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Marcello PELLICCIARI

Professore Ordinario
Dipartimento di Scienze e Metodi dell'Ingegneria


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Pubblicazioni

2024 - A method for the assessment and compensation of positioning errors in industrial robots [Articolo su rivista]
Ferrarini, S.; Bilancia, P.; Raffaeli, R.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Industrial Robots (IR) are currently employed in several production areas as they enable flexible automation and high productivity on a wide range of operations. The IR low positioning performance, however, has limited their use in high precision applications, namely where positioning errors assume importance for the process and directly affect the quality of the final products. Common approaches to increase the IR accuracy rely on empirical relations which are valid for a single IR model. Also, existing works show no uniformity regarding the experimental procedures followed during the IR performance assessment and identification phases. With the aim to overcome these restrictions and further extend the IR usability, this paper presents a general method for the evaluation of IR pose and path accuracy, primarily focusing on instrumentation and testing procedures. After a detailed description of the experimental campaign carried out on a KUKA KR210 R2700 Prime robot under different operating conditions (speed, payload and temperature state), a novel online compensation approach is presented and validated. The position corrections are processed with an industrial PC by means of a purposely developed application which receives as input the position feedback from a laser tracker. Experiments conducted on straight paths confirmed the validity of the proposed approach, which allows remarkable reductions (in the order of 90%) of the orthogonal deviations and in-line errors during the robot movements.


2024 - Empirical Characterization of Track Dimensions for CMT-Based WAAM Processes [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Lettori, J.; Raffaeli, R.; Bilancia, P.; Borsato, M.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing is based on a welding torch usually attached to a robotic arm with multiple degrees of freedom. Robot-based additive manufacturing allows non-planar and non-uniform thickness layers to be deposited where the slices have non-constant thickness. Thus, in addition to the motion settings, fine regulations of the welding parameters become necessary to obtain variable bead heights in the same slice. This paper aims to evaluate the user-accessible welding parameters’ influence on the deposited material’s dimensions during continuous Cold Metal Transfer (CMT) and its variant named CMT Cycle Step. In particular, the height and width of beads are investigated by varying the travel speed and the wire-feed rate (continuous CMT), as well as the size of the droplets by varying the number of CMT cycles and the wire-feed rate (CMT Cycle Step). In particular, the characterization of the material deposited during the CMT Cycle Step is not deeply studied in the literature. The experimental specimens are measured and the obtained values are numerically processed to yield empirical formulas that link the dimensions of the deposited material with the selected process parameters. The results show that CMT Cycle Step is more stable than continuous CMT, which confirms its higher suitability for accurate manufacturing.


2024 - Human-Centric Design of Automated Production Lines Using Virtual Reality Tools and Human Data Analysis [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Grandi, F.; Khamaisi, R. K.; Morganti, A.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

The 4.0 revolution is leading to increasingly automated, flexible, and intelligent manufacturing systems that require greater complexity to manage during maintenance and process control. In this context the optimization of the human-machine interaction plays a crucial important role in the design of modern industrial systems. Virtual Reality (VR) offers realistic simulation environments where users can be involved to replicate specific human tasks, detecting and solving problems before they occur. The paper proposes a human-centric digital design methodology that integrates VR technologies with human data analysis tools to support the design or redesign of complex industrial systems. Different wearable devices have been used to collect data about physical and mental user conditions to provide an early assessment of the operators’ workload, while comparing different design solutions into the virtual space. An industrial use case related to the redesign of packaging automated machines was used to validate the proposed method and tools: a preliminary correlation between physiological parameters and machines interactions was found.


2024 - Implementation and virtual assessment of a non-uniform cylindrical slicing algorithm for robot-based additive manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Lettori, J.; Raffaeli, R.; Borsato, M.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Robot-based additive manufacturing (RBAM) is an additive manufacturing (AM) technology powered by robotic manipulators. The material is deposited from a nozzle onto an initial surface, adding successive layers on top of each other and pouring it along multiple directions (multiaxial deposition) thanks to the dexterity of robots, often of the anthropomorphic type. Furthermore, it is possible to manufacture layers of non-uniform thickness, thus obtaining non-parallel and non-planar layers. In particular, RBAM can be implemented to realize revolved parts with protruding portions. Cylindrical or conical slicing algorithms have been devised to process the sub-volumes, reducing the number of layers and the need for support structures. In this context, the paper presents a novel algorithm for non-uniform cylindrical slicing that processes sub-volumes connected to a cylindrical shape. The specific contribution of the work is an algorithm that moves from a curved slicing to increase the adhesion between the central body and the first layer, and it relaxes the curvature in the subsequent layers, arriving, if possible, at a planar slicing. The algorithm considers robots' intrinsic constraints on movements. Planar paths are better approximated than non-planar ones since they prevent the robot from constantly changing the nozzle angle, thus increasing the overall quality of the printing. The algorithm is applied to four test cases and compared with other slicing approaches using numeric indices, objectivating its strengths and limits.


2024 - Non-Uniform Planar Slicing for Robot-Based Additive Manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Lettori, J.; Raffaeli, R.; Borsato, M.; Pellicciari, M.; Peruzzini, M.
abstract

Planar slicing algorithms with constant layer thickness are widely implemented for geometry processing in Additive Manufacturing (AM). Since the build direction is fixed, a staircase effect is produced, decreasing the final surface finish. Also, support structures are required for overhanging portions. To overcome such limits, AM is combined with manipulators and working tables with multiple degrees of freedom. This is called Robot-Based Additive Manufacturing (RBAM) and it aims to increase the manufacturing flexibility of traditional printers, enabling the deposition of material in multiple directions. In particular, the deposition direction is changed at each layer requiring non-uniform thickness slicing. The total number of layers, as well as the volume of the support structures and the manufacturing time are reduced, while the surface finish and mechanical performance of the final product are increased. This paper presents an algorithm for non-uniform planar slicing developed in Rhinoceros and Grasshopper. It processes the input geometry and uses parameters to capture manufacturing limits. It mostly targets curved geometries to remove the need for support structures, also increasing the part quality.


2024 - Preliminary Design of an Automatic Palletizing System During the Pre-sales Stage [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Guidetti, E.; Bilancia, P.; Raffaeli, R.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract


2023 - Advanced virtual prototyping of robotic cells using physics-based simulation [Articolo su rivista]
Raffaeli, R.; Neri, F.; Peruzzini, M.; Berselli, G.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Robotic cells are complex mechatronic systems whose final performance is determined by the interaction of the control logics with the mechanical behavior of the process. In this context it is fundamental to develop engineering methods and tools for the virtual prototyping of the cells that emulate both contributions. With such mechatronic digital models, it would be possible to replicate the real behavior of the systems and to optimize the cell productivity, up to building complete digital twins. This paper proposes an engineering method to develop realistic Virtual Prototypes of robotic cells including their geometry, operating logic, performance, and physical behavior. A case study on a robotic cell composed of two anthropomorphic robots for the flexible process of automatic assembly of industrial parts is presented to demonstrate the approach.


2023 - An Approach for Volume Decomposition in Robot-Based Additive Manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Lettori, J.; Raffaeli, R.; Borsato, M.; Pellicciari, M.; Peruzzini, M.
abstract

Robot-Based Additive Manufacturing (RBAM) combines material deposition nozzles and robotic manipulators to increase the flexibility of cartesian/delta Additive Manufacturing (AM) systems. RBAM overcomes the traditional limit given by the planarity of the manufacturing layer and allows variable slice thickness to be realized. Also, RBAM enables the deposition of the material in multiple directions. In this context, volume decomposition algorithms are implemented to split a solid into several sub-volumes. Each sub-volume is sliced according to an optimal direction to perform support-free manufacturing and to avoid tool collisions. A novel algorithm for the volume decomposition of a given input geometry is presented. In particular, it allows several planar separation surfaces to be computed that are used to split a general input shape. The surfaces are defined by analyzing overhangs according to an initial slicing direction. The normal of the surfaces identifies the slicing direction of the related sub-volumes. The algorithm steps are iterated to reach the complete removal of overhangs. The approach is tested in some case studies to evaluate its applicability.


2023 - An integrated methodology for the assessment of stress and mental workload applied on virtual training [Articolo su rivista]
Brunzini, Agnese; Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

The importance of training for operators in industrial contexts is widely highlighted in literature. Virtual Reality (VR) is considered an efficient solution for training, since it provides immersive, realistic, and interactive simulations environments promoting a learn-by-doing approach, far from the risks of the real field. Its efficacy has been demonstrated by several studies, but a proper assessment of the operator’s cognitive response in terms of stress and cognitive load during the use of such technology is still lacking. This paper proposes an integrated methodology for the analysis of user’s cognitive states, suitable for each kind of training in the industrial sector and beyond, fostering the human-centred design and manufacturing perspective. The methodology has been assessed using an industrial case study where virtual training is used for assembly of agricultural vehicles. Experimental results highlighted that, with VR additional supportive information, while operators’ errors drastically decrease, the stress increases for complex tasks, due to the greater amount of information to manage. The proposed protocol allows understanding the operators’ cognitive conditions in order to optimize the VR training application, avoiding operators’ stress, mental overload, and improving performance.


2023 - An Overview of Industrial Robots Control and Programming Approaches [Articolo su rivista]
Bilancia, Pietro; Schmidt, Juliana; Raffaeli, Roberto; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Nowadays, manufacturing plants are required to be flexible to respond quickly to customer demands, adapting production and processes without affecting their efficiency. In this context, Industrial Robots (IRs) are a primary resource for modern factories due to their versatility which allows the execution of flexible, reconfigurable, and zero-defect manufacturing tasks. Even so, the control and programming of the commercially available IRs are limiting factors for their effective implementation, especially for dynamic production environments or when complex applications are required. These issues have stimulated the development of new technologies that support more efficient methods for robot control and programming. The goal of this research is to identify and evaluate the main approaches proposed in scientific papers and by the robotics industry in the last decades. After a critical review of the standard IR control schematic, the paper discusses the available control alternatives and summarizes their characteristics, range of applications, and remaining limitations.


2023 - Path Approximation Strategies for Robot Manufacturing: A Preliminary Experimental Evaluation [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bigliardi, Matteo; Bilancia, Pietro; Raffaeli, Roberto; Peruzzini, Margherita; Berselli, Giovanni; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Industrial Robots (IRs) are increasingly adopted for material subtraction or deposition functions owing to their advantages over machine tools, like cost-effectiveness and versatility. Unfortunately, the development of efficient robot manufacturing processes still faces unsolved issues related to the IRs poor positioning accuracy and to the tool path generation process. Novel engineering methods and tools are needed for CAD based programming of accurate paths and continuous robot motions to obtain the required manufacturing quality and tolerances. Within this context, to achieve smoothness along the tool path formed by linear G-code segments, the IR controllers’ approximation strategies, summarily reported in the manufacturer’s manuals, must be considered. The aim of this paper is to present the preliminary work carried out to identify the approximation algorithms of a Kuka IR when executing linear moves. An experimental study is conducted by varying the controller settings and the maximum translational velocity. The robot behavior has been acquired thanks to the controller tracing function and then processed to yield relations readily employable for the interpretation of G-Code commands and the subsequent generation of proper robot motion instructions. The obtained formulas allow to accurately predict the robot geometric path and kinematics within the corner transition between two linear segments.


2022 - A comprehensive UX index to evaluate industrial tasks from a human-centered perspective [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Khamaisi, R. K.; Grandi, F.; Prati, E.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Recent advances in physiological monitoring devices have supported the diffusion of a human-centric approach also within industrial contexts, where often severe working conditions limit the analysis of the operators’ User eXperience (UX). Several methodologies have been presented to the scientific community to assess the overall UX of workers performing industrial operations. These methodologies have also tried to encompass the diverse aspects of the physiological response (e.g., mental workload, stress conditions and postural overloads). The current study aims to refine a unique and comprehensive UX index to identify the specific causes of the user discomfort in advance and to optimize the overall system design. A full set of non-invasive wearable devices was applied to a virtual reality (VR) simulation while performing manual operations to collect relevant physiological parameters and to finally assess the overall UX. The results demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed index in anticipating the operator's critical conditions by specifying the possible causes of the ergonomic discomfort. Future works will focus on investigating the theoretical foundation of proposed solution and on providing a statistical validation on a larger population.


2022 - A Framework for Hybrid Manufacturing in Robotic Cells [Articolo su rivista]
Lettori, Jacopo; Raffaeli, Roberto; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Compared to other additive technologies, Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) offers high deposition rates, flexibility and a larger build volume as well as reduction of material waste. WAAM can be combined with a subtractive technology in hybrid robotic cells to further increase the application scope, thus producing products with improved surface finish where needed. However, there are some open issues that limit this process. So, the main goal of this paper is to review current research developments and provide a framework aimed at manufacturing parts by hybrid cells. A procedure is defined which moves from the evaluation of the designed shapes, their analysis to identify a proper manufacturing sequence until the elaboration of the instructions for the cell automaton controllers. Main WAAM issues are outlined to identify main research directions, and a test case is presented to highlight the process phases


2022 - A review of geometry representation and processing methods for cartesian and multiaxial robot-based additive manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Lettori, J.; Raffaeli, R.; Bilancia, P.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Nowadays, robot-based additive manufacturing (RBAM) is emerging as a potential solution to increase manufacturing flexibility. Such technology allows to change the orientation of the material deposition unit during printing, making it possible to fabricate complex parts with optimized material distribution. In this context, the representation of parts geometries and their subsequent processing become aspects of primary importance. In particular, part orientation, multiaxial deposition, slicing, and infill strategies must be properly evaluated so as to obtain satisfactory outputs and avoid printing failures. Some advanced features can be found in commercial slicing software (e.g., adaptive slicing, advanced path strategies, and non-planar slicing), although the procedure may result excessively constrained due to the limited number of available options. Several approaches and algorithms have been proposed for each phase and their combination must be determined accurately to achieve the best results. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art works addressing the primary methods for the representation of geometries and the subsequent geometry processing for RBAM. For each category, tools and software found in the literature and commercially available are discussed. Comparison tables are then reported to assist in the selection of the most appropriate approaches. The presented review can be helpful for designers, researchers and practitioners to identify possible future directions and open issues.


2022 - A Systematic Literature Review of User Experience Evaluation Scales for Human-Robot Collaboration [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Prati, Elisa; Borsci, Simone; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

In the last decade, the field of Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC) has received much attention from both research institutions and industries. Robot technologies are in fact deployed in many different areas (e.g., industrial processes, people assistance) to support an effective collaboration between humans and robots. In this transdisciplinary context, User eXperience (UX) has inevitably to be considered to achieve an effective HRC, namely to allow the robots to better respond to the users’ needs and thus improve the interaction quality. The present paper reviews the evaluation scales used in HRC scenarios, focusing on the application context and evaluated aspects. In particular, a systematic review was conducted based on the following questions: (RQ1) which evaluation scales are adopted within the HRI scenario with collaborative tasks?, and (RQ2) how the UX and user satisfaction are assessed?. The records analysis highlighted that the UX aspects are not sufficiently examined in the current HRC design practice, particularly in the industrial field. This is most likely due to a lack of standardized scales. To respond to this recognized need, a set of dimensions to be considered in a new UX evaluation scale were proposed.


2022 - Accurate transmission performance evaluation of servo-mechanisms for robots [Articolo su rivista]
Bilancia, Pietro; Monari, Luca; Raffaeli, Roberto; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract


2022 - Creation of a UX index to design human tasks and workstations [Articolo su rivista]
Grandi, F.; Peruzzini, M.; Cavallaro, S.; Prati, E.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Successful interaction with complex processes, like those in the modern factory, is based on the system’s ability to satisfy the user needs during human tasks, mainly related to performances, physical comfort, usability, accessibility, visibility, and mental workload. However, the ‘real’ user perception is hidden and usually difficult to detect. User eXperience (UX) is a useful concept related to subjective perceptions and responses that result from the interaction with a product, system or process, including users’ emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviors and accomplishments that occur before, during and after use. The paper proposes the creation of a User eXperience Index (UXI) to assess the quality of human-system interaction during job tasks and, consequently, evaluate both process and workstation. The proposed approach has been applied to improve the design of assembly human tasks, using a virtual simulated case study focusing on tractor assembly. Tests with users, with different levels of expertise, allowed us to validate the proposed approach and to optimize the assembly task sequence. Results showed how the proposed UXI can validly objectify the workers’ experience and can be validly used to improve the design of human tasks.


2022 - Design of ergonomic dashboards for tractors and trucks: innovative method and tools [Articolo su rivista]
Grandi, F.; Prati, E.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.; Campanella, C. E.
abstract

Designing highly usable and ergonomic dashboards is fundamental to support users in managing and properly setting complex vehicles, like trains, airplanes, trucks and tractors. Contrarily, control dashboards are usually intrusive, full of controls and not really intuitive or usable. This paper focuses on the design of ergonomic and usable dashboard for specific classes of vehicles, like tractors and trucks. Indeed, trucks and tractors are both vehicles and operating machines, and their control is particularly complex. Indeed, the driver contemporary drives and checks if the machine is working properly. The paper proposes an innovative methodology to design highly usable and compact dashboards inspired by human-centered design and ergonomics principles. The study started by shifting the attention from the machine performance, that is the conventional engineering approach, to the human-system interaction quality, according to a new, transdisciplinary approach. The methodology proposes to combine virtual simulations with human performance analysis to support the design at different stages, from concept generation to detailed design, until testing with users. The methodology uses virtual environments to create digital twins of both driver and controls, making users interact with virtual items and predict the type and nature of interaction. Within virtual scenarios, different configurations of dashboard controls can be easily compared and tested, checking the frequency of use of each control and measuring the achieved human performance related to postural comfort and mental workload. The study adopted the proposed methodology to two industrial use cases focusing on the design of ergonomic dashboards: the former is referred to tractor dashboard and armrest, the latter refers to truck dashboard and seat. Both cases demonstrated that the new methodology allowed improved comfort, higher usability, higher visibility and accessibility, better performance and reduced time for machine control. The study demonstrates how a multidisciplinary user information integration can drive design optimization.


2022 - Digital Technologies to Redesign Automatic Machines with a Human-Centric Approach: Application in Industry [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Khamaisi, Riccardo Karim; Lettori, Jacopo; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Human factors integration is definitely a transdisciplinary and urgent matter in modern factories. Despite the great surge in factory automation in recent years, human-machine interaction is still a crucial aspect and companies need to take care of the workers' wellbeing and performance to enhance the overall system quality and productivity. Nevertheless, ergonomics is poorly considered during the design of complex industrial systems, such as automatic machinery, especially for the lack of practical methodologies and guidelines to promote human factors from the early stages of design or redesign. To overcome this issue, this work proposes a transdisciplinary approach to redesign automatic machinery in compliance with factory ergonomics, using a combination of digital technologies (e.g., digital human simulation, human physiological data monitoring). The paper defines a structure method and related tools to apply a human-centric approach to industrial cases and their validation of a real case, concerning the redesign of a packaging automatic machine. Results show how the proposed approach is useful to detect possible ergonomic issues at the shop floor, identifying in advance risky situations for the operators during operating or maintenance tasks, and leading to an optimized machine able to enhance the workers’ wellbeing and factory productivity at the same time.


