Principal investigator: Mark Rubeo

University: Pennsylvania State University, Behrend

Industry partner: Acutec Precision Aerospace, Inc.

In machining, integrating robots into production lines has been proven to increase productivity and offers a valid solution for the shortage of machinists. After setup and programming, machine operation is highly repetitive making it well-suited for robots. Because each machine, process, and part is unique, developing flexible robot solutions, where the robot can be rapidly re-purposed, represents a significant technical challenge. The approach will include the development of highly repeatable machining processes, the design of tooling for the robotic arm, and the integration of the robot with machine controls. The project outcomes include (1) the implementation of a collaborative robot with the flexibility to be rapidly re-purposed for a variety of machines and parts, (2) a procedural document to be used by engineers and machinists to integrate additional collaborative robots after project completion, and (3) the training of an undergraduate student in the field of manufacturing automation.