Product: Management and Development
Product: Management and Development
Research Article

Usefulness of digital tools when designing human robot collaboration layouts

Kerstin Johansen, Sten Grahn

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The introduction of Human-Robot Collaboration assembly (HRC) adds complexity when designing layouts, as e.g. new safety and security issues need to be considered. In this paper, the usefulness of digital tools, such as simulation and emulation tools, to support the transdisciplinary activities in an integrated product and production development process for HRC layouts, is explored. The empirical findings was collected through interactive workshops between industrial experts and researchers, developing and analyzing challenges and needs while using digital tools. The conclusions indicate a need for an understanding of the cost drivers when utilizing digital tools, and how the reuse of digital models and knowledge can reduce development time and cost. This includes understanding of how new versions of digital tools may drive costs. Four important activities while designing a HRC layout, utilizing a digitalized production preparation process, were identified. It was also found that an efficient and reliable assessment method related to different regulations and standards is needed to support the selection and use of digital tools when designing a HRC layout.


digital tools, human-robot collaboration, production system, production preparation, industrialization, transdisciplinary engineering


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