2022 - Engineering Method and Tool for the Complete Virtual Commissioning of Robotic Cells [Articolo su rivista]
Raffaeli, Roberto; Bilancia, Pietro; Neri, Federico; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Intelligent robotic manufacturing cells must adapt to ever-varying operating conditions, developing autonomously optimal manufacturing strategies to achieve the best quality and overall productivity. Intelligent and cognitive behaviors are realized by using distributed controllers, in which complex control logics must interact and process a wide variety of input/output signals. In particular, programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and robot controllers must be coordinated and integrated. Then, there is the need to simulate the robotic cells’ behavior for performance verification and optimization by evaluating the effects of both PLC and robot control codes. In this context, this work proposes a method, and its implementation into an integrated tool, to exploit the potential of ABB RobotStudio software as a virtual prototyping platform for robotic cells, in which real robots control codes are executed on a virtual controller and integrated with Beckhoff PLC environment. For this purpose, a PLC Smart Component was conceived as an extension of RobotStudio functionalities to exchange signals with a TwinCAT instance. The new module allows the virtual commissioning of a complete robotic cell to be performed, assessing the control logics effects on the overall productivity. The solution is demonstrated on a robotic assembly cell, showing its feasibility and effectiveness in optimizing the final performance.


2022 - Systematic assessment of simulation software for assembly lines in Industry 4.0 context [Articolo su rivista]
Lettori, Jacopo; Borsato, Milton; Raffaeli, Roberto; Pellicciari, Marcello; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Nowadays, the layout, tasks, and work sequences of assembly lines are designed according to several Design Principles (DPs) related to Industry 4.0 (I4.0). I4.0 is a manufacturing process revolution that includes innovative technologies and new paradigms among systems and operators. A vast collection of simulation software can be used to evaluate I4.0assembly lines. In this context, the paper aims to provide a framework for guiding the assessment of simulation software in the context of I4.0assembly lines. First, process requirements are evaluated and mapped to select DPs, prioritized according to design goals by an analytical hierarchy process. Then, suitable simulation software is selected accordingly, and the virtual model is designed. Finally, the possibility of the software providing meaningful elaborations for the selected DPs is assessed. The framework was applied to a prototypal I4.0assembly line composed of automated logistic systems, cobots, and vision systems to guide the execution of tasks. The assembly line has been modeled in Siemens Process Simulate. The functionalities of this software have been analyzed according to the defined DPs.


2022 - Transdisciplinary Evaluation of Simulation Software for Industry 4.0 Assembly Lines [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Lettori, Jacopo; Borsato, Milton; Raffaeli, Roberto; Pellicciari, Marcello; Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Industry 4.0 is driving the revolution of manufacturing processes by combining innovative technologies and new interaction paradigms among systems and operators. In particular, the layout, tasks and work sequences of assembly lines are designed according to several transdisciplinary Design Principles (DPs), such as process efficiency, product quality, ergonomics, safety and operators’ workload. A large variety of simulation software can be employed for evaluations. However, the related ability to assess multidisciplinary factors must be evaluated. The paper aims to provide a framework for guiding the assessment of simulation software in the context of Industry 4.0 assembly lines. Process requirements are first analyzed and mapped to select DPs, prioritized according to design goals by an analytical hierarchy process. Then, suitable simulation software is determined accordingly, and the virtual model is realized. Finally, the possibility of the software to provide meaningful elaborations for the selected DPs is assessed. The framework has been tested on a prototypal Industry 4.0 assembly line composed of automated logistic systems, cobots and systems to guide the execution of tasks. The line has been modeled in Siemens Process Simulate, analyzing the completeness and appropriateness of the functionalities of this software according to the defined DPs.


2022 - Trends in Human Factors Integration for the Design of Industry 4.0 [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Grandi, F.; Peruzzini, M.; Raffaeli, R.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

The fourth industrial revolution is evolving the machines as well as the abilities of people working in the factories. Human roles and tasks are changing, moving from highly physical tasks to decision-making and high-precision activities, asking for different competencies and creating new types of interactions with machines. This paper reviews the design and engineering methods for the inclusion of human factors in modern companies. Human factor integration (HFI) can play a key role in the design of factories with a great impact on social aspects and global process sustainability. The paper proposes a systematic view of the main tools to design human-centered industrial processes, with a specific focus on manufacturing, and discusses trends to achieve and effective HFI.


2022 - UX assessment strategy to identify potential stressful conditions for workers [Articolo su rivista]
Khamaisi, R. K.; Brunzini, A.; Grandi, F.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

The European Commission defined the new concept of Industry 5.0 meaning a more human-centric, resilient, and sustainable approach for the design of industrial systems and operations. A deep understanding of the work environment and organization is important to start analysing the working conditions and the resulting User eXperience (UX) of the operators. Also, the knowledge about users’ needs and ergonomics is fundamental to optimize the workers’ wellbeing, working conditions, and industrial results. In this context, the paper presents a strategy to effectively assess the UX of workers to promote human-centric vision of manufacturing sites, enhancing the overall sustainability of the modern factories. A set of non-invasive wearable devices is used to monitor human activities and collect physiological parameters, as well as questionnaires to gather subjective self-assessment. This set-up was applied to virtual reality (VR) simulation, replicating heavy duty work sequence tasks that took place in an oil and gas pipes manufacturing site. This approach allowed the identification of possible stressful conditions for the operator, from physical and mental perspectives, which may compromise the performance. This research was funded by the European Community's HORIZON 2020 programme under grant agreement No. 958303 (PENELOPE).


2022 - UX Evaluation of a Tractor Cabin Digital Twin Using Mixed Reality [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Cavallaro, Sara; Prati, Elisa; Grandi, Fabio; Mangia, Giancarlo; Pellicciari, Marcello; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Understanding user experience (UX) is essential to design engaging and attractive products, so nowadays has emerged an increasingly interest in user- centred design approach; in this perspective, digital technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) could help designers and engineers to create a digital prototype through which the user feedback can be considered during the product design stage. This research aims at creating an interactive Digital Twin (DT) using MR to enable a tractor driving simulation and involve real users to carry out an early UX evaluation, with the scope to validate the design of the control dashboard through a transdisciplinary approach. MR combines virtual simulation with real physical hardware devices which the user can interact with and have control through both visual and tactile feedback. The result is a MR simulator that combines virtual contents and physical controls, capable of reproducing a plowing activity close to reality. The principles of UX design was applied to this research for a continuous and dynamic UX evaluation during the project development.


2022 - Virtual Prototyping as a Supporting Tool for the Design of Complex Robotic Cells [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Raffaeli, R.; Neri, F.; Peruzzini, M.; Berselli, G.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

The fourth industrial revolution is characterized by flexible production systems that can respond to the demand for high variability and customization of the product. To maintain the efficiency of the production process, automated and flexible solutions are mandatory. This paper describes an approach to design Virtual Prototypes of robotic cells and support designer in the definition and simulation of the manufacturing system. The identified model is capable of replicating the performance of the cell under different aspects in a holistic manner: geometry, operating logic, performance, and physical behavior. The design approach is demonstrated on a robotic cell composed of two anthropomorphic robots for the flexible process of automatic assembly of mechanical parts. The resulting model proves to be straightforward, accurate and complete.


2021 - A preliminary experimental study on the workers’ workload assessment to design industrial products and processes [Articolo su rivista]
Brunzini, A.; Peruzzini, M.; Grandi, F.; Khamaisi, R. K.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

The human‐centered design (HCD) approach places humans at the center of design in order to improve both products and processes, and to give users an effective, efficient and satisfy-ing interactive experience. In industrial design and engineering, HCD is very useful in helping to achieve the novel Industry 5.0 concept, based on improving workers’ wellbeing by providing prosperity beyond jobs and growth, while respecting the production limits of the planet as recently promoted by the European Commission. In this context, the paper proposes an ergonomic assessment method based on the analysis of the workers’ workload to support the design of industrial products and processes. This allows the simultaneous analysis of the physical and cognitive workload of operators while performing their tasks during their shift. The method uses a minimum set of non‐invasive wearable devices to monitor human activity and physiological parameters, in addition to questionnaires for subjective self‐assessment. The method has been preliminarily tested on a real industrial case in order to demonstrate how it can help companies to support the design of optimized products and processes promoting the workers’ wellbeing.


2021 - A Reference Framework to Combine Model-Based Design and AR to Improve Social Sustainability [Articolo su rivista]
Grandi, Fabio; Khamaisi, Riccardo Karim; Peruzzini, Margherita; Raffaeli, Roberto; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Product and process digitalization is pervading numerous areas in the industry to improve quality and reduce costs. In particular, digital models enable virtual simulations to predict product and process performances, as well as to generate digital contents to improve the general workflow. Digital models can also contain additional contents (e.g., model-based design (MBD)) to provide online and on-time information about process operations and management, as well as to support operator activities. The recent developments in augmented reality (AR) offer new specific interfaces to promote the great diffusion of digital contents into industrial processes, thanks to flexible and robust applications, as well as cost-effective devices. However, the impact of AR applications on sustainability is still poorly explored in research. In this direction, this paper proposed an innovative approach to exploit MBD and introduce AR interfaces in the industry to support human intensive processes. Indeed, in those processes, the human contribution is still crucial to guaranteeing the expected product quality (e.g., quality inspection). The paper also analyzed how this new concept can benefit sustainability and define a set of metrics to assess the positive impact on sustainability, focusing on social aspects.


2021 - A systematic approach for evaluating the adoption of additive manufacturing in the product design process [Articolo su rivista]
Raffaeli, R.; Lettori, J.; Schmidt, J.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies have expanded the possibility of producing unconventional geometries, also increasing the freedom of design. However, in the designer’s everyday work, the decision regarding the adoption of AM for the production of a component is not straightforward. In fact, it is necessary to process much information regarding multiple fields to exploit the maximum potential of additive production. For example, there is a need to evaluate the properties of the printable materials, their compatibility with the specific application, redesign shapes accordingly to AM limits, and conceive unique and complex products. Additionally, procurement and logistics evaluations, as well as overall costs possibly extending to the entire life cycle, are necessary to come to a decision for a new and radical solution. In this context, this paper investigates the complex set of information involved in this process. Indeed, it proposes a framework to support and guide a designer by means of a structured and algorithmic procedure to evaluate the opportunity for the adoption of AM and come to an optimal design. A case study related to an ultralight aircraft part is reported to demonstrate the proposed decision process.


2021 - A training methodology based on virtual reality to promote the learning-by-doing approach [Articolo su rivista]
Grandi, F.; Peruzzini, M.; Cavallaro, S.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Virtual reality (VR) training allows companies to train their workforce thanks to virtually simulated environments, leveraging the skills of people before the system production with the final aim to reduce the downtime of productive equipment and improve the global factory efficiency. However, the use of VR immersive training is still limited in industry due to the lack of structured methodologies to effectively implement these simulations. This paper deals with the application of VR technologies to create virtual training simulations addressing assembly or maintenance tasks. It suggests a methodology to create an interactive virtual space in which operators can perform predefined tasks in a realistic way, having dedicated instructions to support the learn-by-doing, based on key training features (KTFs). This methodology was applied to an industrial case study concerning some specific tractor assembly phases. Results show that operators generally appreciate this new training process, enabling faster and more intuitive learning.


2021 - An Integrated Approach for Motion Law Optimization in Partially Compliant Slider-Crank Mechanisms [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Baggetta, Mario; Bilancia, Pietro; Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni
abstract

Servo-Actuated Mechanisms (SAM) are capable of improving the flexibility and reconfigurability of modern automatic machines. On one hand, as compared to fully mechanical drives, SAM may suffer from non-negligible positioning inaccuracies, whose effect can become unacceptable in case of undesired part deformations during high dynamic motions. On the other hand, it may be the case that parts of the system are purposely designed to provide an highly compliant behaviour, so as to potentially increase the device safety in case of interaction with humans. In both cases, practical strategies to reduce the SAM positioning errors are necessary. As a possible solution to such issue, in this paper, an integrated approach to improve the accuracy of a partially compliant SAM in position-controlled tasks is described. The method exploits a multi-software framework comprising Matlab and RecurDyn, namely a commercial Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) tool that can be used to simulate the motion of systems comprising both rigid and flexible bodies. Starting from an initial, sub-optimal, motion law of the input link, a trajectory optimizer iteratively runs the CAE solver and automatically computes an optimal, compensated, position profile. The obtained results show that the method may represent a useful tool for analyzing/designing partially compliant SAM, whenever analytical models are either too complex or not readily available.


2021 - Benchmark on Human Simulation Tools: A Transdisciplinary Approach [Capitolo/Saggio]
Grandi, Fabio; Cavallaro, Sara; Peruzzini, Margherita; Raffaeli, Roberto; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Nowadays companies have to face a competitive market that requires small volumes with a high level of customisations. In this context, assembly quality and timeliness is crucial. To guarantee flexibility and personalization, manual operations still have a crucial role for a lot of manufacturing sectors, so that workers' conditions and ergonomics are important factors to achieve a better product quality and overall cost reduction. Ergonomics evaluation in manufacturing is a challenging and expensive activity that requires a transdisciplinary approach, to merge technical and social sciences to finally have a consolidated and reliable evaluation. This paper compared two digital human simulations tools offered by Siemens Tecnomatix: Jack and Process Simulate. They were applied on the same industrial case study, concerning the hood assembly of an agricultural machine, comparing results on ergonomics reports and usage time. Results confirmed the advantage of adopting a digital approach to predict the human effort and ergonomic risk related to a series of tasks. At the same time, they showed the major strengths and weaknesses of the two analysed tools and defined how they can be successfully adopted by companies. The paper finally provided guidelines to drive companies in choosing the best tool according to their needs.


2021 - Design of a Test Rig for Tuning and Optimization of High Dynamics Servo-Mechanisms Employed in Manufacturing Automation [Articolo su rivista]
Belloni, Mattia; Bilancia, Pietro; Raffaeli, Roberto; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

The Industry 4.0 framework is pushing the manufacturing systems towards a zero-defect production based on robot technologies. The increasing level of automation in the production lines is raising new challenges for designers that must face the latest requirements in terms of product quality and power consumption. Among the multitude of components of the industrial plants, Servo-Mechanisms (SMs) play a crucial role and govern important performance indices of both robots and automatic machines. During the execution of high dynamics tasks, the SMs performance is influenced by many factors, including motion law, acting load, temperature and degradation. The development of accurate models aiming at predicting and optimizing the SMs behavior may not be practicable without extensive experimental activities. Owing to these considerations, this work introduces a novel test rig for the accurate characterization of industrial SMs. The rig is designed by combining the advantages of the existing prototypes. It is equipped with high precision sensors and an active loading system that enable to test the SM in various working conditions. Also, the rig modularity facilitates the installation of newly commissioned components and the execution of static and dynamic experiments. The paper mainly focuses on the rig mechanical design and components selection criteria.


2021 - Digital twin for smart manufacturing: a review of concepts towards a practical industrial implementation [Articolo su rivista]
Lattanzi, Luca; Raffaeli, Roberto; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Latest trends and developments in digital technologies have enabled a new manufacturing model. Digital systems can monitor, optimize and control processes by creating a virtual copy of the physical world and making decentralized decisions. This paradigm relies on the development of a digital counterpart, the Digital Twin, for each production resource taking part to the whole manufacturing process. Although real applications of Digital Twin may differ in technical and operational details, in the past years, a huge effort has been done in order to identify and define focal functionalities and properties, as well as main challenges for the practical implementation within real factories. This paper is intended to review and analyse principles, ideas and technological solutions of the Digital Twin vision for production processes focusing on the practical industrial implementation. The purpose of this document is therefore to summarize the current state-of-art on Digital Twin concepts, and to draw their up-to-date state for application and deployment in real industrial processes. Finally, future directions for further research are discussed.


2021 - How to include User eXperience in the design of Human-Robot Interaction [Articolo su rivista]
Prati, E.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.; Raffaeli, R.
abstract

In recent years Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC) has become a strategic research field, considering the emergent need for common collaborative execution of manufacturing tasks, shared between humans and robots within the modern factories. However, the majority of the research focuses on the technological aspects and enabling technologies, mainly directing to the robotic side, and usually neglecting the human factors. This work deals with including the needs of the humans interacting with robots in the design in human-robot interaction (HRI). In particular, the paper proposes a user experience (UX)-oriented structured method to investigate the human-robot dialogue to map the interaction with robots during the execution of shared tasks, and to finally elicit the requirements for the design of valuable HRI. The research adopted the proposed method to an industrial case focused on assembly operations supported by collaborative robots and AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles). A multidisciplinary team was created to map the HRI for the specific case with the final aim to define the requirements for the design of the system interfaces. The novelty of the proposed approach is the inclusion of typically interaction design tools focusing in the analysis of the UX into the design of the system components, without merely focusing on the technological issues. Experimental results highlighted the validity of the proposed method to identify the interaction needs and to drive the interface design.


2021 - Supplement editorial [Abstract in Rivista]
Vosniakos, G. C.; Pellicciari, M.; Benardos, P.; Markopoulos, A.
abstract


2021 - Using virtual manufacturing to design human-centric factories: an industrial case [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, M.; Grandi, F.; Cavallaro, S.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Virtual reality (VR) offers a promising set of technologies to digitally simulate industrial processes and interaction between humans and machines. However, the use of immersive VR simulations is still limited in industry due to the uncertainty of benefits in respect with traditional digital tools, and the lack of structured methodologies to effectively implement immersive virtual simulations in practice. This paper deals with the application of VR to create virtual manufacturing simulations with the aim to design assembly lines in compliance with factory ergonomics. It proposes a methodology to allow the virtualization and simulation of assembly tasks using a combination of VR tools by replicating, or rather anticipating, what would happen at the shop floor. The adopted tools are Unity 3D for virtual environment generation, HTC VIVE to immerse the user in the virtual factory layout, Xsens as tracking system, and Leap Motion for gesture recognition. The paper also compares the new VR-based procedure with a more traditional desktop-based digital simulation on industrial cases. Results show that the new methodology is more precise to detect the operator’s comfort angles and more powerful to predict process criticalities and optimize factory layout design. At the same time, it is less sensitive to errors during ergonomic assessment related to the expert’s subjectivity during the analysis.


