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23rd August 2017, Ingolstadt

Expansion of human‑robot cooperation at Audi

Audi has introduced human-robot cooperation (HRC) at its plant in Ingolstadt, Germany, for the installation of the carbon fibre composites roof of its new RS 5 Coupe.

KLARA, an HRC light robot, is being employed to applying adhesive in the roof’s final assembly stage, working side-by-side with the assembly team without a protective fence.

“Adhesive application with robot assistance,” abbreviated from the German as KLARA, provides support with the installation of large CFRP roofs in the new Audi RS 5 Coupe. © Audi

In the process, an employee places the carbon-fibre reinforced polymer roof on a rotary table and tilts it. The application of adhesive is triggered by pressing and holding a button and an illuminated ring indicates when KLARA has precisely applied adhesive over a length of more than five metres. The robot then signals that the roof is ready for installation. The employee takes the roof with the aid of a handling device and installs it in the car. The carbon composite roof is optional on the new Audi RS 5 Coupe and significantly larger than comparable systems. KLARA is able to apply the adhesive much more reliably and accurately than would otherwise be possible.

Assembly line space is saved through integration of the HRC, with employee safety a top priority at Audi. The employee is in control, initiates the application of adhesive and can halt the process at any time. Sensors in the robot arm recognise when a human is touched and automatically stop any movement in the event of any danger. KLARA also indicates any danger with the illuminated ring which lights up red if there is any disturbance.

All equipment components were pre-assembled on a base plate, allowing KLARA to be installed and put into operation within a very short time. Integration took place without any interference in the existing assembly line. An alternative solution for applying adhesive to the new roof would only have been possible with far greater effort and expense, Audi says.

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