Enabling human-robot collaboration and intelligent automation in the automotive industry: a study of stakeholders perspectives
Introduction Intelligent and flexible robots using sensors and adaptable programming are promoted as state-of-the-art technology with great potential of improving industrial production. It is commonly associated with concepts such as artificial intelligence, smart factory, agile manufacturing, and industry 4.0. Providing flexible solutions is said to facilitate the automation of complex tasks that are done manually today and enable humans and robots to work simultaneously with a task. It is argued that this will allow a flexible production that can cater to shorter product cycles and increased demand for customized products. Large manufacturers showcase such installations in their factories to demonstrate that they are keeping up to speed with technological development. While the technology is associated with promises to improve production, the benefits over classic high-speed and high-volume automation are yet to be proven. Previous research into the functionality of various types of collaborative robotics is mainly concerned with evaluating the technology in experimental settings. Consequently, while various installations are evaluated in laboratories, little research is done to understand how such automation might work in complex organizations with an established production. Through in-depth interviews with stakeholders connected to the automotive industry, this report aims to fill such a gap and discuss under what circumstances such technologies can bring added value to industrial production.
Gothenburg Research Institute