2021 - Ux in ar-supported industrial human–robot collaborative tasks: A systematic review [Articolo su rivista]
Khamaisi, R. K.; Prati, E.; Peruzzini, M.; Raffaeli, R.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

The fourth industrial revolution is promoting the Operator 4.0 paradigm, originating from a renovated attention towards human factors, growingly involved in the design of modern, human-centered processes. New technologies, such as augmented reality or collaborative robotics are thus increasingly studied and progressively applied to solve the modern operators’ needs. Human-centered design approaches can help to identify user’s needs and functional requirements, solving usability issues, or reducing cognitive or physical stress. The paper reviews the recent literature on augmented reality-supported collaborative robotics from a human-centered perspective. To this end, the study analyzed 21 papers selected after a quality assessment procedure and remarks the poor adoption of user-centered approaches and methodologies to drive the development of human-centered augmented reality applications to promote an efficient collaboration between humans and robots. To remedy this deficiency, the paper ultimately proposes a structured framework driven by User eXperience approaches to design augmented reality interfaces by encompassing previous research works. Future developments are discussed, stimulating fruitful reflections and a decisive standardization process.


2021 - Virtual training for assembly tasks: a framework for the analysis of the cognitive impact on operators [Articolo su rivista]
Brunzini, Agnese; Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

The importance of training for operators in industrial contexts is widely highlighted in literature. Virtual Reality (VR) technology is considered an efficient solution for training, since it provides immersive, realistic, and interactive simulations environments where the operator can learn-by-doing, far from the risks of the real field. Its efficacy has been demonstrated by several studies, but a proper assessment of the operator’s cognitive response in terms of stress and cognitive load, during the use of such technology, is still lacking. This paper proposes a comprehensive methodology for the analysis of user’s cognitive states, suitable for each kind of training in the industrial sector and beyond. Preliminary feasibility analysis refers to virtual training for assembly of agricultural vehicles. The proposed protocol analysis allowed understanding the operators’ loads to optimize the VR training application, considering the mental demand during the training, and thus avoiding stress, mental overload, improving the user performance.


2021 - 30th International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing (FAIM2021) special issue editorial [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Vosniakos, G. -C.; Pellicciari, M.; Benardos, P.; Markopoulos, A.
abstract


2020 - A Multi-disciplinary Assessments Tool for Human-Machine Interaction [Capitolo/Saggio]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste
abstract

Human-centered design is based on the satisfaction of the user needs mainly related to performances, interaction, usability, accessibility, and visibility issues. However, the quality of the interaction process is hidden and usually difficult to detect. The paper proposes a multi-disciplinary assessment tool for the evaluation of the human-machine interaction, based on the collection of physiological data and anthropometrical performance data. Such a method can be used both within on-field tests and virtual simulations, supporting the spread of digital approaches in industry. The methodology allows objectifying how users interact with machine or interface items, thanks to the collection of the users’ performance during task execution, the digitalization of collected data, and the evaluation of users’ physical and mental workload. Such a system has been applied to an industrial case study focusing on agricultural machinery driving and control to support the system re-design in terms of interface features, commands’ location and grouping, and positioning of additional devices.


2020 - A Transdisciplinary digital approach for tractor’s human-centred design [Articolo su rivista]
Grandi, F.; Zanni, L.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.; Campanella, C. E.
abstract

Transdisciplinarity is characterising numerous research areas, in which natural sciences are integrated with technical and social sciences, requiring mixed methodologies for achieving full sustainability. However, there is a lack of engineering methods and design tools able to effectively integrate the analysis of human performance and social impacts with technical issues during product and process design. In this context, digital manufacturing tools and virtual simulation technologies can be validly used to create interactive digital mock-ups where human-system interaction during manufacturing operations can be simulated to support product and process design. The paper proposes a mixed reality (MR) set-up to support human-centred product and process design, where systems and humans interacting with them are monitored and digitalised to easily evaluate the human-machine interaction, with the scope to have feedback for design optimisation. Such an approach is defined as trans disciplinary since it merges technical design issues and human perspectives to design products on the basis of effective human performance, with the goal to early detect design criticalities and improve the overall system design. Industrial use cases have been developed to demonstrate the validity of the proposed approach to support human-centred design of a tractor. Results have demonstrated potential improvements, in terms of time saving for design review and workers’ training, reduction of physical prototypes for design validation, reduction of late design and engineering changes, reduction of ergonomic issues, and global positive impact on time-to-market.


2020 - Additive manufacturing adoption in product design: an overview from literature and industry [Articolo su rivista]
Lettori, Jacopo; Raffaeli, Roberto; Peruzzini, Margherita; Schmidt, Juliana; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract


2020 - Application of Innovative Tools to Design Ergonomic Control Dashboards [Capitolo/Saggio]
Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Campanella, Claudia E.; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Designing highly usable and ergonomic control dashboards is fundamental to support the user in managing and properly setting complex machines, like trains, airplanes, trucks and tractors. Contrarily, control dashboards are usually big, intrusive, full of controls and not really usable for different users. This paper focuses on the re-design of an ergonomic and compact dashboard for tractor control, proposing an innovative methodology in line with human-centered design and ergonomics principles. The study started by shifting the focus from how a machine works to how a task has to be performed and how the user interacts with the machine. It uses virtual simulations and human performance analysis tools to support the concept generation and the detailed design, and to test the new idea with users in the virtual lab. Indeed, within the virtual environment, different configurations of controls can be tested, checking which controls are mostly used and measuring human performance indexes (i.e., postural comfort and mental workload) for each configuration. Virtual mannequins can be used to as “digital twins” to interact with virtual items and to calculate robust comfort indicators during task execution. The study adopted the proposed methodology to an industrial use case to develop a usable and compact armrest for a new tractor platform. The new armrest is smaller than the previous one (-30% in dimensions), more usable (keeping on board only frequent controls, better positioned), and more comfortable (it satisfies 95% of the population size). This new approach could be used also for the design of new products.


2020 - Comparative study of open IoT architectures with TOGAF for industry implementation [Articolo su rivista]
Camatti, Juliane Andressa; Rabelo, Gilmara Machado; Borsato, Milton; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract


2020 - Deep learning-based method for vision-guided robotic grasping of unknown objects [Articolo su rivista]
Bergamini, L.; Sposato, M.; Pellicciari, M.; Peruzzini, M.; Calderara, S.; Schmidt, J.
abstract

Nowadays, robots are heavily used in factories for different tasks, most of them including grasping and manipulation of generic objects in unstructured scenarios. In order to better mimic a human operator involved in a grasping action, where he/she needs to identify the object and detect an optimal grasp by means of visual information, a widely adopted sensing solution is Artificial Vision. Nonetheless, state-of-art applications need long training and fine-tuning for manually build the object's model that is used at run-time during the normal operations, which reduce the overall operational throughput of the robotic system. To overcome such limits, the paper presents a framework based on Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (DCNN) to predict both single and multiple grasp poses for multiple objects all at once, using a single RGB image as input. Thanks to a novel loss function, our framework is trained in an end-to-end fashion and matches state-of-art accuracy with a substantially smaller architecture, which gives unprecedented real-time performances during experimental tests, and makes the application reliable for working on real robots. The system has been implemented using the ROS framework and tested on a Baxter collaborative robot.


2020 - Editorial [Breve Introduzione]
Vosniakos, George-C.; Pellicciari, Marcello; Benardos, Panorios; Markopoulos, Angelos
abstract


2020 - Exploring the potential of Operator 4.0 interface and monitoring [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

In the context of smart factories, where intelligent machines share data and support enhanced functionalities at a factory level, workers are still seen as spectators rather than active players (Hermann, Pentek, & Otto, 2017). Instead, Industry 4.0 represents a great opportunity for workers to become part of the intelligent system; on one hand, operators can generate data to program machines and optimize the process flows, on the other hand they can receive useful information to support their work and cooperate with smart systems (Romero et al., 2016). Diversely from machines, humans are naturally smart, flexible and intelligent, so putting the operators in the digital loop can bring more powerful and efficient factories. The paper aims at defining a theoretical human-centered framework for Operator 4.0, and testing its feasibility and impact on companies, thanks to the integration of human factors in 4.0 computerized industrial contexts. The proposed framework is based on data collection about the workers’ performance, actions and reactions, with the final objective to improve the overall factory performance and organization. Data are used to assess the workers’ ergonomics performance and perceived comfort and to build a proper knowledge about the human asset of the factory, to be integrated with the knowledge derived from machine data collection. The framework is cased on the adoption of an Operator 4.0 monitoring system, which consists of an eye tracking and a wearable biosensor, combined to a proper protocol analysis to interpret data and create a solid knowledge. Virtual prototypes are used to make the workers interact with the digital factory to conveniently simulate the human–machine interaction (HMI) in order to avoid bottlenecks at the shop floor, to optimize the workflows, and to improve the workstations’ design and layout. The study represents a step toward the design of human-centred industrial systems, including human factors in the digital twin. The research approach has been successfully tested on an industrial case study, developed in collaboration with CNH Industrial, for the re-design of assembly workstations.


2020 - Extensive experimental investigation for the optimization of the energy consumption of a high payload industrial robot with open research dataset [Articolo su rivista]
Gadaleta, M.; Berselli, G.; Pellicciari, M.; Grassia, F.
abstract

The optimization of the energy consumption of Industrial Robots (IRs) has been widely investigated. Unfortunately, on the field, the prediction and optimization strategies of IRs energy consumption still lack robustness and accuracy, due to the elevated number of parameters involved and their sensitivity to environmental working conditions. The purpose of this paper is to present, and share with the research community, an extensive experimental campaign that can be useful to validate virtual prototypes computing the energy consumption of robotic cells. The test cell, comprising a high payload IR equipped with multiple sensors and different payloads, is firstly described. The testing procedures are then presented. Experimental results are analyzed providing novel qualitative and quantitative evaluations on the contribution and relevance of different power losses and system operating conditions, clearly depicting the nonlinear relation between the energy consumption and various freely programmable parameters, thus paving the way to optimization strategies. Finally, all the experimental tests data are provided in the form of an open research dataset, along with custom Matlab scripts for plotting graphs and maps presented in this paper. These tests, which are verifiable via the shared dataset, consider the overall measured IR energy consumption (as drawn from the electric network) and highlight that, in some industrially interesting case scenarios, optimization potentials for energy savings of more than 50% are possible.


2020 - Geometrical calibration of a 6-axis robotic arm for high accuracy manufacturing task [Articolo su rivista]
Lattanzi, L.; Cristalli, C.; Massa, D.; Boria, S.; Lepine, P.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Robot geometrical calibration aims at reducing the global positioning accuracy of a robotic arm by correcting the theoretical values of the kinematic parameters. A novel method for the geometrical calibration of robotic arms used in industrial applications is proposed. The proposed approach mainly focuses on the final positional accuracy of the robotic tool center point (TCP) when executing an industrial task rather than on the accurate estimation of the kinematic parameters themselves, as done so far by many calibration methods widely discussed in literature. A real industrial use-case is presented, and the steps of the proposed calibration procedure for the robotic arm are described. Experimental methodology and results for the identification of geometrical parameters are also discussed. A practical validation of the final positional accuracy of the robotic arm (after kinematic calibration) was performed, and experimental results validated the proposed procedure, proving its feasibility and effectiveness in the considered industrial scenario.


2020 - Novel Robotic Cell Architecture for Zero Defect Intelligent Deburring [Articolo su rivista]
Schmidt, Juliana; Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Raffaeli, Roberto; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract


2020 - Transdisciplinary Assessment Matrix to Design Human-Machine Interaction [Capitolo/Saggio]
Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Raffaeli, Roberto; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Designing highly usable and ergonomic control dashboards is fundamental to support the user in managing and properly setting complex machines, like trains, airplanes, trucks and tractors. Contrarily, control dashboards are usually big, intrusive, full of controls and not really usable for different users. This paper focuses on the re-design of an ergonomic and compact dashboard for tractor control, proposing an innovative methodology in line with human-centered design and ergonomics principles. The study started by shifting the focus from how a machine works to how a task has to be performed and how the user interacts with the machine. It uses virtual simulations and human performance analysis tools to support the concept generation and the detailed design, and to test the new idea with users in the virtual lab. Indeed, within the virtual environment, different configurations of controls can be tested, checking which controls are mostly used and measuring human performance indexes (i.e., postural comfort and mental workload) for each configuration. Virtual mannequins can be used to as “digital twins” to interact with virtual items and to calculate robust comfort indicators during task execution. The study adopted the proposed methodology to an industrial use case to develop a usable and compact armrest for a new tractor platform. The new armrest is smaller than the previous one (-30% in dimensions), more usable (keeping on board only frequent controls, better positioned), and more comfortable (it satisfies 95% of the population size). This new approach could be used also for the design of new products.


2019 - A comparative study on computer-integrated set-ups to design human-centred manufacturing systems [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello; Gadaleta, Michele
abstract

Manufacturing ergonomics refers to the application of ergonomic principles and human factors analysis to the design of manufacturing tasks with the final aim to optimize the workers’ wellbeing and guarantee the expected process performance. Traditional design approaches are based on the observation of individual workers performing their jobs, the detection of unnatural postures (e.g., bending, twisting, overextending, rotating), and the definition of late corrective actions according to ergonomic guidelines. Recently, computer-integrated simulations based on virtual prototypes and digital human models (DHMs) can be used to assess manufacturing ergonomics on virtual manikins operating in digital workplaces. Such simulations allow validating different design alternatives and optimizing the workstation design before the creation, and pave the way to a new approach to manufacturing system design. The present paper aims at comparing different computer-integrated set-ups to support the design of human-centred manufacturing workstations. It defines a protocol analysis to support workstation design by analysing both physical and cognitive aspects, and applies the protocol within different digital set-ups. In particular, the study investigates a 2D desktop set-up using standardized DHMs and a 3D immersive mixed reality set-up based on motion capture of real workers’ acting into a mixed environment, comparing them with the traditional approach. An industrial case study focusing on design optimization of a manufacturing workstation in the energy industry is used to test the effectiveness of the two digital set-ups for the definition of re-design actions.


2019 - An automatic procedure based on virtual ergonomic analysis to promote human-centric manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Zanni, Luca; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Today manufacturing enterprises aim not only to deliver high-value, cost-effectively products in a sustainable way, but also to consider the quality of the working environments. The analysis of human factors, which strongly affect time and quality of manufacturing processes, are crucial for satisfying people involved in the manufacturing process and making them safe, preventing diseases, errors and excessive workload. The paper presents a structured procedure to automatically extract data from virtual analysis made by digital manufacturing tools and measure a set of indicators to validly assess manufacturing ergonomics. The research considers the state of the art in manufacturing ergonomics and defines a set of indicators suitable for manufacturing manual operations, focusing on assembly tasks. Furthermore, it defines a methodology to automatically extract data valorising the selected indicators and an application, based on Visual Basic, to generate the specific task list and related assessment. The result is a rapid and objective assessment, independent from the experience of the user, which can be executed during process design. The procedure has been applied to an industrial case study, where the manual assembly of cabin supports on the tractor chassis has been analysed in order to correct the most uncomfortable steps and obtain a more ergonomic process. A decrease of the EAWS score, calculated with the proposed method, allowed to validate the proposed solution, suggesting a redesign of the assembly cycle to improve the working conditions. Such a procedure anticipates the analysis of the workers’ wellbeing during the design stage to support the definition of human-centric manufacturing processes, simplifying and accelerating the assessment activities.


2019 - Design optimisation of cutting parameters for a class of radially-compliant spindles via virtual prototyping tools [Articolo su rivista]
Berselli, G.; Pellicciari, M.; Bigi, G.; Razzoli, R. P.
abstract

Robotic deburring (RD) still requires long and delicate physical tests to tune the process-parameters, thus drastically reducing the robotic cell productivity. Henceforth, engineering methods and tools are needed to optimise the RD application within a virtual environment, replicating the real behaviour of the robot tooling under different process conditions, namely unpredictable variety of burr size/shape and limited accuracy of the robot motions. To this purpose, the spindle compliance, which plays a fundamental role, is unfortunately not evaluated by state-of-the-art simulation tools. The present paper proposes a virtual prototype (VP) of a radially-compliant spindle, suitable to assess and optimise the deburring efficiency in different case scenarios. A multi-body model of the spindle, integrated with the process behavioural model, predicts process forces and optimal deburring parameters, delivering the contour maps of the envisaged deburring error as function of feed rate and tool compliance. An industrial case-study is provided.


2019 - Optimization of the energy consumption of industrial robots for automatic code generation [Articolo su rivista]
Gadaleta, M.; Pellicciari, M.; Berselli, G.
abstract

At present, energy consumption strongly affects the financial payback period of industrial robots, as well as the related manufacturing process sustainability. Henceforth, during both design and manufacturing management stages, it becomes crucial to assess and optimize the overall energy efficiency of a robotic cell by means of digital manufacturing tools. In practice, robotic plant designers and managers should be able to provide accurate decisions also aimed at the energy optimization of the robotic processes. The strong scientific and industrial relevance of the topic has led to the development of many solutions but, unfortunately, state of the art industrial manipulators are equipped with closed controllers, which heavily limit the feasibility and performance of most of the proposed approaches. In light of the aforementioned considerations, the present paper presents a novel simulation tool, seamlessly interfaced with current robot offline programming tools used in industrial practices, which allows to automatically compute energy-optimal motion parameters, thus reducing the robot energy consumption, while also keeping the same productivity and manufacturing quality. The main advantage of this method, as compared to other optimization routines that are not conceived for direct integration with commercial industrial manipulators, is that the computed parameters are the same ones settable in the robot control codes, so that the results can automatically generate ready-to-use energy-optimal robot code. Experimental tests, performed on a KUKA Quantec KR210 R2700 prime industrial robot, have confirmed the effectiveness of the method and engineering tool.


2019 - UNA CONFIGURACIÓN DE REALIDAD VIRTUAL MULTIMODAL PARA EL DISEÑO CENTRADO EN EL SER HUMANO DE ESTACIONES DE TRABAJO INDUSTRIALES [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello; Grandi, Fabio; ORESTE ANDRISANO, Angelo
abstract

Although the so-called Industry 4.0 trend is promoting the increasing automation of processes in the factories of the future, manual activities still play an extremely important role within the factory and human factors greatly affect the process performance. However, the analysis of human- machine interaction and the prediction of human performance in industry are difficult but crucial to have an optimized design of workspaces and interfaces, reducing time and cost of implementation, and avoiding late design changes. This research adopts a multimodal human-centered approach for the analysis of human-machine interaction, and proposes a multimodal experimental set-up for the evaluation of the workers’ experience to support the design of industrial workstations. The set-up combines virtual mock-ups, interaction with both physical and virtual objects, and monitoring sensors to track users and analyze their actions and reactions. It allows creating a multimodal environment able to deepen the interaction between humans and systems or interfaces, to support design activities. Indeed, it has been demonstrated that the analysis of the reactions of the users involved, allows to evaluate the quality of the interaction, identify the critical issues, define corrective actions, and propose guidelines for system design or redesign [1]. The paper describes the application of the proposed set-up on two industrial case studies and reports the main results.


