AUTO IBN² - Efficient assembly and innovative commissioning processes in the production of modern vehicles

Problem definition and objectives

In this ERDF-funded project, new human-robot-capable assembly processes for the automotive industry are being developed in cooperation with various partners.

ZeMA is a partner in the scientific community “Assembly, Handling and Industrial Robotics”. In addition, there are cooperation agreements with leading robot manufacturers such as Kuka, ABB and Bosch.

In order to avoid a medium-term relocation of final vehicle assembly due to cost pressure from the high-wage location of Saarland or Germany to countries with low wage levels, the economic efficiency of final vehicle assembly must be increased. One way of doing this is to increase the efficiency of the assembly and testing processes in the automotive industry.

The aim is to give new impetus to efficient production processes by developing innovative commissioning and assembly processes for motor vehicles. This offers the possibility to present or implement prototypical processes on the existing demonstrator depending on the application. Here, the challenges and potentials of the design of modern vehicles are addressed. At the same time, the project strengthens the competitiveness of German and local plant and equipment manufacturers. The steady increase in electronic components and the high number of mechatronic functions in vehicles tends to lead to increasing costs in final vehicle assembly and commissioning. The basic idea is not only to avoid large workloads but also to use the mechatronic capabilities of vehicles for innovative and efficient process solutions. This should make work and process sequences more efficient. Furthermore, the structure of the assembly process is to be changed for optimization.

Procedure

The AutoIBN2 project is a cross-disciplinary project that combines organisational and production-related issues. The main research focus of the project is the joint development of production strategies and technologies for cyber-physical production plants and efficient assembly processes. This is to be demonstrated by means of smart equipment and intelligent methods using the example of final vehicle assembly and associated areas. For this purpose, the latest developments in the field of vehicle technology, modern approaches in computer science and also robot technology are used as a basis. This will result in fundamentally new research approaches to improve quality and ensure efficient vehicle production at a high-wage location.

The project contains 5 work packages:

– Inline measurement: In-line measurement of the geometric vehicle axis using the developed wheel adaptation system and adjustment of the driver assistance systems in the assembly line

– Worker assistance systems for flow assembly: Innovative human-robot concepts for the automation of production and testing processes in the flow assembly line

– Virtual plant engineering: methods and tools for the development, design and virtual commissioning of robust production plants

– Energy efficiency for the cyberphysical production network: development of methods and applications for the energy-efficient operation of production plants in different operating states

– Model and test factory environment

Current project status and results

The project was launched in mid-2015 and will run for at least 3.5 years. The work plan is structured in such a way that the contents of the work packages start in parallel and reach a common project status in the form of a development environment at the end of the project.

Recycling concept

The development environment created will be used to validate processes and enable continuation projects with industry and research services. In addition, the demonstrator and the research results will be used to apply for and conduct further research projects. Furthermore, the equipment will be used for teaching and further educational measures.

Duration: 07.06.2015-31.12.2018
Supported by: EU EFRE

Contact: ZeMA