How does a car? The image of a modern factory of cars, except in rare cases, is that of a succession of production lines, assembly lines most of which are physically separated from humans to avoid their interaction with the robots. The automation of a production line is becoming more advanced, but Mercedes-Benz continues to see the future to human labor, ever more advanced and productive thanks to technologies such as augmented reality; avatars are robotic that will imitate the movements of the human; and robots that will work elbow with elbow with the operators without the risk for these.
Mercedes-Benz told us that your brand is working in the automation of tasks that until now were only reserved for humans, a complete digitalization of the entire process, from design and development to the final production of the vehicle. Technologies that are revolutionizing the industry, because of its flexibility, to win in efficiency and productivity, by creating an environment of work and effort is more appropriate for the operators and optimize the logistics.
That is the reason that has brought the German brand to create what is referred to as Industry 4.0, a review of the techniques used in the production to apply the benefits of digitization in a system of intelligent production.
To begin to test these technologies, Mercedes-Benz has created prototypes of factories that are erected in a compound named SAND 2036, Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles, in Sindelfingen. Recall that Mercedes-Benz is not the only brand that is working in this type of technologies. Few days ago we knew the proposal of future for the factories of Audi, which is also based on some solutions augmented reality such as those proposed by Mercedes-Benz. These technologies are also intended to result in the shortening of the life cycles of a car, if it streamlines the production of a vehicle and the adaptation process of a factory by scanning, will also be able to launch new vehicles in the time periods below.
- Collaboration between humans and robots. For safety reasons, the robots, generally, robotic arms are capable of exerting enough force to lift tons of weight and enough sensitivity to move an egg without breaking it, working physically separated from the human. The use of robots with sensors capable of detecting humans who work alongside them assist in the assembly of components, such as gearboxes. Mercedes-Benz is also testing it in the installation of batteries in hybrids.
- Driving autonomous. Vehicles able to move from one point to another of the facilities without the intervention of a human aims to revolutionize the logistics of the production, for example for the transport of supplies. The operator can request supplies to a robot (or an autonomous vehicle), transmit the coordinates from a tablet via wi-fi, and that these supplies reach your line in a record time.
- Avatars and augmented reality. Another of the great advances will replicate the movements of a human, a robot, so that they can be carried out processes that require great precision without the stress and fatigue that these can result in the operators. This technology has ceased to be science fiction. According to Mercedes-Benz has already begun to be applied in the development of the new Mercedes Class E.
- The learning of the robots. Mercedes-Benz will also look at how the avatars and robots can replicate the human movements and also to a learning that allows these robots perform the tasks without human intervention, for example in the final adjustments of the assembly of a vehicle.
- augmented Reality. The augmented reality wants to allow operators to have at your fingertips information, drawn on the surface of glasses transparent, relevant in its work. In the Mercedes E-Class would have already started to be used in tasks of quality control, as the inspection of some components of the chassis.
- The 3D printing. Remember that many pieces can be printed in three dimensions, so that a single machine can produce very different workpieces without pre-adaptation, only receiving details digitized from the piece that has to be built. This technology is especially useful to streamline and reduce the cost of production of prototypes.