Developments with robotic technology have been mostly applied to the automotive industry sector. Ford is one of the pioneers in acquiring robotic automation systems among the many industrial automotive giants that are trying to get their hands on different automotive factories considered solutions.
On one occasion, Ford VOME (Vehicle Manufacturing Engineering), Dürr Assembly Products, and KUKA worked on an innovative solution to see if they’ll be able to adjust car headlights using robotic automation.
For this, the KUKA LBR iiwa cobot robot was chosen due to its sensitive handling characteristics, its size, and the system of joint torque sensors with which it perceives contact. Other impressive features of the robot include its ability to instantly reduce its degree of force and speed. It also includes a servo control that allows the KUKA LBR iiwa (cobot) robot to detect the perimeter more quickly under force control and the system is completed with the final tool. This final equipment specifically developed by Dürr includes a camera system and an adjustment screwdriver.
The headlight adjustment process has always been done manually, that is, the operator must reach a gap of difficult access located in the areas of the bumper, by locating the screws through that gap together with a tool and delicately. You must tighten the screws without causing damage.
This innovative solution with the KUKA LBR iiwa robot seeks to give the operator an opportunity to carry out the process more easily by working in the following way:
The KUKA LBR iiwa cobot adjusts hard-to-reach fog lights by positioning the adjusting screwdriver according to the hole coordinates acquired by the camera system. The adjusting screw is located approximately 80mm behind the hole in the bumper, optimally locating the adjusting tool on the screw head. While the human operator adjusts the conventional headlights, working safely next to the cobot without any security.
Kuka notes: “The innovative concept is compelling. Ford plants in Saarlouis have already established two test benches in each of the four headlights/driver assistance systems for the new Ford Focus C519 “.
Kuka highlights that this innovation has generated advantages such as a reduction in the tension of the workers when carrying out such uncomfortable tasks, saving time during the process, and optimizing the quality of the fog light settings.
And the most relevant benefit is the possibility of working together as a team in a more reliable and efficient way.
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