GÖPEL had spent a couple of years exploring robotics options and finally opted for the UR10e, UR’s longest-reach cobot arm from its new e-Series line. Philipp Kießlich-Köcher, application engineer in the company’s automotive test solutions area, explains that GÖPEL chose UR for several reasons:
“The various features of the e-Series convinced us, such as the force sensor system that monitors the robot’s movements. We also found that Universal Robots was very open to partnering with us in system development.”
The cobot replaces the company’s EOL seating test system OsCAR. Positioned at the end of the production line, the system tests car seats of any manufacturer and ascertains their correct functioning.
Before, the testing of the GÖPEL electronic universal unit was handled manually. The system generates various types of stimuli impacting the car seat in order to simulate vehicle-driver interaction. An employee actuated all the seat’s buttons and switches in order to measure voltage, current, and other values linked to the BUS system integrated into the unit.
Due to the lateral course of motion frequently involved, it was not easy for robots to take over the functions performed by skilled workers.
The introduction of the UR cobot changed all this. The 6-axis articulated cobot arm is capable of reaching all the switches and buttons and executes all motions with the same measure of force. As opposed to a manual input, the cobot knows no fatigue and can work through entire shifts without interruptions. As a result, employees are relieved of strenuous manual input tasks, while the following tasks are now performed by the UR10e with consistent precision:
- actuation of the car seat’s buttons and switches applying consistent force.
- adjustment of electrical and manual seats at all endpoints.
- the positioning of tools for seat occupancy detection.
- insertion and release of the seat belt tongue.