2019 - User experience analysis based on physiological data monitoring and mixed prototyping to support human-centre product design [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello; Campanella, Claudia Elisabetta
abstract

Human-centred design is based on the satisfaction of the user needs mainly related to performances, interaction, comfort, usability, accessibility, and visibility issues. However, the “real” user experience (UX) is hidden and usually difficult to detect. The paper proposes a multimodal system based on the collection of physiological and anthropometrical performance data on field and within a mixed prototyping set-up. The mixed environment makes users interact with virtual and digital items and users’ performance to be capture and digitalized, simulating human-machine interaction, while physiological and anthropometrical data collection allows to objectify the users’ physical and mental workload during task execution. Such a system has been applied to an industrial case study focusing on agricultural machinery driving and control to support the definition of a new cabin and its control board, in terms of seat features, commands’ positioning and grouping, and positioning of additional devices.


2018 - A mixed-reality digital set-up to support design for serviceability [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello; Campanella, Claudia Elisabetta
abstract

Design for serviceability begins with understanding the customer needs related to availability, reliability, accessibility and visibility, and aims at designing optimized systems where maintenance operations are easy and intuitive in order to reduce the time to repair and service costs. However, service actions are difficult to predict in front of a traditional CAD model. In this context, digital manufacturing tools and virtual simulation technologies can be validly used to create mixed digital environments where service tasks can be simulated in advance to support product design and improve maintenance actions. Furthermore, the use of human monitoring sensors can be used to detect the stressful conditions and to optimize the human tasks. The paper proposes a mixed reality (MR) set-up where operators are digitalized and monitored to analyse both physical and cognitive ergonomics. It is useful to predict design criticalities and improve the global system design. An industrial case study has been developed in collaboration with CNH Industrial to demonstrate how the proposed set-up is used for design for serviceability, on the basis of experimental evidence.


2018 - Application of early sustainability assessment to support the design of industrial systems [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Nowadays industrial products require numerous aspects to be integrated and optimized contemporarily and interactively: mechanics, electronics, system control, management of material and information flows, interfaces, human-product interaction, as well as impacts on environment, costs and human factors. As a consequence, the design of industrial products has to combine new advanced functionalities and high performances by limiting production cost as well as environmental and social impacts. It means that the entire industrial system has to be designed looking towards sustainability. While attention to cost and environmental performance is not new, the analysis of social-related aspects is basically unexplored for industrial products. Achieving social sustainability includes forecasting human behaviours, actions and reactions, analysing how human beings interact with objects, tools, devices and interfaces, and assessing their physical and mental workload. The present research proposes an analytical approach to support the design of industrial products by providing an early sustainability assessment of the three aspects of sustainability (environment, cost and people). It adopts a feature-based approach and a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the sustainability of the manufacturing and assembly processes and to support an easy and preventive analysis during product design. The paper presents the application of such method to industrial cases.


2018 - Deep Learning-Based Method for Vision-Guided Robotic Grasping of Unknown Objects [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bergamini, Luca; Sposato, Mario; Peruzzini, Margherita; Vezzani, Roberto; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Collaborative robots must operate safely and efficiently in ever-changing unstructured environments, grasping and manipulating many different objects. Artificial vision has proved to be collaborative robots' ideal sensing technology and it is widely used for identifying the objects to manipulate and for detecting their optimal grasping. One of the main drawbacks of state of the art robotic vision systems is the long training needed for teaching the identification and optimal grasps of each object, which leads to a strong reduction of the robot productivity and overall operating flexibility. To overcome such limit, we propose an engineering method, based on deep learning techniques, for the detection of the robotic grasps of unknown objects in an unstructured environment, which should enable collaborative robots to autonomously generate grasping strategies without the need of training and programming. A novel loss function for the training of the grasp prediction network has been developed and proved to work well also with low resolution 2-D images, then allowing the use of a single, smaller and low cost camera, that can be better integrated in robotic end-effectors. Despite the availability of less information (resolution and depth) a 75% of accuracy has been achieved on the Cornell data set and it is shown that our implementation of the loss function does not suffer of the common problems reported in literature. The system has been implemented using the ROS framework and tested on a Baxter collaborative robot.


2018 - Digital Manufacturing and Virtual Reality for Tractors' Human-Centred Design [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Zanni, Luca; Campanella Claudia, Elisabetta; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Human-centred design is based on the satisfaction of the user needs related to performances, aesthetics, reliability, usability, accessibility and visibility issues, costs, and many other aspects. The combination of all these aspects has been called as “perceived quality”, that is definitely a transdisciplinary topic. However, the “real” perceived quality is usually faithfully assessed only at the end of the design process, while it is very difficult to predict on 3D CAD model. In this context, digital manufacturing tools and virtual simulation technologies can be validly used according to a transdisciplinary approach to create interactive digital mock-ups where the human-system interaction can be simulated and the perceived quality assessed in advance. The paper proposes a mixed reality (MR) set-up where systems and humans interacting with them are digitalized and monitored to easily evaluate the human-machine interaction. It is useful to predict the design criticalities and to improve the global system design. An industrial case study has been developed in collaboration with CNH Industrial to demonstrate how the proposed set-up can be validly used to support human-centred design.


2018 - Guest editorial: focused section on human‑centered robotics [Articolo su rivista]
Devasia, Santosh; Chien Chern Cheah, ·; Pellicciari, Marcello; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Next generation of industrial revolution will be featured with broad applications of intelligent technologies; among those popular ones are intelligent manufacturing and autonomous products like vehicles and robotic systems. In both cases, autonomous operations are at the center of the stage, in which appropriate sensing and perception play critical roles. Indeed, recent advances in sensing and perception technologies have produced exciting new ideas in facilitating autonomous manufacturing and/or robotic vehicular systems. These technologies will potentially evolve with more and more ‘smart functions’ and move manufacturing and robotic systems from single structured operation to sensing/perception-based self-governed yet collaborative multi-system operations. This Focused Section is dedicated to new progresses in modeling, design, control, communication, and implementation of sensing and perception systems for autonomous and/or networked robotics, and intends to provide the state-of-the-art update of research fronts. The Focused Section consists of six research papers covering detection of human motion (Jiang, et al), vision based pose measurement (Zhang, et al,), ream-time object detection and tracking (Benabderrahmane), 3-D map reconstruction (Turan, et al; Landsiedel and Wollherr), and vision based endoscopic capsule robot (Turan, et al).


2018 - How to analyse the workers’ experience in integrated product-process design [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

he analysis of workers’ ergonomics and human factors is assuming a great importance in product and process design for modern industry. However, there is a lack of common references and structured protocols for the assessment of workers’ experience in industrial practices in an effective and predictive way. As a result, designers are poorly supported in the application of digital technologies, which are demonstrating to have a great potential. This ascertainment suggested defining a reference model to analyse the so-called user experience (UX) of workers and a proper technological set-up based on virtual simulations in order to support human-centred product-process design. Indeed, the recent advances in ubiquitous computing, wearable technologies and low-cost connected devices offer a huge amount of new tools for human data monitoring. However, the open issue is selecting the most proper devices for industrial application area in respect with design goals, using virtual simulation and digital manufacturing tools. The research proposed a structured procedure to use existing digital technologies to support product-process design to analyse the workers behaviours and assess the perceived experience for industrial scopes. The paper defined a structured protocol analysis to objectify and measure the workers’ experience with the final aim to support the requirements definition in product-process design by using digital technologies. In particular, the model has been defined for the automotive sector. The paper contribution is the definition of the protocol analysis and the development of a mixed reality (MR) set- up to involve real users’ and to improve the digital models. Such a protocol has been applied to different industrial cases related to product and process design, developed in collaboration with CNH Industrial. The comparison with traditional design procedures highlighted the benefits of adopting virtual mock-up and digital simulation within a MR environment to shorten design time and improve the design overall quality.


2018 - Preface [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.; Bil, C.; Stjepandic, J.; Wognum, N.
abstract


2018 - Transdisciplinary Engineering Methods for Social Innovation of Industry 4.0 [Monografia/Trattato scientifico]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello; Bil, Cees; Stjepandić, Josip; Wognum, Nel
abstract

The concept of concurrent engineering (CE) was first developed in the 1980s. Now often referred to as transdiciplinary engineering, it is based on the idea that different phases of a product life cycle should be conducted concurrently and initiated as early as possible within the Product Creation Process (PCP). The main goal of CE is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the PCP and reduce errors in later phases, as well as incorporating considerations – including environmental implications – for the full lifecycle of the product. It has become a substantive methodology in many industries, and has also been adopted in the development of new services and service support. This book presents the proceedings of the 25th ISPE Inc. International Conference on Transdisciplinary Engineering, held in Modena, Italy, in July 2018. This international conference attracts researchers, industry experts, students, and government representatives interested in recent transdisciplinary engineering research, advancements and applications. The book contains 120 peer-reviewed papers, selected from 259 submissions from all continents of the world, ranging from the theoretical and conceptual to papers addressing industrial best practice, and is divided into 11 sections reflecting the themes addressed in the conference program and addressing topics as diverse as industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing; human-centered design; modeling, simulation and virtual design; and knowledge and data management among others. With an overview of the latest research results, product creation processes and related methodologies, this book will be of interest to researchers, design practitioners and educators alike.


2018 - User experience evaluation model for sustainable manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Human factors are fundamental for manufacturing sustainability, which is determined by social, economic and environmental performance. However, there is a lack of engineering methods and tools that are able to integrate their analysis with product and process optimisation according to sustainability principles. The present study proposes an analytical approach to support sustainable manufacturing (SM) by analysing the so-called user experience (UX) of manufacturing and assembly processes starting from the early design stages. Considering both behavioural and cognitive aspects of manufacturing UX and defining a corresponding model, it is possible to estimate the UX impact on manufacturing sustainability for a certain product and its related processes. The proposed method is implemented in a computer-based framework, which can be easily integrated with environmental and cost assessment tools to integrate all three SM aspects. Finally, a case study focused on automated machines is presented; the proposed approach was used to redesign the machine to improve its economic, environmental and human-related impacts. The industrial case study provides concrete evidence of the achievable benefits of applying the proposed model in manufacturing practice. Indeed, the case study demonstrated how the manufacturing and assembly process of a specific machine was optimised by simplifying the product structure, changing the adopted materials and creating more human-centred activities. The new solution is more sustainable due to time savings (−30%), cost reduction (−20%), reduced environmental impact (−25%) and improved UX (+30%).


2017 - A framework to design a human-centred adaptive manufacturing system for aging workers [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

The so-called smart manufacturing systems (SMS) combine smart manufacturing technologies, cyber-physical infrastructures, and data control to realize predictive and adaptive behaviours. In this context, industrial research focused mainly on improving the manufacturing system performance, almost neglecting human factors (HF) and their relation to the production systems. However, in order to create an effective smart factory context, human performance should be included to drive smart system adaptation in efficient and effective way, also by exploiting the linkages between tangible and intangible entities offered by Industry 4.0. Furthermore, modern companies are facing another interesting trend: aging workers. The age of workers is generally growing up and, consequently, the percentage of working 45–64 years old population with different needs, capabilities, and reactions, is increasing. This research focuses on the design of human-centred adaptive manufacturing systems (AMS) for the modern companies, where aging workers are more and more common. In particular, it defines a methodology to design AMS able to adapt to the aging workers’ needs considering their reduced workability, due to both physical and cognitive functional decrease, with the final aim to improve the human-machine interaction and the workers’ wellbeing. The paper finally presents an industrial case study focusing on the woodworking sector, where an existing machine has been re-designed to define a new human-centred AMS. The new machine has been engineered and prototyped by adopting cyber-physical systems (CPS) and pervasive technologies to smartly adapt the machine behaviour to the working conditions and the specific workers’ skills, tasks, and cognitive-physical abilities, with the final aim to support aging workers. The achieved benefits were expressed in terms of system usability, focusing on human-interaction quality.


2017 - A human factors assessment model for sustainable Manufacturing [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Although factories are becoming smarter and more and more automated, thanks to ICT penetration, process performances still highly depend on 'humans in the loop' who have to carry out their tasks by perceiving and understanding increasingly complex multidimensional data sets. Forecasting the human behaviours and assessing how human factors affect the process performance are very difficult but fundamental for strategic decision-making and sustainable manufacturing. In this context, the research highlights the need of predictive methods to design human-centred smart manufacturing systems from the early design stages as an important part of the overall assessment of process sustainability. The paper defines a model to early assess human factors to be integrated with other existing models (i.e., cost estimation and lifecycle assessment) to evaluate manufacturing process sustainability. The proposed integrated method can be fruitfully used to support the design of sustainable manufacturing systems by taking into account also the impact on workers. An industrial case study focusing on packaging machines design is presented to demonstrate the validity of the proposed method and its adoption to propose re-design action promoting sustainability.


2017 - A reference model to analyse User eXperience in integrated product-process design [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

The analysis of human factors is assuming an increasing importance in product and process design and the lack of common references for their assessment in industrial practices had driven to define a reference model to analyse the so-called User eXperience (UX) to support human-centred product-process design. Indeed, the recent advances in ubiquitous computing, wearable technologies and low-cost connected devices offer a huge amount of new tools for UX monitoring, but the main open issue is selecting the most proper devices for the specific application area and properly interpreting the collected information content in respect with the industrial design goals. The research investigates how to analyse the human behaviours of “users” (i.e., workers) by a reference model to assess the perceived experience and a set of proper technologies for UX investigation for industrial scopes. In particular, the model has been defined for the automotive sector. The paper defines a set of evaluation metrics and a structured protocol analysis to objectify and measure the UX with the final aim to support the requirements definition in product-process design. The model has been defined to fit different cases: vehicle drivers at work, workers in the manufacturing line, and service operators


2017 - A Simulation Tool for Computing Energy Optimal Motion Parameters of Industrial Robots [Articolo su rivista]
Gadaleta, Michele; Berselli, Giovanni; Pellicciari, Marcello; Sposato, Mario
abstract

This paper presents a novel robot simulation tool, fully interfaced with a common Robot Offline Programming software (i.e. Delmia Robotics), which allows to automatically compute energy-optimal motion parameters, for a given end-effector path, by tuning the joint speed/acceleration during point-to-point motions whenever allowed by the manufacturing constraints. The main advantage of this method, as compared to other optimization routines that are not conceived for a seamless integration with commercial industrial manipulators, is that the computed parameters are the same required by the robot controls, so that the results can generate ready-to-use energy-optimal robot code.


2017 - A value-oriented methodology for cost-oriented re-engineering in the packaging sector [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Anticipating the analysis of cost and performances before the detailed design stage is difficult, but possible thanks to a synthetic analysis of the manufacturing knowledge, a successful collaboration among the numerous actors involved, and a methodology able to highlight the cost issues and to guide a cost-oriented machine design. This paper presents a methodology integrating Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA), Design To Cost (DTC), and Value Analysis (VA) to support companies in cost-effective machine design and cost-oriented re-engineering. This paper demonstrates the validity of the proposed methodology by an industrial case study focusing on packaging machines, developed in collaboration with a world leader company in tissue packaging machines. Thanks to the proposed approach, the company was able to identify those parts to be re-engineered (e.g., oversized parts, parts with unnecessary tolerances, similar parts to be merged into a unique one, common groups to be reused in similar machines, parts or material substitutions, wrong suppliers' selection) and possible technological improvements. A significant cost optimization and global machine sustainability improvement were achieved on a specific packaging machine line, mainly due to product structure simplification, part reuse, improved design solutions, and optimization of selected manufacturing processes.


2017 - Adaptive Manufacturing: Challenges to the Industrial and Scientific Community [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Pazzi, Luca; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Adaptive manufacturing posesmany challenges to the industrial and scientific community. One of the main interesting issues, still requiring further research efforts, consist in achieving effective modularisation of both control systems and related physical machinery. Modularisation brings evident advantages towards effective and fast reconfiguration of assembly lines, maintaining at the same time high reliability of the single machinery as well as safety and effectiveness of more complex production units. Safety and reliability of either a single device or production cell are however not enough in order to ensure safety of more complex assembly units. Novel methodologies which consider manufacturing at the system level are then required. In general, safety (as well as hazard) is indeed an emergent systemic property and as such requires to be dealt with specific, system oriented, methodologies. Such methodologies allow to obtain control software which is “correct-by-design” and are tightly integrated with design: interestingly, such methodologies may be applied from the intra-device level to single devices, machinery, production units, assembly lines. As complexity increases, it becomes possible to deal with single primary faults within simple mechanical components (for example small engines and actuators) to more complex units, for example production cells and assembly lines, providing increasing levels of failure detection and protection, ranging from primary faults to fail operational and fail safe behaviours.


2017 - An ergonomics study on manual assembly process re-design in manufacturing firms [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Nevertheless process automation is a global trend, some specific phases (i.e., assembly) in highly technological sectors (i.e., medical, pharmaceutical, diagnostics, dental) are still managed by human workers, due to high-precision tasks and low production volumes. In this context, operators are forced to work faster and adapt to not ergonomically workstations and workflows. As a consequence, human assembly is frequently the bottleneck of the entire process due a not ergonomic layout and process design. The study was conducted at a medical equipment manufacturer, leader of dental equipment production, and focused on the analysis of the assembly process of the dental units. Workers at the assembly line were observed by experts and involved also by interviews and focus groups to detect the assembly issues and process jam. The research provides a valuable example of how physical, cognitive and organizational ergonomic problems affect the final process performance and how human-oriented re-design actions can be easily defined according to the proposed analysis procedure.


2017 - An overview of user experience assessment methods and tools in integrated product-process design [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello; Mengoni, Maura
abstract

The analysis of user experience (UX) is based on the combined investigation of the individual perceptions, the perceived comfort factors, as well as the human factors. Such experience cannot be objective- ly measured, but requires a variety of ways to capture the user-related knowledge and to define a set of expe- rience-based descriptions to elicit the non-measurable, intangible conditions. UX analysis is helpful to both support interaction as well as to prevent and reduce human errors, with consequent advantages for product quality, company productivity, and users’ wellbeing and safety. Traditionally, UX is fully analyzed on physi- cal prototypes, where the physical and mental workload could be tested and measured by involving sample users. Nevertheless, building physical prototypes increases development cycle times and costs, and provides a late assessment. On the other hand, virtual prototyping can anticipate numerous design issues, but hardly inte- grate the analysis of human factors. Thus, there is a strong need for integrating UX monitoring in the design and verification stages of industrial products and processes by coupling advanced simulation techniques and user monitoring tools. This paper explores how to assess UX during product and process design by digital manufacturing tools. It provides an overview of the scientific state of art on the most common methods and tools to support the human-centered design and presents the results of a survey on more than 100 scientific and industrial papers on international journals and relevant conferences, focusing on the existing methods, tools and applications on the UX assessment to be used in product and process design by researchers and companies. The research also identifies the milestone references to support the UX assessment within indus- trial practices, also including ubiquitous computing, wearable technologies and low-cost connected devices, and points out the main open issues.


