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See detailSpectroscopic Studies of dissimilar Al-Cu laser welding
Schmalen, Pascal Guy UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in proceedings of asme msec 2018 (2018)

This paper describes a novel method to analyze the effect of the fiber laser induced plasma on welding of dissimilar Al and Cu. Based on spectroscopic studies, specific wavelengths were found to be ... [more ▼]

This paper describes a novel method to analyze the effect of the fiber laser induced plasma on welding of dissimilar Al and Cu. Based on spectroscopic studies, specific wavelengths were found to be suitable for process monitoring during laser welding. For aluminum, the double peak at 394.4 and 396.1 nm was studied, for cu the 578 nm peak was studied. The characteristic peaks were observed by multiple photodiodes equipped with narrow optical filters with varying FWHM. Analyzing the plasma emissions of the process enabled to detect material changes in the plasma plume. This novel method has the advantage of higher sampling rate combined with reduced costs compared to a spectrometer and is thus able to capture the process dynamics. [less ▲]

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See detailCILAP-Architecture for Simultaneous Position- and Force-Control in Constrained Manufacturing Tasks
Klecker, Sophie UL; Hichri, Bassem UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in ICINCO 2018 Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics Volume 2 (2018, July)

This paper presents a parallel control concept for automated constrained manufacturing tasks, i.e. for simultaneous position- and force-control of industrial robotic manipulators. The manipulator’s ... [more ▼]

This paper presents a parallel control concept for automated constrained manufacturing tasks, i.e. for simultaneous position- and force-control of industrial robotic manipulators. The manipulator’s interaction with its environment results in a constrained non-linear switched system. In combination with internal and external uncertainties and in the presence of friction, the stable system performance is impaired. The aim is to mimic a human worker’s behaviour encoded as lists of successive desired positions and forces obtained from the records of a human performing the considered task operating the lightweight robot arm in gravity compensation mode. The suggested parallel control concept combines a model-free position- and a model-free torque-controller. These separate controllers combine conventional PID- and PI-control with adaptive neuro-inspired algorithms. The latter use concepts of a reward-like incentive, a learning system and an actuator-inhibitor-interplay. The elements Conventional controller, Incentive, Learning system and Actuator-Preventer interaction form the CILAP-concept. The main contribution of this work is a biologically inspired parallel control architecture for simultaneous position- and force-control of continuous in contrast to discrete manufacturing tasks without having recourse to visual inputs. The proposed control-method is validated on a surface finishing process-simulation. It is shown that it outperforms a conventional combination of PID- and PI-controllers. [less ▲]

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See detailAugmented Reality-based human-robot Interaction Method: ARBI
Gallala, Abir UL; Hichri, Bassem UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Robotix Academy Conference for Industrial Robotics (RACIR 2018) (2018, June)

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See detailApplication of Value Stream Management to enhance product and information flows in supply chain networks - based on the example of web-based automotive retail business
Plapper, Peter UL; Oberhausen, Christof UL; Minoufekr, Meysam UL

in Management and Production Engineering Review (2018), 9(2), 13-19

Due to globalized business operations, companies in different economic sectors are part of complex supply chain networks. Their value-added processes comprise product and information flows, e.g. with a ... [more ▼]

Due to globalized business operations, companies in different economic sectors are part of complex supply chain networks. Their value-added processes comprise product and information flows, e.g. with a focus on manufacturing, service or trade. Until the final product is delivered to the end customer, it needs to pass many different processes in cooperating organizations. As a result, there a lot of business-to-business (B2B) interactions with cross-enterprise transactions, often including cross-border communications and sometimes even cross-industry trades with technological and often cultural implications. Especially the interfaces of supply chain networks are prone to inefficiencies, misunderstandings and delays due to a lack of standardized B2B transactions, which leads to waste in form of rework, errors and mistakes. In addition, new customers are hard to find for the manufacturing or trading company, since potential customers are so far limited to a regional network. The advantages of extending the customer base still need to be explored by many organizations. This paper discusses the opportunities by streamlining the communication along supply chain networks in a general fashion and then describes the application in a B2B automotive retail business. A concept of a web-based trading platform, which provides a seamless service for all steps of a convenient and efficient used vehicle remarketing business, is developed. It includes all phases, like offering and price finding in a comprehensive online platform, which also covers further activities, such as logistic services, financial transactions, and a mandatory feedback loop. The suggested B2B vehicle-trading platform enables a quick turnover of each transaction, which is analyzed and optimized based on the application of cross-enterprise Value Stream Management. [less ▲]

