AUBO Cobot Case | Collaborative Robots Applied to Washing Machine Production Line

August 30, 2023
Latest company case about AUBO Cobot Case | Collaborative Robots Applied to Washing Machine Production Line

Key Takeaway: Collaborative robots equipped with intelligent cameras are used to capture images for precise positioning, guiding the robotic arms in the assembly and screw locking processes of the back panel. Additionally, before the products are packed, AUBO collaborative robots are employed to install a visual inspection system, ensuring comprehensive quality checks on surface printing and assembly quality. This enables defect-free products to be delivered. AUBO collaborative robots can replace repetitive manual operations, reducing product non-conformance rates and helping elevate the digital and intelligent level in the home appliance industry.

 

China is the world's largest production base for white goods. With the rising manufacturing costs and increased market competition in the home appliance industry, improving the level of informatization, digitization, and automation in home appliance process equipment and achieving lean production management have become the current focus of the industry.

 

Customer Pain Points

As a leading enterprise in the home appliance industry, our customer faces challenges with a complete washing machine production line, which can require more than a hundred employees for a single shift. Specifically, in the assembly and screw locking processes of the washing machine back panel, there are up to 9 different steps involved. The workstations at these processes have high intensity, repetitive and monotonous tasks, and limited working space. This has led to difficulties in recruitment, increasing labor costs, frequent workforce turnover, and ultimately rising production costs. It also results in issues like incorrect or missed screw tightening, compromising the product quality.

Furthermore, with the accelerated pace of product updates and replacements in recent years, there is an increasing demand for small batches, personalization, and customization in home appliances. This leads to a wide variety of product models and short changeover cycles, with mixed production on each line. Ensuring product quality control becomes a significant challenge. To improve production efficiency and facilitate the customer's transition from standardized production to flexible manufacturing, adopting Aibo collaborative robots to create efficient, flexible, and reliable production lines is the perfect solution.

 

Solution

On-site, AUBO collaborative robots equipped with intelligent cameras are used to capture and locate images, guiding the robotic arms for precise positioning in back panel assembly and screw locking tasks. Additionally, before the products are packed, AUBO collaborative robots are employed to install a visual inspection system, ensuring comprehensive quality checks on surface printing and assembly quality. This enables defect-free products to be delivered. AUBO collaborative robots can replace repetitive manual operations, reduce product non-conformance rates, and help elevate the digital and intelligent level in the home appliance industry.

 

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Human-Robot Collaboration

Creating Higher Value Together

AUBO collaborative robots support level 10 collision detection and sensor safety checks, eliminating the need for safety fences. With a footprint of less than 1 square meter, they can become close 'partners' to employees, working side by side. The collaborative robots handle the back panel assembly and screw locking tasks that require strict adherence to process specifications, while human workers assist in tasks such as reinforcing iron, connecting and disconnecting water pipes, and organizing wires. This achieves true human-robot collaboration. Aibo collaborative robots are safe, reliable, compact, and flexible, saving more floor space in the factory. They can be quickly deployed on existing production lines, saving time and effort. After the deployment of Aibo collaborative robots on-site, continuous production can be achieved 24 hours a day, reducing the workforce by 50% and increasing production capacity by 30%.

 

Flexible and Diverse

Meeting Different Application Needs

There are various types of screws used in washing machine back panels, and each workstation has different requirements for torque and reach. The AUBO i-Series collaborative robots have different load capacities ranging from 3kg to 20kg, meeting diverse application needs. Multiple sets of AUBO i5 (5kg payload, 886.5mm working radius) and i10 (10kg payload, 1350mm working radius) collaborative robots are deployed on-site to meet different screw tightening requirements. Moreover, the home appliance industry demands high production efficiency, with higher tempo requirements compared to other industries. The 15-second cycle time of AUBO collaborative robots at each workstation perfectly meets the customer's production requirements.

 

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Ensuring Stable Performance

Technological Advancements Enhancing Product Performance

By equipping AUBO collaborative robots with vision cameras at the end effectors, it is possible to address positional deviations caused by previous steps in the installation of the washing machine back panel. The robots can reposition the screw holes and achieve precise screw locking. AUBO collaborative robots offer a repeatable positioning accuracy of up to ±0.02mm, ensuring consistent and stable screw locking actions according to unified standards. This guarantees product consistency, with a screw locking success rate of up to 99.8%, effectively resolving issues related to human errors such as missed or incorrect tightening.

 

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The robotics industry is a major breakthrough in China's intelligent manufacturing and an essential path for the future transformation and upgrading of various industries. The white goods industry, characterized by intense competition, typically pursues economies of scale, striving to lower production costs through expanding their operations. Robots serve as enablers in this regard, driving the home appliance industry towards automation, labor-saving processes, unmanned operations, and improved efficiency. By utilizing robotic automation in production, higher output value can be achieved, ultimately enhancing the overall competitiveness of the home appliance manufacturing sector.