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Realization of Flexible and Reconfigurable Industrial Robot Automation


Publication Type:

Licentiate Thesis


Mälardalen University


Today’s global market and tough competition between companies requires the development of increasingly productive production systems. Companies, struggling to become more competitive, use different advanced manufacturing technologies, such as industrial robotics. They seek higher productivity, consistent quality, and the removal of ergonomically unsound manual workstations. However, according to the general trends in the manufacturing industry, there is a need to implement production solutions that are flexible enough to handle a business environment exposed to frequent changes in production operations and product designs. The objective of the research presented in this thesis is to analyse how to support the design and implementation of flexible and reconfigurable industrial robot automation.This research is based on three case studies, carried out over a four-year time period. The researcher/author has been a participant in the projects studied. The first case study aimed at developing a flexible robotic working cell, and succeeded. However, although the cell was flexible enough to handle a wide variety of components, there were limitations on how easy it was to reconfigure the cell, i.e. change the operations performed in the cell and the layout of the cell. The second case study investigated how to design robotic working cells so that the cell is easy to reconfigure when there is a need to implement changes. Finally, the third case study focused on software support, with the main focus on enabling the user to rapidly introduce changes into a robotic working cell.As a result of the case studies, enablers for how to realize flexible and reconfigurable robotic working cells have been identified. In addition, the need for software support has been investigated, and a prototype of a supportive software tool has been developed.


author = {Mikael Hedelind},
title = {Realization of Flexible and Reconfigurable Industrial Robot Automation},
isbn = {978-91-85485-77-2},
year = {2008},
publisher = {M{\"a}lardalen University},
url = {}