A structured methodology for the design of a human-robot collaborative assembly workplace

  • João Costa MateusEmail author
  • Dieter Claeys
  • Veronique Limère
  • Johannes Cottyn
  • El-Houssaine Aghezzaf


The trend towards mass customization puts traditional automation solutions under pressure. In addition, an aging working population increases the need to improve ergonomics at the workplace. Human-robot collaboration is considered as a solution for these challenges at the workstation level, as it combines the flexibility of the human with the consistency of robots. While the technology supporting the implementation of close human robot collaboration is maturing rapidly, the development of supporting design methodologies is lagging behind. The aim of this paper is to provide a generic methodology including a chain of four supporting procedure blocks for information extraction and processing and collaborative assembly solution generation and evaluation. The first block extracts product and assembly sequence constraints from CAD models. This information is fed into the second block where the previously identified tasks are decomposed into lower level work elements, for which the functional requirements are identified. These requirements are then used in the third block, in order to determine resource capability and safe collaboration possibilities. In the fourth block, the previous information is combined to generate and evaluate possible collaborative product assembly sequences. These sequences consist of work allocation, temporal distribution of work, and corresponding layout constraints.


Human-robot collaboration Workplace design Collaborative robot Ergonomics Safety Flexibility Human-robot interaction Work allocation 


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Funding information

This research is supported by Flanders Make, the strategic center for the manufacturing industry in Flanders within the framework of Project Yves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial Systems Engineering and Product DesignGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Business Informatics and Operations ManagementGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Industrial Systems Engineering (ISyE)Flanders Make

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