KUKA are partnering with Škoda Auto in the Czech town of Vrchlabí in an Industry 4.0 venture that involves hardware, software and people. Collaborative robotics, a concept that is transforming 21st-century industry, is a determining factor as well.

Human robot interaction with LBR iiwa perfectly suited for precision transmissions

The traditional European automobile maker Škoda became a Volkswagen Group subsidiary in 1991. In 2011, Volkswagen decided to convert the 1,000-employee Škoda plant in Vrchlabí to one that exclusively produces its DQ200 seven-gear, dual-clutch, direct-shift automatic transmission system.

“This kind of transmission puts very high requirements on precision,” says Ivan Slimák, General Manager at the Vrchlabí plant. “For example, we have a lot of moving parts with very, very tight tolerance.”

This kind of precision is what the KUKA LBR iiwa does best. The sensitive robot inserts the gear actuator pistons precisely and gently using input from the sensors on each of its seven axes.

Maximum flexibility through human robot interaction and Sunrise with Java

“I think the most challenging job was to learn the Java programming language and to change the meaning of how sensitive robots are programmed in the application,” says Stanislav Korec, Head of Robotics and PLC Programming at MATADOR Group.

The KUKA Sunrise control system combines motion and sensor systems and the Java programming language is crucial for these tasks. It means there is almost no limit to the variety of automation options.

Then there's the unique sensitivity of the KUKA LBR iiwa that allows it to “feel” where components need to be inserted rather than forcing them into place. This is vital for handling delicate parts prone to damage during assembly. As well, the elimination of robot fencing around the KUKA LBR iiwa enables the automation of processes in limited spaces without having to modify production lines.

The Škoda Vrchlabí plant was rewarded for this high-tech transformation, including human robot interaction, last year when consulting firm A.T. Kearney and the trade journal Produktion named it the 2015 Factory of the Year for global excellence in operations.”

The digitization of production means that the Vrchlabí plant is becoming more data driven.

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