2017 - Analysis of the Energy Consumption of a Novel DC Power Supplied Industrial Robot [Articolo su rivista]
Grebers, R.; Gadaleta, M.; Paugurs, A.; Senfelds, A.; Avotins, A.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

The energy consumption and electrical characteristics of a novel direct current (DC) power supplied industrial robot prototype are compared and analyzed with a state of the art alternating current (AC) supplied industrial robot. An extensive set of experiments shows an important reduction of the total energy consumption for different electrical power profiles measured in various robot trajectories with specific working temperatures. The recuperated energy is also analyzed in the different scenarios. Experimental results show that a DC type robot can be up to 12.5% more energy-efficient than an equivalent AC type robot.


2017 - Benchmarking of Tools for User Experience Analysis in Industry 4.0 [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Industry 4.0 paradigm is based on systems communication and cooperation with each other and with humans in real time to improve process performances in terms of productivity, security, energy efficiency, and cost. Although industrial processes are more and more automated, human performance is still the main responsible for product quality and factory productivity. In this context, understanding how workers interact with production systems and how they experience the factory environment is fundamental to properly model the human interaction and optimize the processes. This research investigates the available technologies to monitor the user experience (UX) and defines a set of tools to be applied in the Industry 4.0 scenario to assure the workersâ wellbeing, safety and satisfaction and improve the overall factory performance.


2017 - Editorial to the Special Issue on: Agile Methods for sustainable Manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Sustainability is one of the key requirements for manufacturing industry to be competitive and long term. Despite the numerous attempts towards the creation of sustainable manufacturing systems, there is an urgent need for effective methods to implement sustainable processes in industry. Indeed, sustainable manufacturing pushes companies to consider three complex challenges at the same time: ecological challenge (reducing environmental impact and resource consumption), economical challenge (improving overall process efficiency and reducing global costs), and social challenge (increasing social effectiveness and reducing human-related impact). As a consequence, other than the more conventional firm performance objectives of cost, quality, speed, flexibility and dependability, today there are new requirements for firms to deliver on sustainable objectives.


2017 - Energy-optimal layout design of robotic work cells: Potential assessment on an industrial case study [Articolo su rivista]
Gadaleta, Michele; Berselli, Giovanni; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

This paper presents a new method for optimizing the layout position of several Industrial Robots (IRs) placed within manufacturing work-cells, in order to execute a set of specified tasks with the minimum energy consumption. At first, a mechatronic model of an anthropomorphous IR is developed, by leveraging on the Modelica/Dymola built-in capabilities. The IR sub-system components (namely mechanical structure, actuators, power electronic and control logics) are modeled with the level of detail strictly necessary for an accurate prediction of the system power consumption, while assuring efficient computational efforts. Secondly, once each IR task is assigned, the optimal work-cell layout is computed by using proper optimization techniques, which numerically retrieve the IR base position corresponding to the minimum energy consumption. As an output to this second development stage, a set of color/contour maps is provided, that depicts both energy demand and time required for the task completion as function of the robot position in the cell to support the designer in the development of an energy-efficient layout. At last, two robotic manufacturing work-cells are set-up within the Delmia Robotics environment, in order to provide a benchmark case study for the evaluation of any energy saving potential. Numerical results confirm possible savings up to 20% with respect to state-of-the-art work-cell design practice.


2017 - Engineering methods and tools enabling reconfigurable and adaptive robotic deburring [Capitolo/Saggio]
Berselli, Giovanni; Gadaleta, Michele; Genovesi, Andrea; Pellicciari, Marcello; Peruzzini, Margherita; Razzoli, Roberto
abstract

According to recent researches, it is desirable to extend Industrial Robots (IR) applicability to strategic fields such as heavy and/or fine deburring of customized parts with complex geometry. In fact, from a conceptual point of view, anthropomorphic manipulators could effectively provide an excellent alternative to dedicated machine tools (lathes, milling machines, etc.), by being both flexible (due to their lay-out) and cost efficient (20-50% cost reduction as compared to traditional CNC machining). Nonetheless, in order to successfully enable highquality Robotic Deburring (RD), it is necessary to overcome the intrinsic robot limitations (e.g. reduced structural stiffness, backlash, time-consuming process planning/optimization) by means of suitable design strategies and additional engineering tools. Within this context, the purpose of this paper is to present recent advances in design methods and software platforms for RD effective exploitation. Focusing on offline methods for robot programming, two novel approaches are described. On one hand, practical design guidelines (devised via a DOE method) for optimal IR positioning within the robotic workcell are presented. Secondly, a virtual prototyping technique for simulating a class of passively compliant spindles is introduced, which allows for the offline tuning of the RD process parameters (e.g. feed rate and tool compliance). Both approaches are applied in the design of a robotic workcell for high-accuracy deburring of aerospace turbine blades.


2017 - From the Internet of Things to Cyber-Physical Systems: The Holonic Perspective [Articolo su rivista]
Pazzi, Luca; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

The paper presents a distributed model for implementing Cyber-Physical Systems aimed at controlling physical entities through the Internet of Things. The model tames the inherent complexity of the task by a recursive notion of modularity which makes each module both a controller and a controlled entity. Modules are arranged along part-whole tree-like hierarchies which collectively constitute the system. The behaviour of each module is strictly local since it has visibility only on its controlled modules, but not on the module which controls it. Each behaviour can be thus checked locally at design time against safety and liveness formulas, which still hold when component holons are composed into more complex ones, thus contributing, without the need of additional checks, to the overall safety and liveness of the final system.


2017 - Human-centred design of ergonomic workstations on interactive digital mock-ups [Capitolo/Saggio]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Carassai, Stefano; Pellicciari, Marcello; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste
abstract

Analysis of human-related aspects is fundamental to guarantee workers’ wellbeing, which directly limits errors and risks during task execution, increases productivity, and reduces cost [1]. In this context, virtual prototypes and Digital Human Models (DHMs) can be used to simulate and optimize human performances in advance, before the creation of the real machine, plant or facility. The research defines a human-centred methodology and advanced Virtual Reality (VR) technologies to support the design of ergonomic workstations. The methodology considers both physical and cognitive ergonomics and defines a proper set of metrics to assess human factors. The advanced virtual immersive environment creates highly realistic and interactive simulations where human performance can be anticipated and assessed from the early design stages. Experimentation is carried out on an industrial case study in pipe industry.


2017 - Interactive simulation-based-training tools for manufacturing systems operators: an industrial case study [Articolo su rivista]
Vergnano, Alberto; Berselli, Giovanni; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Industrial process plants are increasingly becoming complex structures with high level of automation. Nonetheless, the final plant productivity and the overall equipment efficiency does not solely depend on an optimized engineering design/installation practice, but also on human operators supervision. In parallel, along with the classic demand to minimize costs and time-to-market during the design phases, issues concerning human safety and failure prevention play a crucial role, one of the highest target being the avoidance of dangerous process states. Within this context, Simulation-Based-Training (SBT) allows plant operators to learn how to command complex automated machineries within a secure virtual environment. Similar to its usage in medical, aerospace, naval and military fields, SBT for manufacturing systems can be employed in order to involve the user within a realistic scenario, thus providing an effective, lifelike, interactive training experience under the supervision of experienced personnel. In addition, also according to previous literature, industry-driven SBT may be effectively envisaged as a natural extension of the plant life-cycle simulation practice, comprising Design Simulation & Optimization, Virtual Commissioning, Operator Training, up to Plant Maintenance. In this context, since the overall system behavior depends both on manufacturing process dynamics and Control Logics, the main challenge for an effective SBT is related with the development of a real-time environment where control system responsiveness is fully reproduced. Owing to this consideration, this paper reports a successful industrial case study, concerning a novel SBT workbench used for steel plants operator training, discussing both the virtual prototyping phase and the development of a real-time simulation architecture. In particular, a hybrid process simulation is employed, where a virtual process model is coupled with physical PLC and Human–Machine Interface, thus achieving an accurate reproduction of the real plant/operator interaction.


2017 - Parametric virtual concepts in the early design of mechanical systems: a case study application [Articolo su rivista]
Vergnano, Alberto; Berselli, Giovanni; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Virtual prototyping enables the validation and optimization of mechanical devices similar to physical testing, saving time and costs in the product development, especially in case of heavy machines with complex motions. However, virtual prototyping is usually deployed only at the end of the design process, when the product architecture has already been developed. The present paper discusses the introduction of virtual prototypes since the conceptual design stage as “Virtual Concepts”, in which coarse models of machinery design variants are simulated obtaining useful information, sometimes fundamental to support best design choices. Virtual Concept modeling and preliminary validation, along with its later integration into a Virtual Prototype, are expressly investigated using Multi Body Dynamics software. A verification case study concerning a large vibrating screen is presented, in order to demonstrate that dynamic Virtual Concepts can enable an easier and effective evaluation of the design variants, thus increasing the design process predictability. Finally, current challenges to be solved for the practical adoption of Virtual Concept simulations as an integral part of the industrial design process are critically discussed.


2017 - Preface [Articolo su rivista]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Not available


2017 - The Benefits of Human-centred Design in Industrial Practices: Re-design of Workstations in Pipe Industry [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Carassai, Stefano; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Sustainable Manufacturing (SM) traditionally focused on optimization of environmental and economic aspects, by neglecting the human performance. However, the industrial plant's costs, productivity and process quality highly depend on the individual human performance (e.g., comfort perceived, physical and mental workload, simplicity of actions, personal satisfaction) and how much hazardous positions and uncomfortable tasks finally cost to the company. The present paper defines a human-centred virtual simulation environment to optimize physical ergonomics in workstation design and demonstrates its benefits on an industrial case study in pipe industry. The proposed environment aims at overcoming traditional approaches, where analysis are carried out at the shop-floor when the plant is already created, by providing a virtual environment to easily test and verify different design solutions to optimize physical, cognitive and organizational ergonomics.


2017 - Virtual Maintenance Simulation for Socially Sustainable Serviceability [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello; Campanella, Claudia
abstract

In order to achieve more sustainable development processes, industries need not only to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs, but also to increase the operatorsâ wellbeing to promote social sustainability. In this context, the present research focuses on the definition of a methodology based on human-centred virtual simulation to improve the social sustainability of maintenance tasks by enhancing system design and improving its serviceability. It is based on the operatorsâ involvement and the analysis of their needs from the early design stages on virtual mock-ups. The methodology proposed merges a protocol analysis for human factors assessment and an immersive virtual simulation where immersive serviceability simulations can be used during design phases. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method, an industrial use case has been carried out in collaboration with CNH Industrial.


2016 - A competitive design approach for machine cost optimization: an industrial case study [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

One of the biggest unsolved problems of modern industry is cost optimization of complex machines from the early stages of design. Indeed, it requires a synthetic analysis of manufacturing knowledge and a successful collaboration among the numerous actors involved in cost and performance evaluation. Although some methodologies and different theoretical approaches have been defined, effective implementation is still far from reality due to hard implementation that takes a lot of time and requires a strong collaboration among highly specialized resources with different background and expertise. In such context, this paper presents a methodology integrating Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) principles, Design To Cost (DTC) and Value Analysis (VA) to optimize complex system design from the conceptual stages. It presents an industrial case study focused on cost machine optimization by the application of the proposed approach. In particular, it focused on the re-design of an automated machine for drug management and implemented a set of cost optimization actions, which brought to a 20% global cost saving and a sensible improvement of product sustainability and reliability due to product structure simplification as well as optimization of manufacturing processes.


2016 - A protocol to assess manufacturing ergonomics on immersive virtual environments [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Carassai, Stefano; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Manufacturing Ergonomics refers to the application of ergonomic principles to manufacturing tasks in order to optimize workers’ actions and prevent musculoskeletal disorder (MSD), which has been demonstrated to have a great economic impact on both companies and societies. Traditional approaches are based on the observation of individual workers performing their jobs, the detection of unnatural postures (e.g. bending, twisting, overextending, rotating), and the definition of corrective actions according to ergonomic guidelines. Virtual prototypes and Digital Human Models (DHMs) are recently used to simulate ergonomic performance on virtual manikins operating in digital workplaces and optimize the workstation design before creation. However, actual tools do not allow the evaluation of both physical and cognitive ergonomics, do not include the subjective impressions of workers, and do not consider the workers’ needs and capabilities. The present paper defines a protocol analysis to investigate both functional and cognitive ergonomic performance of workers within an immersive virtual environment, where both aspects of ergonomics are assessed to properly evaluate the quality of human work. An industrial case study is presented, where the protocol is adopted to optimize the design of a workstation for manual operations on pipes for energy industry.


2016 - A signal based approach for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance of a capsule filler machine [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Cormio, Mauro; Costantino, Antonio; Gadaleta, Michele; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

The need to increase manufacturing systems productivity and reduce their downtimes has led researchers to investigate and develop Predictive Maintenance practices. One of the major challenges to cope with Predictive Maintenance is related with the health assessment and analytics (i.e.: diagnostic and prognostic methods): the identification of the incoming faults is difficult and hard to deploy in complex automated machinery operating in real life conditions. At state of the art, established approaches are based on locating specific sensors as near as possible to the potential failure. However, such approach is expensive and often hard to realize due to machine topologies. The present work deals with a fault detection signal based approach, which analyses the vibrations of a complete pharmaceutical capsule filler machine and detects the signature of a fault on a critical stage to build a pattern threshold for Predictive Maintenance. The main novelty and strength of the proposed engineering method is that the detection can be achieved despite the sensor position and in presence of many sources, as it is in real life industrial environments. An industrial case study, on a pharmaceutical capsule filler is presented


2016 - A workcell calibration method for enhancing accuracy in robot machining of aerospace parts [Articolo su rivista]
Leali, Francesco; Vergnano, Alberto; Pini, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni
abstract

Industrial robotics provides high flexibility and reconfigurability supported by a user-friendly programming, but still lacks in accuracy. An effective workcell calibration reduces errors in robot manufacturing and enables robot machining applications. A novel workcell calibration method is embedded in an integrated design framework for an in-depth exploitation of CAD-based simulations and offline programming. The method is composed of two steps: first calibration of the workpiece-independent equipment in the workcell layout and final automated online calibration of workpiece-dependent equipment. The method is finally applied to a changeable robotic workcell for finishing aluminium cast housings for aerospace gear transmissions characterised by complex shapes and by close dimensional and geometrical specifications. Experimental results prove the method effectiveness in enhancing accuracy in robot machining.


2016 - An engineering method for the power flow assessment in servo-actuated automated machinery: Mechatronic modeling and experimental evaluation [Articolo su rivista]
Berselli, Giovanni; Pellicciari, Marcello; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste
abstract

In this paper, an engineering method for the power flow assessment of a position-controlled servomechanism is outlined. The considered system is composed of a permanent magnet synchronous motor coupled to a standard power converter, and directly connected to a slider crank mechanism. After the accurate description of a consistent power flow model, a sequential identification technique is discussed, which allows to determine the dynamic parameters of linkage, electric motor and electronic driver by means of non-invasive experimental measures. The proposed model allows to accurately predict the major sources of power loss within the system.


2016 - Design to Cost of automatic machines: an industrial case study [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Campioli, Tommaso; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

One of the biggest unsolved problems of modern industry is the control of the ratio between cost and performance of complex machines from the early stages of design. Indeed, it requires a synthetic analysis of manufacturing knowledge and a successful collaboration among the numerous actors involved in cost and performance evaluation. Although some methodologies and different theoretical approaches have been defined, effective implementation is still far from reality due to hard implementation that takes a lot of time and requires a strong collaboration among highly specialized resources with different background and expertise. In such context, this paper presents a methodology integrating Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) principles, Design To Cost (DTC) and Value Analysis (VA) to optimize complex system design from the conceptual stages. It presents an industrial case study focused on the re-design of a machine for automated management of drugs, where an interdisciplinary team act to identify cost / performance imbalances and optimize the overall design. The machine re-design brought to a global cost saving of about 20% and a sensible improvement of the global product sustainability and reliability due to product structure simplification, selection of improved design solutions and optimization of some manufacturing processes.


2016 - Early sustainability assessment to design competitive industrial systems [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Nowadays industrial system design has to face a big issue: offering new advanced functionalities, guaranteeing high performances, respecting the competitive pressure, limiting the environmental impact, expanding the company’s market share, being usable and easy to control. In a nutshell, they have to be sustainable in respect with planet, profit and people. In this context, Design for Sustainability (D4S) promotes a sustainable design practice, where all impacts are considered and optimized. However, D4S methods usually focus on one single aspect at a time (e.g. eco-design addresses environmental issues, ergonomics investigates physical human-product interaction, etc.). In practice, industrial systems design requires numerous aspects to be integrated and optimized contemporarily and interactively: mechanics, electronics, system control, management of material and information flows, human-machine interface, human-product interaction, as well as impacts on environment, costs and human factors. The present research proposes an analytical approach for an early sustainability assessment based on a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) considering the three aspects of sustainability (environment, cost and humans) and a feature-based approach, to support their easy and preventive analysis.


2016 - Energy-optimal motions for Servo-Systems: A comparison of spline interpolants and performance indexes using a CAD-based approach [Articolo su rivista]
Berselli, Giovanni; Balugani, Federico; Pellicciari, Marcello; Gadaleta, Michele
abstract

Position-controlled Servo-Systems (SeSs) may be envisaged as a key technology to keep the manufacturing industry at the leading edge. Unfortunately, based on the current state-of-the-art, these mechatronic devices are well performing but intrinsically energy intensive, thus compromising the overall system sustainability. Therefore, traditional design and optimization paradigms, previously focused on productivity and quality improvement, should be critically reviewed so as to introduce energy efficiency as an optimality criterion alongside with the global production rate. In particular, focusing on mono-actuator systems with one degree-of-freedom, among the several design factors that can influence the SeS overall performance, the end-effector motion law can be easily modified without either hardware substitution or further investments. In this context, the purpose of the present paper is twofold. On one side, an effective method for the quick set-up of an energy-predictive CAD-based virtual prototype is discussed. In parallel, an energy comparison of some commonly employed Point-To-Point motions and optimization cost functions is provided. For what concerns the trajectory interpolation scheme, a standard optimization problem based on the aforementioned virtual model is solved by means of either algebraic or trigonometric splines. For what concerns the optimality criterion, either the system energy consumption or the root-means square value of the actuator torque are taken into account. In general, torque-based approaches, which may be preferred since they do not require a full knowledge of the SeS electrical parameters, can be effectively employed only when friction effects are negligible as compared to purely inertial loads. In parallel, cubic algebraic splines outperform other types of trajectories, although losing continuity of the resulting jerk profile.


2016 - Human-driven design-to-cost methodology for industrial cost optimization [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Over the years cost optimization has gained a strategic importance to realize competitive products. However, traditional approaches are no longer efficient in modern highly competitive industrial scenarios, where numerous factors have to be contemporarily considered and optimized. In order to be effective, design has to care about cost along all its phases. This paper presents a methodology that integrates Design-To-Cost (DTC), Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA), Human Factors (HF) and Feature-Based Costing (FBC) to include costs from the early conceptual design stages and properly drive the product design. Thanks to a structured knowledge base and a FBC approach, it predicts both manufacturing and assembly processes from the 3D geometrical models and estimate the global costs, more accurately than existing tools. The research demonstrates the method validity by an industrial case study focusing on cost optimization of packaging machines. Thanks to the proposed method, the main design inefficiencies are easily identified from the early design stages and optimization actions are taken in advanced, in respect to traditional design process. Such actions allowed reducing total industrial costs of 20%, improving machine assemblability and human ergonomics due to structure simplification, part number reduction, and production processes modification, and reducing the time spent for cost estimation (until -60%).


