Abstract

This paper summarizes the latest developments in robot-to-robot collaboration for fixtureless assembly. In addition, some of the technology challenges and potential applications in the automotive industry are described. Fixtureless assembly systems have been developed to increase the flexibility of body shop systems. These systems eliminate the need for using dedicated fixtures to set the geometry of body assemblies. A key technology enabler for a fixtureless assembly process is robot-to-robot collaboration based on perception and advanced control solutions. In a fixtureless assembly process, robots move and hold parts together in the geometry setting pose for assembly instead of using fixtures. In this paper the technology requirements and performance results of a production-relevant demonstration cell are presented. Moreover, the technology and performance requirements to use the fixtureless approach in other automotive assembly applications are reviewed. Results show that dimensional performance from the newly developed fixtureless process was acceptable and within the tolerance range. Initial cost estimate show that a fixtureless process offers a significant cost benefit over a conventional assembly process, especially for a multi-style production line or when new styles are frequently introduced.

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