New concepts for the implementation of collaborative assembly systems for small and fluctuating production sizes as well as their successful introduction into SMEs

kukomo_logo_neuObjective of this project is to support small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses in the development of innovative system solutions for human-robot-collaboration (HRC). Prototypes of these solutions will be implemented and validated under economic aspects, the results will be provided to other potential users.

A code of practice will be drawn up for assembly work in SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) to check for suitability of human-robot-collaboration. If feasible, according HRC solutions will be subsequently planned, implemented and launched. These new solutions comprise control concepts, innovative gripper technology and aspects of safety engineering (e.g. workspace monitoring). HRC pilots will be implemented in the course of the project for five applications in different domains: A) electronics manufacturing, B) tool building, C) textile, D) automotive and E) heat treatment. At the same time all solutions will be considered under economic aspects. The results will be shown and disseminated amongst others in a project-specific training centre to support SMEs in implementing individual HRC solutions for their purpose. In addition, employees will be qualified to work in such systems.

HFC as an expert for human-machine-interaction will ensure the successful integration of robots into the workflows with regard to a user-centred and collaborative interaction between humans and robots. Integrating robots into manufacturing workflows requires a careful consideration of work processes as well as employees’ expectations and fears. Integration failures would be pre-programmed, if human-robot-collaboration had not been created in terms of real human-machine-teamwork. HFC will ensure a successful integration of human-robot-collaboration by applying an ethnographical and user-centred approach accompanied by intensive task and requirements analyses.

This research and development project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the program “Innovations for Tomorrow’s Production, Services, and Work” (funding number 02P15A020- 02P15A029) and managed by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA). The author is responsible for the contents of this publication.

Lead time: 10/2016 – 09/2019

Associated Partners

  • ICM – Institut Chemnitzer Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V.
  • Professur für Fabrikplanung und Fabrikbetrieb der TU Chemnitz
  • HFC Human-Factors-Consult GmbH
  • IGF Ingenieurgesellschaft für Gebäude-, Flächen- und Anlagenmanagement mbH
  • iris-GmbH infrared & intelligent sensors
  • TURCK Beierfeld GmbH
  • WätaS Wärmetauscher Sachsen GmbH


  • Task Analysis and Modelling
  • Requirements Definition
  • Human-Factors-Cases
  • Training Concepts