Symposium on Automated and Robotized Remanufacturing

On March 20 and 21, 2019, the Environmental Campus Birkenfeld will host a conference on automated and robotized remanufacturing:

"Symposium on automated and robotized remanufacturing" (see flyer).

In industrial remanufacturing, particularly in the automotive sector, old products are very successfully collected, dismantled, tested, cleaned, processed and re-assembled. The aim of the conference is to present the latest developments in the fields of automation and robotics in lectures and exhibits. An accompanying exhibition will also present collaborative robotics.

Interesting lectures from industry and research have already been confirmed for the event.

Abstract of Presentations

Introduction to Remanufacturing (by F. Weiland)

Fernand J. Weiland will give a general overview on the remanufacturing industrial processes and the market for remanufactured components and equipment. He will highlight the different sectors like Automotive, Information Technology, Industrial Machinery, Aviation and Health Care. Fernand will also focus on the challenges which the industry is facing and discuss opportunities to grow the environment friendly business of Remanufacturing.

Robotic assistants for remanufacturing processes- state of the art and outlook (by W. Gerke)

The cooperation and collaboration of humans with robots, short human-robot collaboration,  is advertised by robot-suppliers and shown in exhibitions. Human Robot collaboration systems have to be designed properly in order to achieve a more efficient remanufacturing system for small batches. The pros and cons of robotic assistants in remanufacturing will be discussed with a look ahead in the future.

Automation of Disassembly and/or Cleaning: Challenges and First Solutions (by R. Steinhilper, S. Schötz & S. Thäter)

This contribution by three Reman R&D-experts from Bayreuth University will present a survey from pioneering robotized disassembly developments in the 1980s until today’s findings regarding suitable applications of automation and/or robotization of various remanufacturing processes, covering a range from handling tasks up to information and quality control operations.

Digitalising Remanufacturing - some initial efforts (by D. Pham)

Remanufacturing benefits the economy, society and the environment.  It is therefore worth focusing efforts on remanufacturing to make it more widely practised.  However, this has not happened due to challenges such as supply, demand and operational uncertainties coupled with high product variety and low production volumes.  Digital manufacturing technologies have been developed to overcome such challenges in manufacturing. It is timely to consider using digital manufacturing technologies in remanufacturing in order to address the same issues.  In this presentation, we will briefly review the issues addressed and some of the tools available that could be adopted to digitalise remanufacturing.  We will also report on initial efforts in our Autonomous Remanufacturing Laboratory directed at one particular digital technology - collaborative robots - and its application to disassembly which is the first stage in most remanufacturing chains.  We will discuss human-robot collaboration as a means to deal with uncertainties and, at the same time, achieve the flexibility needed to cater for high variety and low production volumes.

Elevate Remanufacturing by Innovation and Automation (by F. Weiland)

In our economies the most important driver is Innovation which will lead to higher performances and greater achievements. In order to take remanufacturing to the next level, members of the Circular Economy together with Remanufacturers must follow these premises. Fernand will show recent developments in terms of innovations in automotive and non-automotive areas. He will also cover latest reman projects for automation which will create, greater efficiencies, better working environments, consistent high quality and higher production volumes.

Challenges and Outlook in the remanufacturing of automotive Li-Ion Batteries (by F. Maltoni)

Automotive Lithium-Ion batteries are made by very highly valuable battery cells, which age at still different unpredictable rates, therefore a large number of cells has still a potentially long life when the batteries are disposed. The salvaging of still functioning cells from disposed batteries, would allow to tap into the vast future supply of still functioning cells, which have been proven to age slowly at a fraction of the cost; nevertheless it poses some challenges for an industrially effective remanufacturing.

First of all, the process differs from standard remanufacturing, because a battery does not have a single core and many periphery components, but each cell is to be considered a core, classified and repurposed according to its aging characteristics. Secondly the joining technologies in cells contacts have evolved for very short station times and permanent joints, so remanufacturing-friendly solutions must be found, where connection safety and station times are even more important. Overarching these challenges is the safety challenge, both during the use of remanufactured batteries, and during the remanufacturing operation itself, where errors can be specially unforgiving because of the dangerous nature of cell chemistry.

Possible applications of assistance systems for increasing flexibility and efficiency in the assembly process (by M. Vette-Steinkamp)

As part of the TRSE (semi-automated robot welding for single item production), 4by3 (Modularity, Safety, Usability, Efficiency by Human-Robot-Collaboration) and Robotix Academy research projects, ZeMA uses new process technologies, planning tools, and appropriate equipment in order to enable efficient and customizable automation for various production processes. One solution for the flexible and skill-based automation of processes is Human-Robot-Cooperation (HRC). HRC is an approach which allows the operator and robot to work together in an overlapping work space without separation devices. The proposed automation concept seeks to support the operator in the assembly production process with an HRC robot system in the planning, (re-) configuration as well as in the operation phase.

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