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See detailOptimierung und Charakterisierung einer mittels Laserstrahl gefügten Verbindung zwischen Aluminium und Polyamid 6.6
Lamberti, Christian UL

Doctoral thesis (2018)

The creation of strong joints between dissimilar materials and in particular between polymers and metals is one of the most often discussed topics in the fields of automotive, aerospace and transportation ... [more ▼]

The creation of strong joints between dissimilar materials and in particular between polymers and metals is one of the most often discussed topics in the fields of automotive, aerospace and transportation. Especially the combination of polyamide and aluminum is of highest interest, due to their market share as construction materials. New joining concepts are anticipated to deliver strong, durable and resource efficient structural components that are ideally suited for lightweight designs. However, current research activities have shown that the highly distinct material properties of these materials pose enormous challenges on the creation of hybrid structures. The cause that potentially enables the connection between the aluminum surface and the polymer is still not fully understood. The research objective of the presented work, therefore is, on the one hand, to create an optimal joint between aluminum and polyamide 6.6 using a laser beam to reach high shear strength for an industrial application. On the other hand, the presented work seeks to deliver a substantial contribution to furtherly understand the interaction between the polymer and the metal surface during the thermal joining. A laser-based joining method was developed that enables the researchers to overcome limitations of conventional processes, that is minimizing space requirements, making the application of additional gaskets obsolete, reaching high strength, saving weight and reducing processing time. The effectiveness of different surface pre-treatments has been studied, and the described optimization of this method has lead to an increase of the shear strength of the joints by more than 100 %. Laser ablation and the hydrothermal treatment of the metallic surface, before the joining operation, lead to the highest joint strength. The surface pre-treatment method of laser ablation delivered to transfer the gathered insights and experience from the laboratory to the industrial scale, due to its repeatability and reproducibility. The experiment mentioned above includes the use of production materials, such as aluminum with a higher sheet thickness of up to 1.48 mm and glass fiber reinforced polymer. Shear strength of 40 MPa was reached in quasi-static single lap shear tests. During dynamic testing, samples maintained 63 % of static breaking load after one million cycles. The hydrothermal treatment of the aluminum surface leads to a lower surface roughness of Ra = 1.58 µm in average as opposed to 4.90 µm after laser ablation. Due to the lower roughness values, the first-mentioned method was chosen to study the interaction. An XPS-analysis revealed a strong influence of the surface pre-treatment method on the chemical composition of the metal surface, which becomes noticeable by hydroxylation of the surface layer and is expressed by the oxide ratio (O/Al) and hydroxide ratio (OH/O). A high O/Al ratio of 2.36 and an OH/O ratio of 0.63 after the hydrothermal treatment is showing a strong increase of the amount of hydroxide in direct comparison to values of 35 % and 36 % of OH/O ratio after ethanol and hexane cleaning respectively. The question, as to which extent the presence of such hydroxide structures at the boundary layer of the aluminum influence the interaction between the metal surface and the polymer, was a subject matter of an additional FT-IR analysis. In case of the infrared spectra from thin polymer films on the hydrothermally treated surface, clear indications of interaction are visible. In direct comparison to the infrared spectra from polymer films on either ethanol or hexane cleaned surfaces, this interaction seems to increase nearby of the interface further. The interaction mentioned above appears at the carbonyl band and amine band as a shift of 4 cm-1 and 8 cm-1 and an increase of the full width at half maximum by 35 % respectively 40 %. Additional strong differences are visible at the molecule vibrations below 1,200 cm-1, which are typically assigned to both crystalline phases and amorphous phases of the polyamide. In case of the hydrothermal treatment, collected data indicates a polymorphous state inside the polymer films, which seems to become increasingly disordered close to the interface. On the contrary, spectra from the polymer films on ethanol and hexane pre-treated substrates show only marginal changes. Methods are proposed to build upon the results described in this work and refine distinct signs of the interaction. [less ▲]

