AI Case Study

BMW increases worker safety and productivity and space utilisation through human-robot-collaboration

BMW is leveraging the KUKA LBR iiwa lightweight robots at its plant in Munich, to assist workers and operators with monotonous and physically strenuous tasks. The otherwise endangering collaboration of human and robots (HRC) has become safer as the lightweight robots are enhanced with AI and machine learning technology, enabling them to be capable of working along humans and being easily programmed. BMW has managed to support its employees while also saving roughly 25% more space, as the robots do not require fences or other safeguards within the factory.

Industry

Consumer Goods And Services

Automobiles And Parts

Project Overview

"The KUKA LBR iiwa lightweight robot assists the operator in the manufacturing step in which reinforcements for the side members of vehicle bodies are loaded. Human-robot collaboration (HRC) without endangering the human operator is possible thanks to the sensitive characteristics of the LBR iiwa. A worker can interact with the LBR iiwa without protective fences or additional safety components. The cooperation between human and robot ensures now a shorter cycle time in production. The solution is also space-saving, as it was integrated into the already existing production line, without having to be modified."

Reported Results

BMW states the following results:

* Subsequent integration of the solution possible. Only minimally invasive intervention required
* Providing relief for employees: the robot supports the human operator in carrying out monotonous and ergonomically unfavourable work tasks
* Maintaining the cycle time: the specified production quantities can be achieved
* It saves roughly 25% more space

Technology

Kuka is "implementing AI and machine learning technology in their collaborative robots. The result is a robot that’s not only capable of safely working alongside humans, but can easily be reprogrammed for new tasks, unlike traditional industrial robots that rely on extensive programming for each task."

Function

Human Resources

Health And Safety

Background

"The cycle time presented a major challenge at the BMW plant in Munich. Production was monotonous and physically strenuous for employees. So, it had to be adapted to reduce the strain on the workers."

Benefits

Data