Robots have taken their place in a variety of manufacturing industries, including automotive: now they could be heading for a major role in reman too, according to artificial intelligence experts.
Robots have long since left the pages of science fiction novels and are no longer only seen in Hollywood films. Their presence has enhanced manufacturing assembly lines all over the world – and they could be particularly well-suited to reman too, according to scientists at the A*STAR Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre in Singapore.
Tijo Thayil, section manager for robotics development at A*STAR, thinks that robots will act as assistants to human workers in the future – rather than replacing humans altogether. “We still need the intelligence and perception of the human to identify the appropriate tasks, and if the task is something that is repeated, it can be taken up by the robot,” he suggests.
As technology has advanced, it has become possible for robots to carry out more varied tasks than ever. “When you produce a new part, we have the Computer Aided Design or CAD file and we know the shape exactly, everything is defined - you can move the tool according to the CAD fi le,” says Thayil. But this is not the case with a core, of course. “When it comes out of service we don’t know how it will look,” he continues. “And now, with advancements in robotics, combined with the latest technologies such as vision modules and 3-D scanning systems, robots can be tuned to respond according to the variations in input condition.”
The ability of modern robots to handle smaller, less uniform batches could help smaller manufacturers –but also opens the way for this new technology to take a greater role in reman than has been possible before.