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See detailLessons from social network analysis to Industry 4.0
Omar, Yamila UL; Minoufekr, Meysam UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Manufacturing Letters (2018), 15B

With the advent of Industry 4.0, a growing number of sensors within modern production lines generate high volumes of data. This data can be used to optimize the manufacturing industry in terms of complex ... [more ▼]

With the advent of Industry 4.0, a growing number of sensors within modern production lines generate high volumes of data. This data can be used to optimize the manufacturing industry in terms of complex network topology metrics commonly used in the analysis of social and communication networks. In this work, several such metrics are presented along with their appropriate interpretation in the field of manufacturing. Furthermore, the assumptions under which such metrics are defined are assessed in order to determine their suitability. Finally, their potential application to identify performance limiting resources, allocate maintenance resources and guarantee quality assurance are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailAluminum pretreatment by a laser ablation process: influence of processing parameters on the joint strength of laser welded aluminum – polyamide assemblies
Al Sayyad, Adham UL; Bardon, Julien; Hirchenhahn, Pierre et al

in Procedia CIRP (2018)

Laser welding of metal – polymer assemblies is an innovative bonding process. It was already demonstrated that laser surface pretreatments of aluminum (Al), prior to laser welding with a polymer, impacts ... [more ▼]

Laser welding of metal – polymer assemblies is an innovative bonding process. It was already demonstrated that laser surface pretreatments of aluminum (Al), prior to laser welding with a polymer, impacts joints strength. This work adopts a design of experiments (DoE) approach to investigate the influence of several Al laser ablation parameters on joint strength of laser welded Al – polyamide (PA6.6) assemblies. Significant parameters were highlighted, process window was outlined, and optimal parameters were identified. After assembly failure, the joint area was evaluated using optical microscopy. Depending on the laser ablation parameters, the joint area can be enhanced resulting in a significant increase in the corresponding bearable shear load. [less ▲]

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See detailLearning-While Controlling RBF-NN for Robot Dynamics Approximation in Neuro-Inspired Control of Switched Nonlinear Systems
Klecker, Sophie UL; Hichri, Bassem UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Artificial Neural Networks and Machine Learning; ICANN 2018 part 3 (2018)

Radial Basis Function-Neural Networks are well-established function approximators. This paper presents an adaptive Gaussian RBF-NN with an extended learning-while controlling behaviour. The weights ... [more ▼]

Radial Basis Function-Neural Networks are well-established function approximators. This paper presents an adaptive Gaussian RBF-NN with an extended learning-while controlling behaviour. The weights, function centres and widths are updated online based on a sliding mode control element. In this way, the need for fixing parameters a priori is overcome and the network is able to adapt to dynamically changing systems. The aim of this work is to present an extended adaptive neuro-controller for trajectory tracking of serial robots with unknown dynamics. The adaptive RBF-NN is used to approximate the unknown robot manipulator dynamics-function. It is combined with a conventional controller and a bio-inpsired extension for the control of a robot in the presence of switching constraints and discontinuous inputs. Its learned goal-directed output results from the complementary action of an actuator, A, and a prventer, P. The trigger is an incentive, I, based on the weighted perception of the enviornment. The concept is validated through simulations and implementation on a KUKA LWR4-robot. [less ▲]

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See detailRecent Progress Toward Intelligent Robot Assistants for Non-Destructive Disassembly
Jungbluth, Jan UL; Gerke, Wolfgang; Plapper, Peter UL

in Müller, Rainer; Plapper, Peter; Brüls, Olivier (Eds.) et al Robotix-Academy Conference for Industrial Robotics (RACIR) 2018 (2018)

One key to successful and fluent human-robot collaboration in disassembly processes is equipping the robot systems with greater autonomy and intelligence. In this paper, we present our progress in ... [more ▼]

