The potential of collaborative robotics often does not materialize in an efficient design of the human-robot collaboration. Technology-oriented approaches are no longer enough in the Industry 4.0 era. This work proposes a set of methods to support manufacturing engineers in the human-oriented design process of integrated production systems to obtain satisfactory performance in the mass customization paradigm, without impacting the safety and health of workers. It founds the design criteria definition on five main pillars (safety, ergonomics, effectiveness, flexibility, and costs), favors the consideration of different design alternatives, and leads their selection. The dynamic impact of the design choices on the various elements of the system prevails over the static design constraints. The method has been experimented in collaboration with the major kitchen manufacturer in Italy, which introduced a collaborative robotics cell in the drawers' assembly line. It resulted in a more balanced production line (10% more), a verified risk minimization (RULA score reduced from 5 to 3 and OCRA score from 13.30 to 5.70), and a greater allocation of operators to high added value activities.
A human-oriented design process for collaborative robotics / Papetti, A; Ciccarelli, M; Scoccia, C; Palmieri, G; Germani, M. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMPUTER INTEGRATED MANUFACTURING. - ISSN 0951-192X. - (2022), pp. 1-23. [10.1080/0951192X.2022.2128222]