The HAII4YOU Factory, HARTING Technology Group’s Smart Factory, debuted a rash of new, innovative features at this year’s Hannover Messe trade show. By way of example, the KUKA LBR iiwa 7 R800 lightweight robot has been built into HARTING’s Integrated Industry demonstrator for the first time. “The new KUKA robots, together with other new, technical specifications, mean the system is now even more efficient and user-friendly,” says Dr. Volker Franke, Managing Director HARTING Applied Technologies. The HAII4YOU Factory is user-friendly because the system is working as an open-cell system for the first time – protective doors have been done away with.
Another new feature is close-range safety: two laser scanners (SICK microScan3) scan this area. If a person enters the area near the demonstrator, the robot speed is reduced or the system shuts down. “This further optimises human-machine cooperation,” explains Dr. Franke. In addition, a new Plug & Produce Assistant to integrate new manufacturing components has been implemented in a production cell. This is made clear by a contour sensor used for optical quality inspection, as Dr. Franke explained further.
Also new is the use of the HARTING MICA to integrate manufacturing components in the HAII4YOU BPMN control architecture on the basis of OPC-UA. To date, the HARTING MICA has only been employed in the HAII4YOU Factory as an RFID reader system. Yet another optimisation compared to the last exhibition performances: the product range has been extended to other Han-Modular® modules. The result is that the customer can now select tailor-made connectors from a wider range of offerings.
“It’s incredibly fun to continually develop the HAII4YOU Factory in an evolutionary process,” says Dr. Franke. He looks forward to further cooperation in the “FlexiMiR” research project as part of the “it’s OWL” Competence Cluster. The objective of the project is to extend the module approach of modular cells to a Plug&Produce approach for manufacturing components. In addition, more emphasis is to be placed on interactive robotics during commissioning and configuration than is currently the case.
Dr. Franke considers it very likely that, in future, integrated modules (e.g. magazines and workstations) will be freely movable in the cell, or will be able to be integrated into any position. He also believes that a module library could conceivably be created in the long term.
FlexiMiR is a joint research project of HARTING Technology Group and CoR-Lab (Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics) at Bielefeld University. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the leading-edge Cluster “Intelligent Technical Systems OstWestfalenLippe (it’s OWL)”, sponsored and supervised by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA).