Schindler recently joined the ROSSINI project as a partner to test human-robot collaboration (HRC) applications in manufacturing.
ROSSINI stands for RObot enhanced SenSing, INtelligence and actuation to Improve job quality in manufacturing and is an EU funded research project.
By combining innovative sensing, actuation and control technologies (developed by world market leaders in their field), and integrating them in an open development environment, the ROSSINI platform will deliver a set of tools which will enable the spread of HRC applications where robots and human operators will become members of the same team, increasing job quality, production flexibility and productivity.
Thanks to enhanced robot sensing capabilities, the deployment of artificial intelligence to optimize productivity and safety, and natively collaborative manipulation technologies, ROSSINI will deliver high performance HRC work cells, combining the safety of traditional robots with the working speed and payloads of industrial robots.
Elevator products are often made on commission according to customer requirements. The objective of the Schindler use case is to optimize the space needed in the factory to execute the picking and assembly of products made on commission. This will result in an improved agility to combine different types of activities and resources in the same workspace.
One of the main project deliverables is the definition of new metrics to measure and improve job quality and ergonomics in the working environment. The main underlying factors of job quality are job demands, including time pressure at work and physical health risk factors, and job resources, including work autonomy and learning opportunities and workplace relationships.
Digital Twin is all about enabling fast and effective changes of the elevator system over its lifetime. The ROSSINI project offers a great opportunity to European factories to apply Industry 4.0 technologies to achieve very short, self-adaptable and affordable changeovers under the conditions demanded and based on end-user needs.
Why does Schindler take part in the ROSSINI project?
The ROSSINI project allows Schindler to access to a network of companies, universities and research centers which have skilled resources in the collaborative robotics field.
Collaborative robots (cobots) are becoming an affordable technology to elevate job quality, production flexibility and productivity. Schindler’s commitment to safety is perfectly represented by the main purpose of the ROSSINI initiative, which aims to develop an inherently safe collaborative platform. It means that the cobot and its working environment (sensors, actuators, control technologies) are designed to be extremely sensitive to humans. To put it simple, employees do not have to worry when they accidentally hit the cobot.
For which use case do you expect the most benefits?
The Schindler use case is the picking and assembly line of the elevator panels made on commission. In the future, human-robot collaboration may be applied also to other cases in logistics, metal sheet production, assembly of mechanical components and subsystems.
How come that Schindler takes part in such an EU project?
Switzerland has a long tradition of cooperation in research and innovation with the European Union. Researchers in Switzerland have been participating in the EU Research Framework Programmes since 1988.
As of 2017, Switzerland is fully associated to the entire Horizon 2020 program. Knowing that, I found it perfectly normal to contact the Swiss association Euresearch to look for innovation opportunities. It soon became clear that ROSSINI was the right initiative for us.
Did Schindler take part in similar EU projects before?
ROSSINI is our first EU project.
Are there any other projects like this where Schindler participates?
We are constantly monitoring the EU calls and the national initiatives as well. For the moment ROSSINI is our clear focus as it fits with our strategy. We declined some proposals because we didn’t believe that they could deliver value to Schindler, but the world is restless and new opportunities to support breakthrough innovation may arise at any time.