Wire harness, though it impacts several industries, often yields inconsistent products due to its highly manual process. This project aims to create consistent outcomes via an automated process that would also lead to increased safety for human workers.

Project

Wire harness assembly is a frequent and critical task across a range of modern aerospace production plants operations. Aerospace wire harness complexity and high variability lead to unpredictable and varying production volumes. Assembly and testing processes are currently very labor intensive, thus tedious for humans to execute, and prone to consistency and reliability issues. Required minimization of quality losses impacting high-cost components necessitated the pursuit of improvements that can be gained from automation.

Objective

Improve quality and performance by increasing the automation of wire harness assembly

Technical Approach

This project centers on the design, development, and testing of a perception-aided collaborative robotic solution for manipulating a wide variety of small and flexible parts.

  • Use perception-enabled collaborative robotics with dexterous manipulation for the wire pinning processes of harness assembly
  • Design, develop, and test a perception-aided collaborative robotic solution for manipulating a variety of small and flexible parts (wires, pins, heat shrink tubing)
  • Improve manufacturing outcomes for assembly and testing of wire harnesses via increased automation assembly steps

Participants

United Technologies Research Center (Principal Investigator), ABB, University of Connecticut