One key to successful and fluent human-robot collaboration in disassembly processes is equipping the robot systems with greater autonomy and intelligence. In this paper, we present our progress in developing such an intelligent robot assistant system. We present the multi-agent control architecture we developed and describe its technical implementation. Our control approach relies on two types of knowledge models: product and process models. The product model describes the structure of the product to be dismantled through a description of the parts involved and the connections between them. A connection type-related process model describes which agents and objects participate in the disassembly process and which methods of human-robot cooperation or collaboration are most useful. When supplied with a product model and a goal definition, our robotic assistant can automatically generate a partially ordered disassembly task sequence. For each disassembly task, the user can choose one of the divisions of labor defined in the process model. Using the process model, through perception and deliberation, the control system can both execute actions and coordinate and synchronize the actions of human and machine. This approach allows the system to be more autonomous when providing assistance to human coworkers in complex and one-piece disassembly processes. [less ▲]

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See detailCombining Virtual and Robot Assistants - A Case Study about Integrating Amazon's Alexa as a Voice Interface in Robotics
Jungbluth, Jan UL; Krieger, Rolf; Gerke, Wolfgang et al

in Müller, Rainer; Plapper, Peter; Brüls, Oliver (Eds.) et al Robotix-Academy Conference for Industrial Robotics (RACIR) 2018 (2018)

Virtual assistants such as Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant increasingly find ways to enter our homes and everyday lives, where they serve as powerful human-machine interfaces to control devices ... [more ▼]

Virtual assistants such as Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant increasingly find ways to enter our homes and everyday lives, where they serve as powerful human-machine interfaces to control devices through natural language. In this work, we explore the use of virtual assistants to control single components within an intelligent industrial robot assistant system for disassembly applications. Following a short introduction and an overview of commercially available virtual assistants, we present our system architecture, which integrates Amazon's Alexa through an Echo Dot device. Utilizing the Alexa Skill Kit, we build a voice user interface that contains dialogs to control various device functions and assistive system behaviors. By connecting Alexa Voice Service with Amazon’s Lambda and IoT web services, we can parametrize machine commands depending on the user's voice input and, through a Raspberry Pi, which routes messages between the internet and decoupled machine network, send them to the devices within the intelligent robot assistance system. With the reversed communication flow, we can update and store the current state of the devices in the Amazon Web Services IoT Shadow. Utilizing the IoT Shadow, we are able to inform the user upon request about the current state of the devices by synthesize speech with the Alexa Voice Services and vocalize it through the Echo Dot. One implemented assistive system behavior and the related dialog to activate the behavior is further explained in this work. In the conclusion, we address our gathered positive and negative experience to date. [less ▲]

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See detailContinuous Improvement of complex process flows by means of StreaM
Oberhausen, Christof UL; Minoufekr, Meysam UL; Plapper, Peter UL

Presentation (2017, December 11)

In numerous sectors and industries worldwide, there is a trend towards an intercompany and often international division of value creation and related work tasks. To overcome the challenges of complex ... [more ▼]

In numerous sectors and industries worldwide, there is a trend towards an intercompany and often international division of value creation and related work tasks. To overcome the challenges of complex cross-enterprise supply chain networks, innovative approaches to visualize, assess and enhance value streams are sought. The StreaM method, which is described in this paper, enables a comprehensive analysis, design and planning of cross-company product and information flows on different levels of value stream detail. At the same time, the entire methodology is based on a common understanding of key symbols, parameters and calculation procedures. In addition, the use of the developed StreaM method and the associated model in a case study proves its practical applicability in an industrial setting. In further validation projects, the transfer of the “Standardized cross-enterprise Value Stream Management Method” to other industry sectors is envisaged to continuously improve energy, trade or service processes. [less ▲]

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See detailContinuous Improvement of Complex Process Flows by Means of StreaM as the “Standardized Cross-Enterprise Value Stream Management Method”
Oberhausen, Christof UL; Minoufekr, Meysam UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Proceedings of 2017 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM) (2017, December)

In numerous sectors and industries worldwide, there is a trend towards an intercompany and often international division of value creation and related work tasks. To overcome the challenges of complex ... [more ▼]