2016 - Improving robotic machining accuracy through experimental error investigation and modular compensation [Articolo su rivista]
Schneider, Ulrich; Drust, Manuel; Ansaloni, Matteo; Lehmann, Christian; Pellicciari, Marcello; Leali, Francesco; Gunnink, Jan Willem; Verl, Alexander
abstract

Machining using industrial robots is currently limited to applications with low geometrical accuracies and soft materials. This paper analyzes the sources of errors in robotic machining and characterizes them in amplitude and frequency. Experiments under different conditions represent a typical set of industrial applications and allow a qualified evaluation. Based on this analysis, a modular approach is proposed to overcome these obstacles, applied both during program generation (offline) and execution (online). Predictive offline compensation of machining errors is achieved by means of an innovative programming system, based on kinematic and dynamic robot models. Real-time adaptive machining error compensation is also provided by sensing the real robot positions with an innovative tracking system and corrective feedback to both the robot and an additional high-dynamic compensation mechanism on piezo-actuator basis.


2016 - Models of impact for sustainable manufacturing [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Design for Sustainability (D4S) and LifeCycle Assessment (LCA) methods usually focus on one single aspect of sustainability at a time (e.g., environmental issues, ergonomics or costs) and are usually applied when the industrial system is already created, so that only corrective actions can be taken. In this context, the present research highlights the need of predictive methods to design sustainable system, able to provide an early holistic assessment from the early conceptual stages, and defines a set of models of impact able to assess all aspects of sustainability (i.e., environmental, economic and social) by proper key performance indicators (KPIs) from the early design stages. An industrial case study is presented to show the application of the proposed models on industrial manufacturing systems and demonstrate their validity in estimating the global impact on sustainability, including also human factors.


2016 - Virtual Prototyping of a Compliant Spindle for Robotic Deburring [Capitolo/Saggio]
Berselli, Giovanni; Pellicciari, Marcello; Bigi, Gabriele; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste
abstract

At the current state-of-the-art, Robotic Deburring (RD) has been successfully adopted in many industrial applications, but it still needs improvements in terms of final quality. In fact, the effectiveness of a RD process is highly influenced by the limited accuracyof the robot motions and by the unpredictable variety of burr size/shape. Tool compliance partially solves the problem, although dedicated engineering design tools are strictly needed, in order to identify those optimized parameters and RD strategies that allow achieving the best quality and cost-effectiveness. In this context, the present paper proposes a CAD-based Virtual Prototype (VP) of a pneumatic compliant spindle, suitable to assess the process efficiency in different case scenarios. The proposed VP is created by integrating a 3D multi-body model of the spindle mechanical structure with the behavioural model of the process forces, as adapted from previous literature. Numerical simulations are provided, concerning the prediction of both cutting forces and surface finishing accuracy.


2015 - AREUS – Innovative Hardware and Software for Sustainable Industrial Robotics [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Avotins, Ansis; Bengtsson, Kristofer; Berselli, Giovanni; Bey, Niki; Lennartson, Bengt; Meike, Davis
abstract

Abstract— Industrial Robotics (IR) may be envisaged as the key technology to keep the manufacturing industry at the leading edge. Unfortunately, at the current state-of-the-art, IR is intrinsically energy intensive, thus compromising factories sustainability in terms of ecological footprint and economic costs. Within this scenario, this paper presents a new framework called AREUS, focusing on eco-design, eco-programming and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of robotized factories. The objective is to overcome current IR energetic limitations by providing a set of integrated technologies and engineering platforms. In particular, novel energy-saving hardware is firstly introduced, which aim at exchanging/storing/recovering energy at factory level. In parallel, innovative engineering methods and software tools for energy-focused simulation are developed, as well as energy-optimal scheduling of multi-robot stations. At last, LCA methods are briefly described, which are capable to assess both environmental and economic costs, linked to the flows of Material, Energy and Waste (MEW). A selected list of industrially-driven demonstration case studies is finally presented, along with future directions of improvement.


2015 - Increasing Position Accuracy and Energy Efficiency of Servo-Actuated Mechanisms [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni; Balugani, Federico; Gadaleta, Michele
abstract

This paper quantitatively reports about a practical method to improve both position accuracy and energy efficiency of Servo-Actuated Mechanisms (SAMs) for automated machinery. The method, which is readily applicable on existing systems, is based on the ”smart programming” of the actuator trajectory, which is optimized in order to lower the electric energy consumption, whenever possible, and to improve position accuracy along those portions of the motion law which are process relevant. Both energy demand and tracking precision are computed by means of a virtual prototype of the system. The optimization problem is tackled via a traditional SequentialQuadratic-Programming algorithm, that varies the position of a series of virtual points subsequently interpolated by means of cubic splines. The optimal trajectory is then implemented on a physical prototype for validation purposes. Experimental data confirm the practical viability of the proposed methodology.


2015 - On Designing Optimal Trajectories for Servo-Actuated Mechanisms: Detailed Virtual Prototyping and Experimental Evaluation [Articolo su rivista]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni; Balugani, Federico
abstract

Programmable servo-actuated mechanisms can enhance the flexibility and the reconfigurability of modern manufacturing systems. Differently from fully mechanical design solutions (such as mechanical cams) and especially in the case of high-dynamic motions, servomechanism performance depends on several interacting factors, namely electric motor and linkage dynamics, controller efficacy, and requested motion law. In particular, point-to-point (PTP) trajectories are usually designed in order to comply with technological constraints, imposed by the required interaction with the handled product, and to maximize some optimality criterion such as, for instance, energy efficiency or limited actuation torques. In this context, the present paper proposes a novel method for designing energy and peak-power optimal PTP motions. A standard optimization problem is solved by means of either cubic or quintic splines. Nonetheless, differently from previous approaches, the optimization cost functions are based on a virtual prototype of the system, which comprises behavioral models of power converter, controller, and electric motor coupled with the mechanical system. Results are then compared with experimental data obtained on a physical prototype. The comparison quantitatively shows that better-behaved PTP trajectories can be designed by including the dynamic contribution of each subsystem component.


2015 - Towards Energy-Optimal Layout Design of Robotic Work Cells [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Gadaleta, Michele; Pellicciari, Marcello; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste
abstract

This paper presents a new method for optimizing the layout position of an Industrial Robot (IR) in order to execute a specified task with the minimum energy consumption. First, using the Modelica language, an IR mechatronic model is developed, focusing on computational efficiency: addressing the power flow from the electrical network, the sub-system components are modeled with the level of detail strictly necessary for an accurate prediction of the power consumption, while assuring efficient computational efforts. Once a robot task is assigned, the optimal layout IR position is calculated using optimization techniques that retrieve the robot base position corresponding to the minimum energy consumption. Additionally, the designer can optimize the overall robotic work cell with the aid of a set of colour/contour maps that depict the energy demand along with the time required for the task completion. Development, simulation and optimization phases are performed in Dymola environment.


2014 - A Novel Engineering Method for the Power Flow Assessment in Servo-Actuated Automated Machinery [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Oliva, Enrico; Berselli, Giovanni; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Multipurpose and programmable servo-actuated mechanisms may be envisaged as the key technology for increasing flexibility and re-configurability of modern automated machinery. Unfortunately, based on the current state-of-the-art, these mechatronic devices are extremely flexible but generally energy intensive, thus compromising the overall system sustainability. Nonetheless, the system power consumption can be partially reduced if energy optimality is introduced as a design goal along with the global production rate. Naturally, as a first step towards the practical implementation of any energy-optimality criterion, the end user should be capable of predicting the system power flow, including the major sources of energy loss. In this context, this paper firstly presents a reliable model of a servo-actuated mechanism accounting for linkage, electric motor and power converter behavior. Then, a novel identification method is discussed, which allows the separate determination of the models parameters by means of non-invasive experimental measures. The method is finally validated by comparing predicted and actual power flows in a simple mechatronic system, which is composed of a slider-crank mechanism directly coupled with a position-controlled permanent magnet synchronous motor.


2014 - An Experimental Assessment of the Thermo-Elastic Response In Acrylic Elastomers And Natural Rubbers For Application On Electroactive Polymer Transducers [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Berselli, Giovanni; R., Vertechy; M., Fontana; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Dielectric Elastomers (DEs) are deformable dielectrics, which are currently used as active materials in mechatronic transducers, such as actuators, sensors and generators. Nonetheless, at the present state of the art, the industrial exploitation of DE-based devices is still hampered by the irregular electro-mechanical behavior of the employed materials, also due to the unpredictable effects of environmental changes in real world applications. In many cases, DE transducers are still developed via trial-and-error procedures rather than through a well-structured design practice, one reason being the lack of experimental data along with reliable constitutive parameters of many potential DE materials. Therefore, in order to provide the practicing engineer with some essential information, an open-access database for DE materials has been recently created and presented in [1]. Following the same direction, this paper addresses the temperature effect on the visco-hyperelastic behavior of two DE candidates, namely a natural rubber (ZRUNEK A1040) and a well-known acrylic elastomer (3M VHB 4905). Measurements are performed on pure shear specimens placed in a climactic chamber. Experimental stress-strain curves are then provided, which makes it possible to predict hyperelasticity, plasticity, viscosity, and Mullins effect as function of the environmental temperature. Properties of these commercial elastomeric membranes are finally entered in the database and made available to the research community.


2014 - Energy Efficient Use of Multirobot Production Lines in the Automotive Industry: Detailed System Modeling and Optimization [Articolo su rivista]
D., Meike; Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni
abstract

This paper quantitatively reports about potential energy savings on robotic assembly lines for the automotive industry. At first, a detailed system model is described, which improves previously published results by explicitly considering both manipulator and electrical drive dynamics. The model closely captures experimental data in terms of actuation torques and servodrive voltages, which are directly used to derive the plant input power. Two practical methods are then evaluated for reducing the overall energy consumption. The methods rely on: 1) implementation of energy-optimal trajectories obtained by means of time scaling, concerning the robots' motion from the last process point to the home positions and 2) reduction of energy consumption by releasing the actuator brakes earlier when the robots are kept stationary. Simulation results, based on the production timing characteristics measured at a real plant, clearly shows that the system energy consumption can be effectively reduced without negative effects on the production rate.


2014 - Hardware in the Loop Simulation-Based Training for Automated Manufacturing Systems Operators [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Vergnano, Alberto; Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni
abstract

Simulation-Based-Training (SBT) allows to train the operators of complex machinery within a safe virtual environment by means of effective lifelike learning experiences. SBT has been efficiently used in medical, aerospace and military fields and it may provide a competitive advantage also for the training of operators in mechatronic plants. In fact, at the current state of the art, human-machine interaction still heavily impacts on the final performances of automated plants. Since the fast-evolving process dynamics of the machinery is controlled and supervised by complex software logics, the main challenge for effective and valid SBT concerns the development of a real-time simulation, where the control system responsiveness is fully reproduced. This paper deals with a novel SBT workbench used for steel plants operator training, discussing the real-time simulation architecture developed for the purpose. Following a hybrid process simulation approach, real-time control Hardware-In-the-Loop technology assures seamless and accurate reproduction of the real plant, also achieving the desired Man-in-the-Loop practice for the operator interaction. A conceptual architecture for a virtual interactive prototype is proposed, including controllers and interfaces for trainer and trainees. A case study on an electric arc furnace is implemented within a Virtual Commissioning tool, analyzing its capabilities and limitations


2014 - Hardware-in-the-Loop Mechatronic Virtual Prototyping of a High-Speed Capsule Filling Machine [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Vergnano, Alberto; Berselli, Giovanni
abstract

In the field of pharmaceutical processing, last generation automatic machines autonomously modify their behavior in order to achieve the best manufacturing quality and productivity despite ever changing process requirements. Mechatronics, as a synergistic integration of electro-mechanical equipment and software control logics, enables such adaptive self-optimizing behaviors. Unfortunately, due to the complex interactions between the different technologies, the final performance of these systems can be effectively validated and optimized only on a physical prototype, with limited possibilities to introduce possible design changes. Therefore, in order to enable validation/optimization of high performance machinery during engineering design stage, a mechatronic Virtual Prototyping (VP) technology is strongly needed. Within this context, the present work discusses a mechatronic VP method based on a Hardware-in-the-Loop, hybrid-process simulation approach, where interactive real-time simulations can effectively assess the real final performance under changing process scenarios. In particular, a case study concerning a high-speed automatic machines for pharmaceutical capsules filling is thoroughly discussed.


2014 - Parametric virtual concept design of heavy machinery: a case study application [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Vergnano, Alberto; Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni
abstract

Virtual prototyping enables the validation and optimization of machinery equivalent to physical testing, saving time and costs in the product development, especially in case of heavy machines with complex motions. However, virtual prototyping is usually deployed only at the end of the design process, when product architecture is already developed. The present paper discusses the introduction of virtual prototypes since conceptual design stage as Virtual Concepts in which coarse models of machinery design variants are simulated obtaining useful information, sometimes fundamental to support best design choices. Virtual Concept modeling and preliminary validation and its later integration to a Virtual Prototype are expressly investigated using Multi Body Dynamics software. A verification case study on a large vibrating screen demonstrates that dynamic Virtual Concepts enable easier and effective evaluations on the design variants and increase the design process predictability.


2013 - A Calibration Method for the Integrated Design of Finishing Robotic Workcells in the Aerospace Industry [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto; Berselli, Giovanni
abstract

Industrial robotics provides high flexibility and reconfigurability, cost effectiveness and user friendly programming for many applications but still lacks in accuracy. An effective workcell calibration reduces the errors in robotic manufacturing and contributes to extend the use of industrial robots to perform high quality finishing of complex parts in the aerospace industry. A novel workcell calibration method is embedded in an integrated design framework for an in-depth exploitation of CAD-based simulation and offline programming. The method is composed of two steps: a first offline calibration of the workpiece-independent elements in the workcell layout and a final automated online calibration of workpiece-dependent elements. The method is finally applied to a robotic workcell for finishing aluminum housings of helicopter gear transmissions, characterized by complex and non-repetitive shapes, and by severe dimensional and geometrical accuracy demands. Experimental results demonstrate enhanced performances of the robotic workcell and improved final quality of the housings.


2013 - A method for reducing the energy consumption of pick-and-place industrial robots [Articolo su rivista]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni; Leali, Francesco; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

The interest in novel methods and tools for opt imizing the energy consumption in robotic systems is currently increasing. From an industrial point of view, it is desirable to develop energy saving strategies also applicable to established manufacturing systems with no need for either hardware substitution or further investments. Within this scenario, the present paper reports a method for reducing the total energy consumption of pick-and-place manipulators for given TCP position profiles. Firstly, electromechanical mod-els of both serial and parallel manipulators are derived. Then, the energy-optimal trajectories are calculated, by means of constant time scaling, starting from pre-scheduled trajectories compatible with the actuation limits. In this manner, the robot work cycle can be energetically optimized also when the TCP position profiles have been already defined on the basis of technological constraints and/or design choices aimed at guarante eing manufacturing process efficacy/robustness. The effectiveness of the proposed procedure is finally evaluated on two simulation case studies.


2013 - An Offline Programming Method for the Robotic Deburring of Aerospace Components [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Berselli, Giovanni; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Deburring of aerospace components is a complex task in case of large single pieces designed and optimized to deliver many mechanical functions. A constant high quality requires accurate 3D surface contouring operations with engineered tool compliance and cutting power. Moreover, aeronautic cast part production is characterized by small lot sizes with high variability of geometries and defects. Despite robots are conceived to provide the necessary flexibility, reconfigurability and efficiency, most robotic workcells are very limited by too long programming and setup times, especially at changeover. The paper reports a design method dealing with the integrated development of process and production system, and analyzes and compares a CAD-based and a digitizer based offline programming strategy. The deburring of gear transmission housings for aerospace applications serves as a severe test field. The strategies are compared by the involved costs and times, learning easiness, production downtimes and machining accuracy. The results show how the reconfigurability of the system together with the exploitation of offline programming tools improves the robotic deburring process.


2013 - Design of fixture systems in automotive manufacturing and assembly [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Ansaloni, Matteo; Bonazzi, Enrico; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni
abstract

Fixture systems have a great importance in modern manufacturing and assembly because of the high number of scenarios in which they are used. Fixture design is a complex task since the system effectiveness depends both on position and type of locators. Several authors deal with the problem of determine the most suitable design for fixture systems but their investigation is commonly limited to the evaluation of the effects due to the locators’ position. In the present work a design method is proposed to evaluate the fixture systems considering also the locators’ type. Since it is possible to model the fixtures as multi-performance systems, the comparison is performed by introducing appropriate sensitivity indexes. The effectiveness of the design method is proved through the application to an automotive case study.


2013 - Machining with industrial robots: the COMET project approach [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
C., Lehmann; Pellicciari, Marcello; M., Drust; J. W., Gunnink
abstract

Machining using industrial robots is currently limited to applications with low geometrical accuracies and soft materials due to weaknesses of the robot structure, insufficient controller performance and the lack of suitable software tools. This paper proposes a modular approach to overcome these obstacles, applied both during program generation (offline) and execution (online). Offline predictive machining errors compensation is achieved by means of an innovative programming system, based on kinematic and dynamic robot models. Realtime adaptive machining error compensation is also provided by sensing the real robot positions with an innovative tracking system and corrective feedback to both the robot and an additional high dynamic compensation mechanism on piezo-actuator basis. Due to the modularity of the approach, an individual setup can be compiled for each actual use-case. Final experimental validation of the components is currently ongoing in multiple robot cells, covering several application areas as aerospace, automotive or mould construction


2013 - On Designing Optimal Trajectories for Servo-Actuated Mechanisms Through Highly Detailed Virtual Prototypes [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni; D., Meike; F., Balugani; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Servo-actuated mechanisms are increasingly substituting fully mechanical drives in order to increase flexibility and reconfigurability of modern automatic machines. The overall servomechanism performance, especially in the case of high-dynamic motions, is the direct consequence of several interacting factors, namely electric motor and linkage dynamics, controller efficacy, and requested motion law. In particular, Point-To-Point (PTP) trajectories are usually designed in order to comply with technological constraints, imposed by the required interaction with the handled product, and to maximize some optimality criterion such as, for instance, energy efficiency or limited actuation torques. In this context, the present paper proposes a novel method for generating either energy-optimal or torque-optimal PTP motions described by piecewise fifth-order polynomials. The optimization cost functions are based on a virtual prototype of the system, which comprises behavioral models of power converter, controller and electric motor coupled with the mechanical system. Results are then compared with experimental data obtained on a physical prototype. The comparison quantitatively shows that better-behaved PTP trajectories can be designed by including the dynamic contribution of each sub-system component.


