Ford Motor Company (FMC) aimed to use collaborative robots (cobots) for quality checking engine wiring harnesses at its Dagenham engine plant.
When correctly implemented, cobots are able to work in the same workspace as operators without having a safety guard separating the operator and cobot. However, to enable collaborative work processes, safety must be thoroughly assessed to prevent any potential hazards to the operator.
HSSMI has developed the Risk Assessment for Collaborative Environment (RACE) tool that can virtually assess risks to operators in a workstation. With their knowledge and experience in cobots, HSSMI was able to support FMC to implement the cobot systems on their shop floor.
This work directly addresses HSSMI’s productivity pillar, as it reduces cobot implementation time and cost but more importantly improves product quality. This enables the operator to correct any fitting issues before engine testing and allows paperless record keeping of quality issues.
This work was a follow up from a successful feasibility study completed by HSSMI in 2018 as part of the CDC service that included technology assessments and demonstrated the work process. More information on that here: https://hssmi.org/works/cobot-design-and-certification-cdc-for-ford-motor-company/