Description of the Experiment:

This experiment tackles the production of iron castings within heavy weight (2 - 100 kg) in different configuration and use (approx. 990 different types of castings). Most of the operations in manufacturing process are mechanized and automated. The biggest problem for the foundries is automation and robotization of fettling operations, due to the amount of the processes and product variations. Fettling operations are carried out mostly manually, presenting a serious problem due to low performance efficiency, onerous accidents, local dust and noise. Fettling of casting generates high costs in the whole casting process.

Main objectives of the Experiment:

HORSE is expected to bring benefits for OPSA on the automation and robotization of fettling operations.

  1. Increase of efficiency: A worker on fettling operations during one shift carries from 3 to 6 tons of casting: for example a casting with a mass of 10 kg is manually cleaned in 40 mins, while a robot can do
  2. Simplification in fettling operations which are done manually to a very large extent up to now.
  3. Cost reduction. Fettling of casting generates high costs in the whole casting process.
  4. Health: HORSE will increase the health of the workers who are now subject to accidents, local dust and noise.

Main results expected to achieve in the Experiment:

The second Pilot Experiment of HORSE will demonstrate the benefits of human-robot interaction in manufacturing environments. HORSE will demonstrate that robots can be implemented in production environments where workers are exposed to unhealthy conditions (accidents, noise, dust), taking fettling of casting operations as an example. This scalability to other industries and applications will be demonstrated via experiments acquired by Open Calls for RTD proposals. This will lead to a reduction of healthcare as well as production costs, which ultimately creates a competitive advantage for the industry implementing human-robot machine interaction in production.

Sector/s of Application:

  1. Main Sector of Application: Fettling operations in the production of iron castings.
  1. Potential Sector/s of Application:  HORSE pilot will enable OPSA to bring solution to many other foundries in this very severe environment where manual cutting operations are provided.