Deploying cobots in collaborative systems: major considerations and productivity analysis

Yuval Cohen, Shraga Shoval, Maurizio Faccio, Riccardo Minto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Collaborative robots (cobots) are important components of the Industry 4.0 paradigm and smart manufacturing. Cobots are known for their ability to interact with the operators in a shared workspace. Due to their spread in the last decade, cobot research proliferated. However, most individual studies focused on specific aspects of cobot deployment, and only scant attention was given to their evaluation (mostly not based on productivity criteria). Thus, better support is needed for cobot acquisition and deployment decisions. This paper answers this need by presenting a summary of the major considerations related to cobots acquisition and deployment, and providing a productivity analysis procedure that supports cobot acquisition and deployment decisions. Defining the cobots’ required characteristics and capabilities, effectively narrows the possible selection of cobots. However, it does not give information as to the economic value of acquiring and deploying a specific cobot. So, in addition to cobots’ characteristics and capabilities, this paper presents computational techniques to analyse and support this decision for a single workstation per se, and for a station in an assembly line. The difference between these two cases is discussed and analysed, and corresponding models are presented with computational examples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1815-1831
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Volume60
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Cobot
  • Industry 4.0
  • cobot acquisition
  • cobot selection
  • collaborative robot
  • robot–human interaction

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