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ROBOTT-NET: Flexible component placement with a robot

December 7, 2019

For a long time, the electronics industry has been characterised by low-mix, high-volume. but a lot of European electronics manufacturers need to produce small batch sizes and for this there is no automatic solutions. To have the partners with us in this project has saved us from some paths that would have been wrong for us. If didn’t have them, we would probably have had to experiment our way forward use a lot more energy and not have come so far. What we see here is the software part of the flexible solution. This is where the operator can pick the product files that the company typically already has and then pick which components should be placed where and then press start. This makes the entire robot process including our vision system to find the prints where the components are to be placed and how they should be placed. The MTC contributed to this project by identifying what technologies are out there this helped us realise the gaps in industry and where we can contribute the best so this included looking at different feeding systems for unconventional components and also looking into vision systems so that we can inspect components. The challenge has been that we have had to many different components so it was not possible to switch the gripper every time the robot should handle a new component They way we chose to handle this was that we developed a finger system which means you can switch between the different gripper fingers without switching the actual electronic gripper on the robot. Quite like the belt buckle on a backpack. We have realised that there are more things which can be automated. They have given us a lot of great ideas. So the cross-border collaboration allowed us to work with partners who have similar interests, but different areas of expertise. So this allowed us to make the most of our projects from learning from each other and also we have gained som skills which we can take to other projects. I think ROBOTT-NET is a nice way to break down the barriers and it is just inspiring to just talk to other engineers who are just as excited about technology and just doing a good job.

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