2013 - Selecting alternatives in the conceptual design phase: an application of Fuzzy-AHP and Pugh’s Controlled Convergence [Articolo su rivista]
Renzi, Cristina; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Berselli, Giovanni
abstract

The selection of conceptual design alternatives is crucial in product development. This is due both to the fact that an iterative process is required to solve the problem and that communication among design team members should be optimized. In addition, several design constraints need to be respected. Although the literature offers several alternative selection methods, to date, only very few are currently being used in industry. A comparison of the various approaches would improve the knowledge transfer between design research and practice, helping practitioners to approach these decision support tools more effectively. This paper proposes a structured comparison of two decision support methods, namely the Fuzzy-Analytic Hierarchy Process and Pugh’s Controlled Convergence. From the literature debate regarding selection methods, four relevant criteria are identified: computational effort, suitability for the early design stages, suitability for group decision making, and ease of application. Finally a sensitivity analysis is proposed to test the robustness of each method. An industrial case study is described regarding an innovative and low-cost solution to increase the duration of heel tips in women’s shoes. The selection of conceptual design alternatives of the heel tip presents complex challenges because of the extremely difficult geometric constraints and demanding design criteria.


2013 - The role of co-simulation in the integrated design of high-dynamics servomechanisms: an experimental evaluation [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni; Ori, Mirko; Leali, Francesco
abstract

This paper reports about the design and modeling process of high performance servo-actuated mechanisms for automatic machines. Besides being a delicate and time consuming process, coupled simulations based on virtual prototyping finally offer the chance to integrate engineering methods proper of control system engineering and mechanical design. In particular, the main target of this work is to investigate how different virtual prototyping approaches, each having increasing level of detail, can contribute to the appropriate prediction of the expected machine performance.These results are then compared with experimental data obtained on a real servomechanism prototype. The comparison quantitatively demonstrate the improvement on torque prediction and position error reduction when detailed models of the controller and the electric motor dynamics are coupled with the mechanical system model.


2012 - Enhancing changeability of automotive Hybrid Reconfigurable Systems in digital environments [Articolo su rivista]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Leali, Francesco; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Pini, Fabio
abstract

Changeability accomplishes the engineering design of competitive sustainable manufacturing systems, considered as industrial products characterized by inherent life cycle. Main drivers for changeability are manufacturing system reconfigurability and hybridization. A Hybrid Reconfigurable System (H-RS) is characterized by the coexistence and cooperation of industrial robots and skilled human workers to perform complex tasks within a common reconfigurable production environment. H-RSs rise use-productivity along their total system life cycle, fostering the evaluation and implementation of feasible and innovative technologies, and increasing the utilization ratio and the multiple use—or re-use—of resources. The paper proposes an engineering method which aims at enhancing changeability in H-RSs through the application of a multi level reconfigurability approach within a digital environment. The method includes the advanced design and modeling of digital devices which embed mechanics, electronics, control logic and software code. Advanced models are exploited to analyze the system performance in the system domain of changes and to realize an effective human training. An industrial case study describes the application of the method to the design of a hybrid reconfigurable workcell for manufacturing and assembly of top class car chassis.


2012 - Hybrid Reconfigurable System design and optimization through virtual prototyping and digital manufacturing tools [Articolo su rivista]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Engineering changeability-oriented and cost-driven approaches are needed by enterprises to design and optimize manufacturing and assembly systems for the demanding production requirements of the present industrial scenario. The integrated design of Reconfigurable Systems addresses tailored flexibility through modularity, integrability of resources, product and process customization, and system convertibility and diagnosability. The cooperation of robot and humans in hybrid environments offers a good trade-off between changeability, high quality and low costs, by exploiting the human dexterity and cognitive proactivity, together with robotic accuracy and performances. Virtual prototyping methods and digital manufacturing solutions are now mature and effective enough to play a strategic role within the hybrid reconfigurable system (H-RS) design and optimization process. The present research work proposes an engineering method to design and optimize H-RSs, by using virtual prototyping and digital manufacturing as a strategic support for the analysis and synthesis of the technical solutions, especially those related to human-robot cooperation. An industrial case study on a hybrid reconfigurable assembly system of a top class car aluminum chassis is finally presented.


2012 - Increasing the Energy Efficiency of Multi-robot Production Lines in the Automotive Industry [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
D., Meike; Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni; Vergnano, Alberto; L., Ribickis
abstract

This paper quantitatively reports bout potential energy savings on robotic assembly lines for the automotive industry. The key aspect of the proposed approach is that both cell production rate and robot hardware limitations are consideredasstrictconstraints,sothatnoplantrevisionis needed. The methodology relies on: a)calculationofenergy- optimal trajectories, by means of time scaling, concerning the robots’ motion from the last process point to the home positions; b)reduction o f the energy consumption vi aearlier release of the actuator brake whentherobotsarekeptstationary. Simulation results arepresented,whicharebasedontheproductiontiming characteristicsmeasuredonarealplant.


2012 - Metodo di progettazione di sistemi di fixture per l’assemblaggio di telai automobilistici mediante analisi di sensibilità [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Ansaloni, Matteo; Berselli, Giovanni; Bonazzi, Enrico; Gherardini, Francesco; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Renzi, Cristina; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

I sistemi di fixture influenzano enormemente i processi di assemblaggio in molti campi della meccanica, in quanto influiscono direttamente sul calcolo della catena di tolleranza. La memoria illustra un metodo di progettazione che permette di comparare e valutare differenti sistemi di fissaggio, considerando sia la posizione che il tipo di locatori. Poiché i sistemi di fixture possono essere considerati dei sistemi multi-prestazionali, il confronto viene eseguito attraverso l’impiego di opportuni indici di sensibilità. Il metodo è stato applicato ad un caso di studio in ambito automotive relativo alla saldatura in continuo di estrusi in allumino, con l’obiettivo di garantire misure di gap con la minore variabilità possibile.


2012 - Modeling and Optimization of Energy Consumption in Cooperative Multi-Robot Systems [Articolo su rivista]
Vergnano, Alberto; C., Thorstensson; B., Lennartson; P., Falkman; Pellicciari, Marcello; Leali, Francesco; S., Biller
abstract

Reduction of energy consumption is important for reaching a sustainable future. This paper presents a novel method for optimizing the energy consumption of robotic manufacturing systems. The method embeds detailed evaluations of robots' energy consumptions into a scheduling model of the overall system. The energy consumption for each operation is modeled and parameterized as function of the operation execution time, and the energy-optimal schedule is derived by solving a mixed-integer nonlinear programming problem. The objective function for the optimization problem is then the total energy consumption for the overall system. A case study of a sample robotic manufacturing system and an experiment on an industrial robot are presented. They show that there exists a real possibility for a significant reduction of the energy consumption in comparison to state-of-the-art scheduling approaches.


2012 - Object-oriented modeling of industrial manipulators with application to energy optimal trajectory scaling [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni; Leali, Francesco; Vergnano, Alberto; B., Lennartson
abstract

The development of safe, energy efficient mechatronic sys-tems is currently changing standard paradigms in the design andcontrol of industrial manipulators. In particular, most optimiza-tion strategies require the improvement or the substitution of dif-ferent system components. On the other hand, from an indus-try point of view, it would be desirable to develop energy savingmethods applicable also to established manufacturing systemsbeing liable of small possibilities for adjustments. Within thisscenario, an engineering method is reported for optimizing theenergy consumption of serial manipulators for a given operation.An object-oriented modeling technique, based on bond graph, isused to derive the robot electromechanical dynamics. The systempower flow is then highlighted and parameterized as a function ofthe total execution times. Finally, a case study is reported show-ing the possibility to reduce the operation energy consumptionwhen allowed by scheduling or manufacturing constraints.


2012 - Selecting alternatives in the conceptual design phase: application of Fuzzy-AHP and Pugh’s controlled convergence [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Renzi, Cristina; Leali, Francesco; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Berselli, Giovanni
abstract

Purpose: Conceptual design and, in particular, selection of conceptual design alternatives are proved to be crucial issues in product development. Selecting alternatives is a complex multicriteria decision making problem and represents a challenging task for engineering designers. Many different methods and techniques have been presented by literature in the last years but just a little use of them is often made by industry, due to several causes. One of them is that more efforts should be spent in presenting clear comparisons between the various approaches from an engineering design point of view. Such problem is tackled by the present paper which proposes the pairwise comparison of two of the most representative and widely used decision support methods. Method: The paper describes, implements and compares within a common framework the Fuzzy-Analytic Hierarchy Process (F-AHP) and the Pugh’s Controlled Convergence (PuCC) methods. A structured analysis of the results obtained by applying them to a common industrial case study is proposed. Four engineering criteria are adopted for their evaluation: complexity of computation, rating of alternatives, compatibility with group decisions making and approach suitability from an early design perspective. Result: The methods are evaluated with respect to a case study focused on the proposal of an innovative and low-cost solution for increasing the duration of heel tips in feminine shoes. The selection of the heel tip conceptual design alternatives presents complex design challenges because of the extremely hard geometric constraints and demanding design criteria. A decision making team is grouped by involving experts from the heels manufacturing industry, designers and manufacturers. Finally a sensitivity analysis is performed to investigate the dependence between the results and the preference weights. Discussion & Conclusion: Conceptual design is part of a heuristic process which requires an iterative approach for searching and manipulating solutions to find new hybrid technical alternatives, and for enhancing the communication within the design team. With respect to such scenario, PuCC seems, without doubts, to be more suitable than F-AHP for selection purposes. Nevertheless, especially for industrial purposes, the latter method has a more analytic form, that makes it proper for a software implementation and, consequently, more useful for engineering applications.


2011 - A Minimal Touch Approach for Optimizing Energy Efficiency inPick-and-Place Manipulators [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni; Leali, Francesco; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

The interest in novel engineering methods andtools for optimizing the energy consumption in robotic systemsis currently increasing. In particular, from an industry pointof view, it is desirable to develop energy saving strategiesapplicable also to established manufacturing systems, beingliable of small possibilities for adjustments.Within this scenario,an engineering method is reported for reducing the totalenergy consumption of pick-and-place manipulators for givenend-effector trajectory. Firstly, an electromechanical model ofparallel/serial manipulators is derived. Then, an energy-optimaltrajectory is calculated, by means of time scaling, starting froma pre-scheduled trajectory performed at maximum speed (i.e.compatible with actuators limitations). A simulation case studyfinally shows the effectiveness of the proposed procedure.


2011 - A novel method for sensitivity analysis and characterization in integrated engineering design [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Ansaloni, Matteo; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Purpose:The present research work aims to analyze and characterize processes in terms of sensitivity of their performances. Robust design techniques, generally adopted for product and process optimization, are not suited for investigating sensitivity. Then a novel approach to such engineering problem needs to be proposed.Method:The developed method integrates and extends to the analysis of manufacturing and technological processes the Performance Sensitivity Distribution (PSD) theory, primarily introduced to provide analytical and geometric description of performance sensitivity for robotic mechanisms.Result:Such novel method, named Specialized PSD, starts from the clarification of the sensitivity analysis problem by defining key parameters, i.e. Design Variables (DVs), Design Parameters (DPs) and Performance Functions (PFs). According to the PSD theory, PF sensitivity is expressed in terms of deviations of DVs and DPs and it is geometrically described by a hyperellipsoid in the n-dimensional space. Sensitivity indexes are then introduced to assess PF variation for different combinations of DVs and DPs deviations. Regression Analysis is adopted to provide the mathematical description of PFs so the PSD theory is finally specialized to be applied in a process sensitivity analysis. Injection molding of a plastic specimen is finally investigated to validate the proposed method.Discussion & Conclusion:This work specialize the PSD theory for manufacturing and technological processes, extending its original field of application thanks to a novel approach to the analytical expression of the PFs. Moreover, when 2 or 3 parameters are considered, sensitivity indexes are graphically represented through tolerance maps of colour, so the method can be easily adopt for integrated design, especially in the early stage of product and process development.


2011 - Design Of Simulation Experiments method for Injection Molding process optimization [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Gherardini, Francesco; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Purpose:Many studies demonstrate that DOE, CAE and optimization tools can be very effective in product and process development, however their integration is still under investigation, hampering the applicability of such engineering methods in Industry. This paper presents a Design Of Simulation Experiments (DOSE) method, developed to determine the optimal set of process parameters (factors) for given product requirements (responses).Method:The method is developed performing an original selection and integration of engineering procedures and techniques based on DOE, CAE and multi-objective optimization, chosen according to the following criteria: ease of application, time-saving and use of reduced resources.Result:The developed method consists of two main steps: a first screening of factors based on a fractional DOE is followed by a systematic experimental plan based on the Response Surface Methodology (RSM), in which only key factors are investigated. A regression model is finally developed to describe the responses as functions of key factors and a multi-objective optimization is proposed to obtain optimal responses by tuning the process factors in their variability range. The DOSE method is finally validated on the design of an injection molded housing for a biomedical application. This thin shell component has dimension 45mmx37mmx16mm, wall thickness from 2mm to 0,5mm and is made of polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), a high performance thermoplastic.Discussion & Conclusion:The design method achieves good responses in terms of dimensional and geometrical requirements (e.g. warpage, shrinkage, sink marks), and improves the shell moldability. The DOSE method can be easily adopted in industrial product/process development to define the optimal process parameters for a better final quality of the products.


2011 - Hyperelastic Modeling of Rubber-Like Photopolymers for Additive Manufacturing Processes [Capitolo/Saggio]
Berselli, Giovanni; Pellicciari, Marcello; R., Vertechy; G., Vassura
abstract

Constituive models of polymers for rapid prototyping


2011 - Integrated Design of Robotic Workcells for High Quality Machining [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Purpose:Robotic workcells provide high flexibility and reconfigurability, cost effectiveness and user friendly programming for many industrial applications but still lack in accuracy, so important fields of application such as mechanical machining are currently covered by very expensive and rigid systems (machining centers). The present work investigates the possibility to extend the use of industrial robots to perform high quality machining.Method:The proposed method is focused on the enhancement of robotic machining accuracy through an integrated design method, based on robotic process simulation and tailored design of mechanical apparatus and software modules for robot control and programming. Advanced techniques for machining strategy validation, automatic robot path generation, workcell calibration, robot code commissioning are concurrently adopted.Result:Integrated design tools are fully exploited to define the system behavior, to simulate the whole process, to propose alternative machining set-ups and quickly generate and test parametric programs. The design method is finally applied to design a robotic workcell family for grinding special austenitic manganese steel casts, characterized by severe working conditions as high tool wear, high cutting forces, high vibrations due to surface hardness and non-repetitive shape variations in geometry and features.Discussion & Conclusion:Experimental results demonstrate enhanced performance of robotic workcells and final quality, due to minimization of tool vibration, increasing of robot stiffness and higher manufacturing flexibility, thanks to the capability of adapting robot paths to workpieces.


2011 - Una metodologia innovativa di progettazione integrata per l'analisi e la caratterizzazione della sensitività delle performance [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Ansaloni, Matteo; Gherardini, Francesco; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Il presente lavoro è volto all’analisi e alla caratterizzazione della sensitività delle performance dei processi tecnologici. Le tradizionali tecniche di Robust Design utilizzate per l’analisi e l’ottimizzazione di processi e prodotti non sono state sviluppate con l’obiettivo dell’analisi della sensitività e, pertanto, presentano alcune carenze applicative. Il presente articolo propone un approccio alternativo che integra, estendendola ai processi tecnologici, la teoria della Performance Sensitivity Distribution (PSD), originariamente proposta nell’ambito dell’analisi dei meccanismi e, in particolare, nell’analisi dei manipolatori. Questo nuovo approccio, denominato specialized PSD, descrive il problema della sensitività delle performance attraverso la definizione di parametri chiave del progetto, suddivisi in Design Variables (DV) e Design Parameters (DP), e la formalizzazione di Performance Functions (PF). In accordo con la teoria PSD, la sensitività delle PF è espressa in funzione delle deviazioni dei DV e dei DP dai relativi valori nominali: essa è geometricamente descritta da un iperellissoide costruito nello spazio delle deviazioni, e valutata attraverso l’introduzione di indici di sensitività. La complessità nell’estensione dell’approccio PSD all’analisi dei processi tecnologici è legata alla necessità di ottenere la descrizione matematica delle PF in funzione dei parametri di progetto. Il metodo proposto, tuttavia, permette di superare tale problematica mediante un approccio legato all’analisi di regressione su dati sperimentali. Una strategia di Design Of Experiments viene applicata allo studio dei processi, così da campionare il comportamento delle PF in funzione della variazione dei parametri di progetto. Un caso di stampaggio ad iniezione di un provino è riportato al fine della validazione del metodo. In un’ottica di progettazione integrata, il metodo proposto si rivela utile per la caratterizzazione delle performance, specialmente nelle prime fasi di sviluppo di prodotto e processo.


2010 - Automazione e Verifica del Processo di Incollaggio in Linee Produttive di Telai per Vetture d’Alta Gamma [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Baldini, Andrea; Bertocchi, Enrico; Giacopini, Matteo; Leali, Francesco; Mantovani, Sara; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Strozzi, Antonio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Sommario. La produzione industriale dei telai auto ha registrato, nel tempo, una grande evoluzione progettuale e tecnologica, spinta dalla necessità di garantire alte prestazioni e comfort elevato, nel rispetto della sicurezza dei passeggeri e della sostenibilità ambientale. Le linee produttive di assemblaggio sono, soprattutto in segmenti di fascia alta, progettate per l‟esecuzione, su telai diversi, di articolati processi ibridi di giunzione, basati, cioè, sull‟adozione di tecnologie di saldatura, rivettatura ed incollaggio. I sistemi che ne derivano sono, dunque, caratterizzati da elevata complessità e richiedono lo sviluppo di dispositivi automatici dedicati e l‟impiego simultaneo di robot industriali e risorse umane. La soluzione di tali problematiche richiede l‟intervento sinergico di vari settori dell‟Ingegneria Meccanica poiché coinvolge competenze metallurgiche, progettuali e tecnologiche. A queste si aggiungono le competenze necessarie alla progettazione di sistemi produttivi ad alta flessibilità che, secondo la visione proposta dagli autori, siano caratterizzati da elevata modularità strutturale ed operativa, parametricità e standardizzazione delle soluzioni progettuali e dei componenti, autonomia esecutiva, e che assicurino una rapida ed efficace riconfigurazione, garantendo, parallelamente, l‟alto livello qualitativo dei prodotti ed il completo controllo dei processi realizzati. Il presente articolo tratta lo sviluppo e la progettazione integrata del modulo robotizzato di incollaggio per linee di assemblaggio ibride di telai in alluminio, svolta in collaborazione con il gruppo ALCOA e con SIR SpA. Successivamente vengono presentati i risultati sperimentali ottenuti dalla verifica strutturale a lap shear e peeling di alcuni provini ricavati da assemblati del tunnel, effettuata secondo normative interne Ferrari SpA. Abstract. In the last years, industrial production of automotive chassis has gained a great evolution in design and technology, spurred by the need to achieve high performance and comfort, while ensuring both the safety of passengers and the environmental sustainability. State-of-the-art assembly lines, especially in top class segments, are designed to employ hybrid junctions on different chassis. Such complex process is based on the simultaneous adoption of welding, riveting and adhesive bonding technologies. The production systems design engages the development of specific automated devices and the cooperation of industrial robots and human resources. The solution of these issues involves the synergic action of various sectors of mechanical engineering, as metallurgy, design, and mechanical technology. Design of high flexibility production systems is another important issue: according to the viewpoint proposed by the authors, such systems are characterized by high structural and operational modularity, by parametric and standard design of solutions and components, by executive autonomy and rapid reconfiguration capability, thus simultaneously ensuring high quality of products and the complete control of processes. The present paper deals with the development and integrated design of the robotic adhesive bonding module in hybrid assembly lines for aluminum chassis, carried out in collaboration with the ALCOA group and SIR SpA. Experimental results are also presented, that refer to lap shear and peeling tests, carried out on specimens extracted from the chassis tunnel, according to Ferrari SpA internal standards.


