The APAS collaborative robot at the service of quality

By Ludovic DRUGEOT
Ludovic Drugeot is in charge of the industrialisation and testing department at the Bosch industrial plant in Mondeville. He is in charge of testing and control technologies within production.

How can APAS provide an answer to the quality challenges of electronics manufacturing services?

Electronic principals demand unprecedented high levels of quality, especially on the health, safety and mobility sectors. These constraints force manufacturers of electronic products to place innovation and technical progress at the heart of production methods. However, they must also control and test methods in order to deliver flawless products. Collaborative robots are one of the determining elements.

The APAS collaborative robot

Depending on the need, it can be used as a mobile assistance system or as a safe tool among machines. Its secure collaborative configuration excludes the need for a bulky fixed protective cage that usually surrounds industrial robots. This way, it is flexible in the process of one or more production lines.

Bosch Mondeville’s Industry 4.0 responds to the new industrial challenges of electronic subcontracting

To meet manufacturing services needs, Bosch Mondeville has deployed the APAS. They are generally placed on very low added value operations, such as gripping or orienting components. At the opposite, these robots are programmed to perform complex operations where steps follow one another in a minimum amount of time. The various tools connected and attached to the ends of the APAS free themselves from spatial constraints thanks to the six-axis articulated arm, giving access to new work areas, where humans may have difficulty operating.

Example of use case : the AOI (Automatic Optical Inspection) test

At Bosch Mondeville, we have chosen to exploit this I4.0 tool by fixing on its rotating arm with an on-board camera for AOI tests. The APAS makes a complete rotation around the plate before soldering and checks, using relief shots, whether the components have been inserted in the right place and in the right orientation. Having access to previously inaccessible points makes it possible to measure and control the compliance of all component plating.

This innovative process considerably minimizes the rate of non-conforming products after this first phase of AOI control previously carried out in 2D. It reduces waste and costs of internal defects. But also, the costs of additional human control and ensures the Bosch quality, which comes from our automotive history. Last but not least, APAS is quickly configurable: it is mobile from one line to another and its versatility improves all performances.

This solution within our production system gives us the possibility to control small series of complex products. It adds to the means available to you when checking your products. It contributes to meeting your requirements, with fewer resources and less waste, by producing better and faster.

APAS is one of the many I4.0 solutions deployed in our factory. Come and discover them!

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