The purpose of this project was to investigate flexible methods of part picking on an assembly line. Within the project, a demonstrator was developed that was successfully able to pick up switches, packaging trays, brackets and large cables. Different types of vision systems were tested to investigate flexibility, so that a variety of parts can be identified. The results from trials were used to select suitable gripping and vision technologies which could be integrated into Nissan’s production line.
Nissan is a global full-line vehicle manufacturer that sells more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. In fiscal year 2015, the company sold more than 5.4 million vehicles globally, generating revenue of 12.2 trillion yen. Nissan engineers, manufactures and markets the world's best-selling all-electric vehicle in history, the Nissan LEAF. Nissan's global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan manages operations in six regions: ASEAN & Oceania; Africa, Middle East & India; China; Europe; Latin America and North America. Nissan has been partnered with French manufacturer Renault since 1999 and Mitsubishi Motors since 2016 under the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
Contribution from RTOs
Literature and technology review on different types of vision systems
System design and recommendations for vision system
Literature and technology review on different types of grippers
Integrated gripper design and prototype development
Recommendations for flexible gripper
Following the trials and testing, it was shown that a variety of parts can be identified and gripped with the same system. The introduction of flexible manufacturing will allow greater utilization of robots as they will not be limited to one part type. The flexible design is beneficial for a continuously improving assembly process and is also adaptable to identify and pick new parts.