In numerous sectors and industries worldwide, there is a trend towards an intercompany and often international division of value creation and related work tasks. To overcome the challenges of complex cross-enterprise supply chain networks, innovative approaches to visualize, assess and enhance value streams are sought. The StreaM method, which is described in this paper, enables a comprehensive analysis, design and planning of cross-company product and information flows on different levels of value stream detail. At the same time, the entire methodology is based on a common understanding of key symbols, parameters and calculation procedures. In addition, the use of the developed StreaM method and the associated model in a case study proves its practical applicability in an industrial setting. In further validation projects, the transfer of the “Standardized cross-enterprise Value Stream Management Method” to other industry sectors is envisaged to continuously improve energy, trade or service processes. [less ▲]

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See detailNeuro-Inspired Reward-Based Tracking Control for Robotic Manipulators with Unknown Dynamics
Klecker, Sophie UL; Hichri, Bassem UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Proceedings of the 2017 2nd International Conference on Robotics and Automation Engineering (ICRAE) (2017, December)

Tracking control for robotic manipulators is required for numerous automation tasks in manufacturing engineering. For this purpose, model-free PD-controllers are largely implemented by default in ... [more ▼]

Tracking control for robotic manipulators is required for numerous automation tasks in manufacturing engineering. For this purpose, model-free PD-controllers are largely implemented by default in commercially available robot arms and provide satisfactory performance for simple path following applications. Ever more complex automation tasks however ask for novel intelligent and adaptive tracking control strategies. In surface finishing processes, discontinuous freeform paths as well as changing constraints between the robotic end-effector and its surrounding environment affect the tracking control by undermining the stable system performance. The lacking knowledge of industrial robot dynamic parameters presents an additional challenge for the tracking control algorithms. In this paper the control problem of robotic manipulators with unknown dynamics and varying constraints is addressed. A robust sliding mode controller is combined with an RBF (Radial Basis Function) Neural Network-estimator and an intelligent, biomimetic BELBIC (Brain Emotional Learning-Based Intelligent Control) term to approximate the nonlinear robot dynamics function and achieve a robust and adaptive tracking performance. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluence of laser ablation and plasma surface treatment on the joint strength of laser welded aluminum-polyamide assemblies
Al Sayyad, Adham UL; Bardon, Julien; Hirchenhahn, Pierre et al

Scientific Conference (2017, September 14)

Laser assembly of a metal with a polymer is an innovative process for the development of hybrid lightweight structures. It was already demonstrated that surface treatment of aluminum prior to laser ... [more ▼]

Laser assembly of a metal with a polymer is an innovative process for the development of hybrid lightweight structures. It was already demonstrated that surface treatment of aluminum prior to laser joining has a critical influence on joint strength of laser assembly with polyamide. In this work, further investigation of the influence of surface treatment prior to laser assembly is carried out. In particular, two kind of surface modification pretreatments of aluminum, laser ablation and plasma surface modification, in combination with plasma surface pretreatment of polyamide, were investigated. Surface properties of aluminum and polyamide after pretreatment are compared to their untreated state. More precisely, surface chemistry, surface energy and roughness characteristics are evaluated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), sessile drop tests and 3D profilometry, respectively. Joint strength of laser assembly of treated aluminum and polyamide is reported. The more influential surface characteristics for the improvement of joint strength are determined, paving the way to significant advances in metal-polymer laser assembly technology. [less ▲]

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See detailRobotix-Academy Conference for Industrial Robotics (RACIR) 2017
Müller, Rainer; Plapper, Peter UL; Brüls, Olivier et al

Book published by Shaker Verlag - 1st ed (2017)

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See detailResistance measurement of dissimilar Al/Cu laser welds
Schmalen, Pascal Guy UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Proceedings of LPM2017 - the 18th International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication (2017)

Aluminum and Copper were joined using the laser-based braze-welding process. By avoiding the intermixture of both conductive materials, the formation of brittle intermetallic compounds is strongly reduced ... [more ▼]

