VEGA invests in production methods of the future
Instrumentation manufacturer provides robots to university students
Many process steps are necessary before the ceramic pressure measuring cell CERTEC® from VEGA can be used in a pressure transmitter. This also includes laborious manual assembly – for the time being. However, a new research project is currently underway to automate this step.
What exactly is being done?
Tom-Felix Kraus vom Cleff is studying at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences and currently working on his master’s thesis. For this project, he is investigating how the assembly of the ceramic pressure measuring cell can be automated. VEGA is providing the master's degree candidate, who is being supported in this endeavour by two fellow students, with an industrial robot costing more than 20,000 euros. The students are working intensively on programming the robot so that it will grip the solder discs and contact pins and position them on the measuring cell. They’re now designing the suction tips of the gripper and producing them on the university’s 3D printer.
What are the reasons for the project?
VEGA wants to advance and help shape the industrial production methods of the future – and therefore supports the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences and the associated Work-Life Robotics Institute (WLRI). The institute conducts research and teaches in the field of cobots, among other subjects. Cobotics stands for collaborative robotics and describes the cooperation between humans and robots. This technology is becoming more and more important in modern industry. “It's not about replacing people with robots - it’s about taking the load off people,” explains Dominik Fehrenbach, head of the Production and Test Technology department, who is responsible for the project at VEGA. “It’s important to us that students gain experience with the latest technologies – and can later apply their knowledge as skilled professionals,” he says.
How does the collaboration work?
The student team are in a continuous lively exchange with their contacts at VEGA. To gain insight into the production processes, the three students have also visited the plant in Schiltach several times. In addition, regular update sessions are held in which the team presents its progress to those responsible at VEGA.
What does the head of the institute say?
Thomas Wendt is the head of WLRI. He’s extremely interested in the project and "super proud" of his students’ achievements to date. He expects a very successful outcome.
And how long will the project run?
Tom-Felix Kraus vom Cleff has been working on the project for several months. His master’s thesis must be finished by the end of August 2023 – and by then, the robot will assemble the CERTEC® measuring cell, ideally in less than a minute. The master’s degree candidate is optimistic that it will work. And those responsible at VEGA are also extremely positive about the project and the results it will bring.
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