Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC)

In human-robot collaboration, human and machine work hand in hand. The human operator controls and monitors production, the robots perform the physically strenuous work. Both contribute their specific capabilities: a decisive principle of Industry 4.0.

Technology

In human-robot collaboration, the robot assists the human operator. This means: The machine does not replace the human, but complements his capabilities and relieves him of arduous tasks. These can include overhead work, for example, or the lifting of heavy loads.

In the factory of the future, there is no separation between automated and manual workstations. Humans and robots collaborate optimally – without separation and without safety fencing.

The HRC-capable Kuka iiwa working hand in hand with humans.

The HRC-capable Kuka iiwa working hand in hand with humans.

 
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An operator in the BMW Mini Plant in Oxford working in the same ‘workspace’ as the Kuka LBR iiwa. The implementation of this HRC station reduced strain on BMW’s workers and cut cycle times.

An operator in the BMW Mini Plant in Oxford working in the same ‘workspace’ as the Kuka LBR iiwa. The implementation of this HRC station reduced strain on BMW’s workers and cut cycle times.

advantages

Human-robot collaboration is revolutionizing industrial production and manufacturing in the factory of the future and bringing decisive advantages:

  • Maximum flexibility in production

  • Relief of employees by performing ergonomically unfavorable work steps that could not previously be automated

  • Reduced risk of injuries and infections, for example with special HRC grippers

  • High-quality performance of reproducible processes – without requiring type-specific or component-relevant investment.

  • Increased productivity and improved system complexity thanks to integrated sensors