AMRC has a global reputation for helping companies overcome manufacturing problems and has become a model for collaborative research involving universities, academics and industry, worldwide. One of the areas where AMRC can assist organisations is with research into automation.
Automating production using robots requires a solid datum from which the robots can operate. A reconfigurable floor conceals cables and enables factory components, such as robots, tooling and work holding, to be quickly and accurately relocated as changing production dictates. This benefits small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as they will typically run small batch productions and change their production methods regularly, requiring reorganising their factory regularly.
BCP provided the AMRC with aluminium honeycomb centre, edge and corner floor panels to make up a series of high load bearing, but lightweight trench covers. The panels can manually be removed for quick cable access and reconfiguring of the work cell.
Currently this floor and robot configuration demonstrates the assembly of frames for stud walling by picking and joining C sections on an adaptable fixture (assembly jig). This platform is pioneering for the construction industry as in less than half a day the floor and robots can be rearranged to perform a different application, such as autonomous grinding of steel tooling. It shows lots of different applications and the unique function of being able to quickly change applications, tasks and pod layout.