Although the level of automation is much higher in automotive manufacturing than other industries, new applications are still emerging for collaborative robots. Techman Robot recently announced that a major Japanese automaker has been adopted its cobots for visual inspection in its assembly processes.
Collaborative robots are intended to be flexibly applied to low-volume, high-variability production lines. Shipments and sales revenue of cobots in the automotive industry will increase by 43% annually to 2022, according to Kenneth Research.
Established in 2016, Techman Robot said it is the only collaborative robot maker based in Taiwan. The company sells cobots with embedded vision, software, and application-based system through more than 100 distributors in China, Europe, Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia. It claimed to be the world’s second-largest cobot brand, behind Universal Robots A/S.
Techman provides smart inspection
The Japanese car manufacturer has adopted Techman robots to process the final quality check of all detailed assembly inspections. Techman Robot said it helped the customer to install a “next-generation smart inspection system” using a customized stand including four cobots. In addition to the built-in vision, it installed 36 external front and rear cameras.
Moreover, each collaborative robot is equipped with three types of lenses, including short, middle, and long, said the company. The carmaker mentioned that among all of its global production lines, this is the only one using the automated optical inspection (AOI) system and artificial intelligence-based inspection.
The ceiling-mounted arm can move inside and outside the car to inspect items including wipers, horn, seats, seat belts, steering wheel, dashboard, center console, remote control, fog lamps, and stickers. All inspection data can be photographed and saved to enable quality traceability, as well as guarantee the outgoing quality, said Techman Robot and the manufacturer.
The carmaker also noted that that Techman’s TMflow user interface allows well-trained staffers to quickly program the system based on different car types or demands without requiring a systems integrator to come to the factory. As a result, this saves significant time, manpower, and cost, it said.
Meanwhile, the built-in smart vision allows the customer to record all inspection data more efficiently to improve quality and implement data archiving and traceability, which cannot be achieved with manual inspections, said Techman.
Techman also supplies Continental
Since 2018, Techman Robot has become an officially approved supplier of Continental AG. Techman said it has begun helping the Hanover, Germany-based automotive parts manufacturer to improve processes in its factory in Budapest, Hungary.
The factory mainly produces telematics control units (TCU) for car manufacturers. Techman Robot said it not only optimized a pick-and-place application, but it also enabled the customer to save the cost of installing a third-party camera with its built-in smart vision.
In addition, Continental can swiftly copy a program to different stations through the TM Landmark software to significantly reduce the time of training a cobot to recognize the position and object. Techman claimed that a “plug and play” gripper can run tests quickly to reflect the project performance in time.
Techman Robot said that its collaborative robots and built-in smart vision can help meet the demands for highly flexible production in the automotive industry.