Guided Safety – Guided safety design, configuration and execution of small part assembly process with collaborative robots

Manufacturing end-user: Denso Automotive Deutschland GmbH – Production Engineering

The Business Sector

Denso is one of the world's largest automotive suppliers. For decades, this industry has been at the forefront of the latest automation technologies, which are indispensable for competitiveness. While the degree of automation in some production stages is almost 100 percent, assembly is still largely carried out by hand. With the help of technological innovations, many improvements in terms of efficiency and economy can still be achieved.

The Company

DENSO is a leading supplier of advanced automotive technology, systems and components for major automakers. Its main products are components for automotive electronics and automotive mechatronics. The parent company is headquartered in Kariya, Japan. Established in 1949, the company has today about 170,000 employees organized in 200 group companies. The annual revenue is US$ 48.1 bn. Of this, 9 percent is invested in research and development activities. Denso holds 38,000 patents worldwide.

The Challenge

Automating assembly processes is challenging due to various requirements. These include short cycle times, small batch sizes and many product variants. Therefore, and for the realization of flexible production systems in the sense of industry 4.0, production systems must be increasingly flexible, reconfigurable and easily adaptable. This will not work with rigid automation solutions as they have been widely used so far.

Instead, new key technologies such as human-robot cooperation will be needed to enable Denso to respond to the increasing demand for its products and the shortage of qualified specialists. Hybrid workstations at which humans and robots work in teams according to their abilities allow scalable and flexible (partial) automation of joining processes. In order to realise these jobs economically, some hurdles still have to be overcome. These include a reliable risk assessment on the one hand, and the safe design of the workstation and the safe configuration of the safety functions on the other. In the “Challenge”, the project partners address the design and configuration, since the first point has already been realized in the EU project LIAA. The goal is to expand the HORSE framework with technologies that The goal is to extend the HORSE framework with technologies that simplify, accelerate, track and automate the realization of a secure production process as far as possible. Denso shall be enabled to quickly and reliably commission hybrid assembly workstations and thus increase productivity.

Planned solution:

  • Apply the HORSE technologies to the Denso demo line with robot and manual stations
  • Develop and implement the „Safety Designer“, a software based on the LIAA computer-aided risk assessment process including:
    • A library of safety behaviours
    • Additional algorithms for matching the safety functions required by the safety behaviours to those provided by the individual safety components and the overall system
    • Wizards that guide the user through the parameterization process of the safety functions and behaviours
  • Develop and implement an AR-enhanced „Safety Configurator“ meaning a HoloLens App for the visualisation and manipulation of safety behaviours defined in the “Safety Designer”
  • All developments will be evaluated by experts



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