Intelligent Material Supply Supporting Assistive Systems for Manual Working Stations

Patrick Bertram, William Motsch, Pascal Rübel, Martin Ruskowski (Hrsg.)

International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing (FAIM-2019) June 24-28 Limerick Ireland Elsevier B.V 2019.


The production of customized products in small batch sizes represents a major challenge for the industry. Especially the assembly environment is affected due to less possibilities for economical automation, thus manual assembly remains an important part of production. Assistive systems for manual assembly aim at minimizing the challenges associated with a customer driven production. These systems support human workers by providing manufacturing information, highlighting material boxes or identifying assembly errors. To do so assistive systems need to be user-centered and allow a flexible adaption to new products or assembly processes. With our approach, we present a concept that uses RFID technology and sensory input to enable an intelligent material supply system. This enables an automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) for assistive systems. Existing materials at the working station, including position and numerical quantity can be recognized and matched with the production order. Advantages and potential outcomes for assistive systems, like autonomous pull request for material (Kanban), are discussed in this paper. Furthermore, we describe the structure and implementation of our concept using the example of the manual working station of SmartFactoryKL. The development of the system, the achieved improvements as well as identified challenges for assistive systems will be presented. The prospects for further developments and their potential will be discussed.

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence