A design pattern for industrial robot: User-customized configuration engineeringby Jing Li, Joanna Daaboul, Shurong Tong, Magali Bosch-Mauchand, Benoît Eynard

Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing

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A design pattern for industrial robot: User-customized configuration engineering

Jing Li a,b, Joanna Daaboul a, Shurong Tong b, Magali Bosch-Mauchand a, Benoît Eynard a,n a Université de Technologie de Compiègne, Department of Mechanical Systems Engineering, CNRS UMR7337 Roberval, CS 60319, 60203 Compiègne Cedex, France b Institute for Design Management, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, PR China a r t i c l e i n f o

Article history:

Received 5 November 2013

Received in revised form 18 April 2014

Accepted 28 June 2014

Keywords:

Industrial robot

User-customization

Configuration design platform

Design pattern

Simulation a b s t r a c t

According to the characteristics of industrial robots, user-customized configuration design pattern is showing to achieve rapid development of industrial robotics. In this paper, the definition of usercustomized configuration design pattern is determined. The implementation approach of this pattern is given through introducing what role industrial robot stakeholders including suppliers, manufacturers, designers and users should play in the pattern. Then, the key technologies of implementation approach are introduced. Finally, system dynamics models are established for this design pattern and for traditional design pattern of industrial robots and are simulated by Anylogic simulation software. The simulation results prove that the proposed design pattern has better performances than traditional design pattern with regard to inventory and order response speed. & 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction

Due to the development of manufacturing automation and flexible manufacturing systems, the demand for various types of industrial robots is increasing. Industrial robot is a type of mechatronic products containing multiple field components such as machinery, electronics, control unit, and computer. It is characterized by complex structure, long lead times, and high manufacturing costs.

However, an industrial robot is required to achieve high degree of customization for finishing special work. These characteristics are constrained and limit the rapid development of industrial robot.

In accordance with this problem, dozens of studies have been carried out. These studies could be divided into two categories.

The first one is to design heterogeneous reconfigurable robot. The robot architecture is designed to be modular [1,2], and a new robot configuration can be obtained by reconfiguring modules when new requirement emerges [3,4]. The second one is to study control system reconfiguration based on physical modules reconfiguration [5,6]. The Recrob of Technical University of Cluj-Napoca [7], SMART of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid [8], and Odin of University of

Southern Denmark [9] are all heterogeneous robots based on reconfigurable theory, and these robots can be quickly reconfigured based on different tasks.

The above research solves the problem of the industrial robot development speed from different techniques perspective. But only realizing reconfigurable modular industrial robot from technical view is not sufficient to significantly reduce the trade-off between customization and delivery time [10]. The product is not designed by customers and thus cannot meet every customer's need. Pacheco et al. made the attempt at customers' configuring the robot by themselves [11]. They developed a heterogeneous toy robot platform on which non-professionals were able to assemble modules into different robots. But they focused on the customizable realization of toy and service robot, and little research was observed on the customizable realization of industrial robot. Therefore, this paper puts forward a realization approach by which customers may configure required industrial robot by themselves. This approach provides a supplementary research to previous studies frommanagement view, thereby solving the contradiction between an industrial robot highly customized and a faster response.

Changing the industrial robot development approach from professional designer design to customer configuration design is not a simple task. It requires modifying the respective roles of relevant enterprises such as industrial robots manufacturers, parts providers and developers in industry sector. To ensure that customers can design industrial robot by themselves, a clearly specified set of processes is needed to manage all types of stakeholders. In the following section, the user-customized configuration design pattern definition and implementation steps are introduced. In Section 3, the proposed framework as well as the process of defining this pattern, including needed key technologies, is addressed. Section 4 presents a comparison of the proposed design pattern and traditional design pattern via simulation.

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/rcim

Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rcim.2014.06.005 0736-5845/& 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. n Corresponding author.

E-mail address: benoit.eynard@utc.fr (B. Eynard).

Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing 31 (2015) 30–39

Finally, Section 5 concludes on the main obtained results and presents key ideas for future work. 2. Proposal: user-customized configuration design pattern 2.1. Definition of user-customized configuration design pattern

According to the state of the art presented in Section 1, it can be stated that industrial robot is nowadays a generally heterogeneous reconfigurable system. The customer is responsible for proposing requirements, and the designer is responsible for reconfigurable industrial robot designing based on customer's requirements. When new demands arrive, based on previous reconfigurable industrial robot, designer can quickly configure a new industrial robot with little redesign. Nevertheless, in this process, the iterations still exist between customers and designers.

As mentioned above, industrial robot is required to achieve high degree of customization since it is required to achieve special work, and it is impossible for designers to meet customers' requirements accurately even after several iterations. When the performance of the product designed by designers does not entirely meet customer's expectations, the designers need to modify their design to better meet customers' requirements. This process has to be repeated a few times before the design of an industrial robot is achieved. Even though reconfigurable product accelerates the design, these iterations will still lead to increased cost and order fulfillment lead time. In order to overcome this problem, a new design pattern for industrial robot is proposed: user-customized configuration design pattern.