Comau Joins Cobot Project for White Goods

With the European project Rubic, Comau contributes to creating an innovative collaborative station for the white goods industry.

Rubic Cobot Project

The Rubic project, whose members include Comau, and the University of Patras’ Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems & Automation (LMS) has developed an innovative collaborative robot station. The Hybrid Human Robot Collaborative Station automates the quality and functional testing actions performed within the white goods industry.

Among the project’s other members include Whirlpool Italia and Greek partners CASP software and consulting company. The project, which was completed in Dec. 2020, was conducted as part of a Call for Proposals launched in 2019 by EIT Manufacturing created by the EU Community to connect Europe’s main manufacturing players.

Rubic Cobot Project

For the cobot station, Comau provided its know-how in industrial automation for the manufacturing sector and latest technologies for collaborative robotics and HMIs. Particularly, the robot station features the new collaborative robot Comau RACER-5-0.80 (Racer-5 COBOT). It also has safety strategies and equipment to allow the cell to work without barriers. The Cobot project is integrated with intuitive interfaces for safe human-robot cooperation and features a smart vision system for inspection activities and a flexible communication architecture.

The cell’s innovation is derived from the merger of high-end technologies, which exploit the strength of the robot and human cognitive abilities. It primarily aims to help operators perform quality assessments on parts or components, avoiding defective products reach the final customer. In particular, the novel system implemented has been applied for the automatic end of line testing of washing machines panels. The Cobot pushes the buttons and rotates the knob of the panel, testing all the functionalities and assessing the results, in connection with the software platform. Different models of washing machines panels have been taken into account with a specific focus on tools for easy programing of new task.

The Hybrid Human Robot Collaborative Station can automate the quality and functional testing within the white goods industry.

The collaborative cell relieves operators from carrying out repeatable and tiring operations. It lets them focus on tasks with greater added value, such as vision and preparation of the production cell. In addition, automating quality control operations facilitates data registration by keeping track of all information for each part. This collaborative automation solution increases the flexibility of industrial processes and improves product quality. It also increases the efficiency of collaborative task sequence, and can be replicated in other sectors and for different applications.

Racer-5 COBOT System

Launched in March 2021, Racer-5 COBOT is a 6-axis articulated robot that can work at an industrial speed of up to 6m/sec. With a 5kg payload and 809mm reach, it ensures optimal industrial efficiency while granting the added benefit of safe, barrier-free operations. The cobot can instantly switch from a collaborative mode to full speed when operators are not around. It delivers unmatched production rates courtesy of the 0.03mm repeatability and advanced movement fluidity.