Aluminum and Copper were joined using the laser-based braze-welding process. By avoiding the intermixture of both conductive materials, the formation of brittle intermetallic compounds is strongly reduced. This results in a tough, ductile connection with reduced electric resistance. This paper de-scribes a method, which is based on the 4-wire method, to measure the resistance of the weld seam. The arrangement of the conductive electrodes directly on top and bottom of the weld seam signifi-cantly increases the accuracy of the measured resistances, thus offers a direct estimation of the inter-metallic layer thickness. The electric measuring of the layer thickness is a non-destructive method, which assists in the reduction of the post-process effort (cross sections, pull tests, hardness measure-ments) and decreases the lead-time by reducing the time needed for the identification of suitable laser process parameters. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards Intelligent Robot Assistants for the non-destructive Disassembly of End of Life Products
Jungbluth, Jan UL; Plapper, Peter UL; Gerke, Wolfgang

in Plapper, Peter; Hichri, Bassem (Eds.) Robotix-Academy Conference (2017, May 06)

The effective collaboration between humans and robots in complex and task rich environments like End of Life product disassembly depends on the ability of the robot to anticipate the workflow as well as ... [more ▼]

The effective collaboration between humans and robots in complex and task rich environments like End of Life product disassembly depends on the ability of the robot to anticipate the workflow as well as the assistance the human co-worker wants. Our approach towards such an intelligent system is the development of an informed software agent that controls the robot assistance behavior. We inform the agent with procedural and declarative knowledge about the disassembly domain through models of the product structure and actor/object models. The product structure is then transformed to a directed graph and used to build, share and define a goal-orientated coarse workflow. Depending on the tasks and wanted assistance, the system can generate adaptable and detailed workflows through searching in the situation space on the basis of predefined and task dependent actions. The created detailed workflow consists of a sequence of actions that are used to call, parameterize and execute robot programs for the fulfillment of the assistance. The aim of this research is to equip robot systems with higher cognitive skills to allow them to be autonomous in the performance of their assistance to improve the ergonomics of disassembly workstations. [less ▲]

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See detailRobust BELBIC-Extension for Trajectory Tracking Control
Klecker, Sophie UL; Hichri, Bassem UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Journal of Mechanics Engineering and Automation (2017), 7(2),

In real-life trajectory tracking applications of robotic manipulators uncertain robot dynamics, external disturbances and switching constraints which cannot be accommodated for by a conventional ... [more ▼]

In real-life trajectory tracking applications of robotic manipulators uncertain robot dynamics, external disturbances and switching constraints which cannot be accommodated for by a conventional controller affect the system performance. We suggested an additional control element combining sliding mode and bio-mimetic, neurologically-inspired BELBIC (brain emotional learning-based intelligent control). The former is invariant to internal and external uncertainties and guarantees robust behavior. The latter is based on an interplay of inputs relating to environmental information through error-signals of position and sliding surfaces and of emotional signals regulating the learning rate and adapting the future behaviour based on prior experiences and with the goal to maximize a reward function. We proofed the stability and the performance of the suggested control scheme through Lyapunov theory and numerical simulations, respectively. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluence of Material Moisture during Laser Joining of Polyamide 6.6 to Aluminum
Lamberti, C.; Peral Alonso, Inmaculada UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Atiner's Conference Paper Series (2017), IND 2017 - 2270

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See detailPID and Biomimetic Variable Structure Path Tracking Control in Automated Surface Finishing Processes
Klecker, Sophie UL; Plapper, Peter UL; Hichri, Bassem UL

in Robotix-Academy Conference for Industrial Robotics (RACIR) 2017 (2017)

This paper addresses freeform surface following control as one of the main challenges in automating surface finishing processes. Successive changes in constraints between the tool attached to the robotic ... [more ▼]

This paper addresses freeform surface following control as one of the main challenges in automating surface finishing processes. Successive changes in constraints between the tool attached to the robotic manipulator and its surroundings are due to complex workpiece-geometries and result in a switched nonlinear system. The control problem of the latter is addressed by industrial state-of-the-art conventional PID control as well as by biomimetic variable structure control which are both applied to a benchmark path tracking problem as characteristically encountered in surface finishing. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 77 (7 UL)