The aim pursued by the PROPHETA project is the development of a new flexible manufacturing concept through dynamic reconfiguration of the plant, enabling the implementation of new manufacturing models geared towards multi-direction manufacture of short batches. To accomplish this, it is intended to make use of digital technologies that allow the efficient implementation of robotisation / flexible automation technology in production models by product ranges, through automatic reconfiguration of both production management systems and the manufacturing processes involved.
To validate the concept and its applicability to the business fabric of Spain, we will work on the basis of two validation scenarios:
- Assistance in the manufacture of structural components (metal + pre-impregnated composite) of an aircraft.
- Assistance in the manufacture of metal components focused on the metalworking industry for the manufacture of mechanically welded structures
To achieve the main aims, the PROPHETA project includes the development of an integral production management solution, with high capacity for reconfiguration, capable of reacting swiftly to rapid changes in market demands, on a model based on the manufacturing of short lots
The development and integration of tools for streamlined production management (MES) will be combined with the implementation of new highly reconfigurable robotic solutions, in a working space shared with the operators. These new technologies will make it possible to avoid the reprogramming and manual settings of robotic manufacturing cells in the face of changes in both the product and the process.
The contemplated robotic solutions will share working spaces with the operators, under a co-worker robot concept. Therefore, they will have human-robot interaction capabilities to facilitate the programming of trajectories through manual guidance and with the ability to detect and identify the environment, to increase both manufacturing flexibility and the operating autonomy of the robot. The latter facilitates the use of robots in a new production model centred on the operator. Under this concept, workers will use robots as advanced manufacturing support tools.