There’s nothing like the human touch, or the human eye for detail right? Well on factory floors across the world robots are taking over and for the most part they do a faster and more efficient job. However, they’re not very co-operative. Sitting there, doing their work behind a barrier they aren’t exactly a model workforce. That’s changing at Audi – where Robots are working hand in hand (well, you get what I mean) with Audi staff on the final assembly line.
I remember when I visited the Husqvarna factory last year the robots involved in production there were all in high-walled cages basically, because they work they did was so fast and therefore dangerous to fingers and limbs that you just don’t want people standing around them – OH&S and all that right?
Not so for Audi’s new idea – Peter Mosch, Chairman of the Group Works Council of AUDI AG, said, “We see the opportunities presented by the advancing interaction between man and machine. The decisive aspect for us is how this development is guided. We welcome it when it neither jeopardises jobs nor leads to people losing independence to machines.”
So on the assembly line of the A4, A5 and Q5 at Audi’s Ingolstadt plant there are new robots which are designed to work with humans and provide help to the work they are doing.
No longer do staff have to bend over material boxes to take out grab the next part which needs to be assembled, that task can be taken on by the Robot (known in the factory as “PART4you”) to grab the part, and have it ready for the team member.