2010 - Embedding detailed robot energy optimization into high-level scheduling [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Vergnano, Alberto; C., Thorstensson; B., Lennartson; P., Falkman; Pellicciari, Marcello; C., Yuan; S., Biller; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Reduction of energy consumption is important for reaching a sustainable future. This paper presents a novel method for optimizing the energy consumption of robotic manufacturing systems. The method embeds detailed evaluations of robots’ energy consumptions into a scheduling model of the overall system. The energy consumption for each operation is modelled and parameterized as function of the operation execution time, and the energy-optimal schedule is derived by solving a mixed-integer nonlinear programming problem. The objective function for the optimization problem is then the total energy consumption for the overall system. A case study of a sample robotic manufacturing system is presented. It shows that there exists a possibility for a significant reduction of the energy consumption, in comparison to state-of-the-art scheduling approaches.


2010 - Metodi di progettazione integrata di sistemi automatici adattivi [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Faretra, Marco; Gherardini, Francesco; Guerra, Alessandro; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Le prestazioni dei moderni sistemi automatici di assemblaggio derivano sempre più dall’integrazione di apparati meccanici con attuatori programmabili, sensori, sistemi di elaborazione dati e complesse logiche di controllo. La disponibilità di tali tecnologie permette di affrontare nuove sfide tecniche ma comporta una rivoluzione nel modo di concepire meccanismi e macchine. I tradizionali modelli di progettazione, orientati alla definizione per funzioni degli apparati e strutturati con l’intervento sequenziale delle diverse aree di conoscenza dell’ingegneria, non permettono di sfruttare tutte le potenzialità delle diverse tecnologie coinvolte e di progettare comportamenti adattivi. È dunque necessario costruire nuovi metodi di progettazione che consentano di produrre sistemi in grado di interagire con l’ambiente circostante, di adattare autonomamente il proprio comportamento e di massimizzare e/o ottimizzare le prestazioni. Il presente lavoro descrive un metodo per la progettazione integrata di sistemi automatici adattivi attraverso la modellazione e la prototipazione virtuale dei comportamenti. Il metodo segue un approccio sistematico e considera, a diversi livelli di dettaglio, l’evoluzione dinamica dei comportamenti sia tempo-continua che guidata da eventi discreti. L’integrazione delle conoscenze e delle tecnologie in un ambiente virtuale può portare all’evoluzione in nuovi principi risolutivi, alla creazione delle basi di conoscenza su cui sono basate le logiche adattive, ad avanzate strategie di sensorizzazione ed attuazione, all’ottimizzazione complessiva del sistema ed alla compressione dei tempi di sviluppo. Questa memoria riporta infine l’applicazione del metodo proposto nella progettazione di un sistema di assemblaggio automatico.


2010 - Real-time 3D features reconstruction through monocular vision [Articolo su rivista]
A., Liverani; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

A fast and interactive implementation for camera pose registration and 3D point reconstruction over a physical surface is described in this paper. The method (called SRE—Smart Reverse Engineering) extracts from a continuous image streaming, provided by a single camera moving around a real object, a point cloud and the camera’s spatial trajectory. The whole per frame procedure follows three steps: camera calibration, camera registration, bundle adjustment and 3D point calculation. Camera calibration task was performed using a traditionalapproach based on 2-D structured pattern, while the Optical Flow approach and the Lucas-Kanade algorithm was adopted for feature detection and tracking. Camera registration problem was then solved thanks to the Essential Matrix definition. Finally a fast Bundle Adjustment was performed through the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm to achieve the best trade-off between 3D structure and camera variations. Exploiting a PC and a commercial webcam, an experimental validation was done in order to verify precision in 3D data reconstruction and speed. Practical tests helped also to tune up several optimization parameters used to improve efficiency of most CPU time consuming algorithms, like Optical Flow and Bundle Adjustment.The method showed robust results in 3D reconstruction andvery good performance in real-time applications.


2010 - Virtual prototype based method for hybrid reconfigurable assembly systems design in top class automotive industry [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Changeability is mandatory for top class automotive industry to cope with new product development paradigms and demanding market. Hybrid Reconfigurable Assembly Systems (H-RMSs) address a customized flexibility on product families, given by coexistence or cooperation of human workers and robots. Key-issues for the effective design of harmonized hybrid assembly systems are: modularity; integrability of humans, machines and components; customization; convertibility; diagnosability of systems; and smart utilization of robots and skilled workers. Human and robotic tasks need a clear definition and allocation, for an effective enhancing of human dexterity and cognitive proactivity, together with robotic accuracy and strength. Virtual prototyping plays a strategic role within the H-RMS design optimization process, to explore different assembly setting and to interactively train operators but represents a challenging task and needs advanced tools. The present paper deals with the development of a Virtual Prototype based method for H-RMS design in top class automotive industry.


2009 - Artificial vision method for automatic robot code generation in robotic manufacturing for automotive industry [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Manufacturing operations performed by robotic systems in Mechanical Industry needprecision to achieve an high final quality on workpieces which are, generally,characterized by complex geometrical profiles, variable within small batch lots. Eachrobot movement is composed of hundreds of spatial points, calculated with respect toconstrains imposed by tool dimension and envelope. Consequently robot programmingrepresents a time consuming task, to be realized interrupting the system production. Anovel approach to the problem is discussed in the present paper. Artificial visiontechniques are applied to on-line reconstruct the workpiece profile and to calculate atailored tool path. A high resolution vision system moved by a preprogrammed roboticarm catches the workpiece. Images are elaborated and assembled to obtain a single highresolution view of the workpiece and to match the manufacturing features. Tool pathsare finally defined coherently with tool characteristics. The robot code is automaticallygenerated and transmit to the robot controller, ready to be executed. For an effectiveimplementation in Industry of the method developed, a graphic-based softwareapplication was realized. A tailored graphical interface was designed to guide the finaluser along the process and guarantee the best usability. State of the art hardware, visionlibraries and last generate anthropomorphic industrial robots were adopted to test themethod while an high performance engine head was chosen as benchmark forexperimental validation


2009 - Engineering Method for Adaptive Manufacturing System Design [Articolo su rivista]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Adaptive manufacturing systems achieve intelligence and adaptation capabilities through the close interaction between mechanics, electronics, control and software engineering. Mechatronic design of intelligent manufacturing behaviours is of paramount importance for the final performances of complex systems and requires deep integration between mechanical and control engineering. Virtual Commissioning environments offer engineers new opportunities for the design of complex intelligent behaviours and for the enhancement of the performance of adaptive manufacturing systems. This paper discloses a systematic design method focused on interdisciplinary behavioural simulations: Virtual Commissioning tools are used to virtually explore new solution spaces for an effective mechatronic optimization. The results, achieved by applying the method in reengineering a module of an automotive sensor manufacturing line, are finally presented.


2009 - Graphical control interface for dextrous hands in industrial robotics [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Industrial research in robotics is particularly focused in enhancing system flexibility andreconfigurability. Grippers and manipulation end effectors play a key role to achievesuch goals, evolving to complex mechatronic systems, whose capabilities appear as notyet fully exploited. Recent research studies investigate new generations of dextrous endeffectors, designed to emulate human hand architecture and behavior. Such systemsopen the way for innovative solutions in Industry but their use is still limited to researchlab or to service robotics. Despite that, dextrous hands seem to be mature enough to beused in industrial applications, usually more demanding in robustness and lifetimereliability within adverse environments. Thanks to the high number of degrees offreedom and to the advanced control electronics, dextrous hands could accomplishadvanced handling tasks as adaptive compliant assembly and could adopt intelligentbehaviors, sensitive to the operating scenario. To fully exploit the potentialities ofdexterous hands in Industry is necessary to develop specific interfaces to connect suchcomplex devices with anthropomorphic industrial robots. Dextrous hands programmingand control appear as key tasks in order to fully exploit their potentialities andperformances. The present work proposes a novel method, based on graphicalprogramming techniques, to create a clear and usable interface to introduce dextroushands in industrial robotics. The experimental results, obtained connecting a SDH-2(Schunk Dextrous Hand, Schunk GmbH & Co. KG) and a FANUC LR Mate 200iC robot, arefinally discussed.


2009 - Il Tecnopolo Regionale per la Meccanica della Provincia di Modena: strutture, organizzazione, obiettivi [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Il presente articolo descrive la struttura, l’organizzazione e gli obiettivi di ricerca industriale del Tecnopolo regionale per la meccanica della provincia di Modena, contestualizzandolo rispetto al sistema produttivo del territorio. Il Tecnopolo ha come principale finalità quella di rispondere efficacemente ai bisogni delle imprese attraverso la creazione di organi di gestione e di supervisione scientifica che consentano la condivisione delle problematiche di ricerca, la costituzione di gruppi di ricerca trasversali e la definizione di politiche comuni a più enti di ricerca ed il trasferimento tecnologico dall’Accademia all’Industria. Il Tecnopolo modenese persegue, dunque, obiettivi di ricerca che, senza perdere la propria natura scientifica, possano essere condivisi dalle realtà aziendali più intraprendenti ed attente allo sviluppo tecnologico, soprattutto da chi opera nei maggiori settori industriali dell’Emilia Romagna connessi con l’Alta Meccanica: automotive, meccatronica, micro e nanotecnologie, energetica, ICT, design industriale, biomedicale, ceramica. I maggiori ambiti d’azione riguardano la simulazione, la verifica e la simulazione di prodotti e processi industriali, a partire dai sistemi di trasmissione a ingranaggi fino ai motori ad alte prestazioni, dai componenti meccanici strutturali più raffinati ai processi di produzione robotizzati e automatizzati.


2009 - Metodi di visione artificiale in sistemi robotizzati per il settore automotive [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Pellicciari, Marcello; Leali, Francesco; Vergnano, Alberto; Pini, Fabio; Gherardini, Francesco; Faretra, Marco
abstract

Il presente articolo descrive un nuovo approccio di programmazione e guida robot capace di generare, automaticamente e in tempo reale, percorsi di lavorazione ottimizzati in funzione di singoli componenti. Tale metodo è stato validato sperimentalmente applicandolo al processo di sbavatura di una piccola serie di testate per motori a elevate prestazioni. Infatti i moderni sistemi robotizzati di produzione sono spesso impiegati in operazioni complesse su componenti che sono caratterizzati, specialmente nel settore automotive, da profili e geometrie multiformi, che variano radicalmente da un lotto produttivo a un altro e, nel caso di tecnologie che generano bave e difetti superficiali, anche all’interno di uno stesso lotto. Per ottenere l’elevata qualità richiesta dall’Industria, tali sistemi, molto ripetibili ma intrinsecamente poco precisi rispetto ai tradizionali centri CNC, richiedono la definizione di percorsi utensile composti da migliaia di punti e da articolati programmi robot, all’interno dei quali i parametri cinematici, dinamici e di lavoro vengono continuamente modificati. L’impiego di sistemi di guida robot a elevate prestazioni assume, dunque, un’importanza strategica nel processo di generazione del percorso utensile, specialmente all’interno di settori industriali nei quali è ancora largamente diffusa la pratica di generare manualmente, in autoapprendimento, le istruzioni di movimento dei robot e nei quali l’impiego di sistemi di programmazione offline CAD/CAE stenta ancora a trovare vasta applicazione. Di conseguenza, la fase di programmazione robot e il tempo a essa dedicato, rappresenta un aspetto che incide profondamente sulla reale flessibilità e produttività dei sistemi robotizzati.


2009 - Metodi e strumenti di prototipazione virtuale per il progetto e l’ottimizzazione di macchine e sistemi di automazione industriale [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Faretra, Marco; Gherardini, Francesco; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

A seguito della drastica evoluzione del mercato il settore industriale della meccanica ha mostrato l’esigenza di interagire in modo sempre più efficace con il mondo della ricerca e dell’Università, con l’obiettivo primario di sviluppare prodotti e processi produttivi innovativi. Tale andamento si è concretizzato, da parte delle aziende, nell’orientamento al raggiungimento di un’elevata qualità durante tutto il ciclo di sviluppo prodotto/processo e nell’interesse alla (ri)-qualificazione dei propri addetti o all’acquisizione di nuove figure professioni di alto profilo. L’Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, in collaborazione con altri Atenei emiliani e con la Regione Emilia Romagna ha operato con continuità, negli ultimi anni, per favorire e sostenere un efficace processo di trasferimento tecnologico dal mondo della ricerca verso il tessuto imprenditoriale. La costituzione del laboratorio SIMECH per la progettazione integrata e la simulazione, oggi confluito nella più ampia aggregazione INTERMECH, e la presentazione del progetto di creazione di un Polo Tecnologico per la Meccanica Avanzata e la Motoristica, con sede presso il Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica e Civile di Modena, hanno costituito le tappe fondamentali di un’aggregazione orientata al consolidamento delle attività di ricerca di interesse del mondo produttivo e al loro rapido trasferimento industriale. Il presente articolo presenta due delle attività svolte negli ambiti del progetto, con particolare riferimento allo sviluppo di metodi e strumenti di prototipazione virtuale e all’ottimizzazione di macchine e sistemi per l’automazione industriale. Il primo caso presentato tratta lo sviluppo e la progettazione di una linea robotizzata di lavorazione ed assemblaggio di telai automobilistici in alluminio, svolta in collaborazione con SIR S.p.A., azienda leader nell’integrazione di sistemi industriali robotizzati, ed Alcoa Inc., importante gruppo specializzato nella produzione di telai, per conto di un’importante azienda automobilistica modenese. La seconda attività di trasferimento descrive il lavoro svolto in collaborazione con Dassault Systèms Italia nello sviluppo di metodi di progettazione di sistemi meccatronici adattativi di lavorazione basati su tecniche avanzate di Virtual Commissioning, attualmente implementati all’interno di alcuni importanti gruppi aziendali del territorio nazionale.


2008 - Mechatronic design of adaptive manufacturing systems [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Adaptive manufacturing systems achieve intelligence and adaptation capabilities through the close interaction between mechanics, electronics, control and software engineering. Mechatronic design of intelligent manufacturing behaviours is of paramount importance for the final performances of complex systems and requires deep integration between mechanical and control engineering. Virtual Commissioning environments offer engineers new opportunities for the design of complex intelligent behaviours and for the enhancement of the performance of adaptive manufacturing systems. This paper discloses a systematic design method focused on interdisciplinary behavioural simulations: Virtual Commissioning tools are used to virtually explore new solution spaces for an effective mechatronic optimization. The results, achieved by applying the method in reengineering a module of an automotive sensor manufacturing line, are finally presented.


2008 - Metodi di progettazione integrata e simulazione di sottogruppi di macchine alternative [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Barbanti, Giovanni; Pellicciari, Marcello; Leali, Francesco; Faretra, Marco; Gherardini, Francesco; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

I moderni criteri di progettazione dei sistemi meccanici, spesso finalizzati a fronteggiare le elevate prestazioni delle macchine e la drastica riduzione dei costi e dei tempi di consegna, richiedono di considerare ed ottimizzare in tempi ridotti numerosi parametri funzionali all’interno di scenari operativi eterogenei, in cui gli aspetti strutturali, cinematici e dinamici non possono essere valutati indipendentemente. I metodi tradizionali di progettazione spesso affrontano questi aspetti in modo necessariamente approssimato e richiedono onerosi test su prototipi reali per la verifica e la messa a punto del sistema. La prototipazione virtuale utilizza diversi strumenti CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) per realizzare modelli di sistemi meccanici reali che tuttavia vengono ancora prevalentemente utilizzati come strumenti di verifica di sistemi già definiti con tecniche tradizionali. Nel presente lavoro si discute un metodo di progettazione che, pur fondandosi su solide basi di conoscenza tradizionali, permette di identificare con certezza i principali parametri progettuali su cui intervenire ed utilizza estesamente la prototipazione virtuale come strumento di progettazione. Si presenta inoltre la sua applicazione nella progettazione di un sistema per la sperimentazione di una macchina alternativa


2008 - Metodi e strumenti PLM per la progettazione integrata di sistemi meccatronici [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Gherardini, Francesco; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Lo sviluppo di prodotti e sistemi meccatronici implica attività multidisciplinari e concorrenti da svolgere con metodi e strumenti di sviluppo molto diversi tra loro. L’integrazione di tali attività è fondamentale per il raggiungimento degli obiettivi prestazionali ed il successo del prodotto e rappresenta uno dei maggiori problemi da risolvere a livello progettuale. Il trasferimento di conoscenze ed informazioni tra aree di competenza intrinsecamente diverse, da sincronizzare nei relativi processi di sviluppo, risulta il maggior limite da superare ed è spesso la causa principale di ritardi o di prestazioni non completamente ottimizzate. Nuovi ambienti di simulazione comportamentale sull’intero ciclo di vita permettono finalmente di disporre degli strumenti e tecnologie abilitanti per trasferire le reciproche conoscenze tra i diversi gruppi di lavoro e giungere in tempi ridotti ad una reale ottimizzazione dei sistemi. Gli autori hanno effettuato diverse esperienze nella progettazione di sistemi meccatronici nel campo della robotica ed automazione ed hanno ideato specifici metodi e strategie di impiego degli strumenti della piattaforma Delmia, che hanno permesso di sfruttarne le potenzialità raggiungendo vantaggi valutati e comparati rispetto allo stato dell’arte.


2008 - Virtual Prototyping technique applied to the design of a crankmechanism of a process reciprocating compressor [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Faretra, Marco; Pellicciari, Marcello; R., Traversari
abstract

Virtual Prototyping (VP) is a novel computational approach that reproduces a complete mechanism to test it several times, as a scale 1:1 laboratory prototype. VP utilizes various CAE tools, such as 3D modelling, Structural FEA, Multibody Dynamic Analysis (MDA), Multiaxial fatigue analysis, in an integrated way. The VP technique allows considering a realistic stepless loading pattern throughout the complete revolution and determining automatically the fatigue safety factors within the whole machine assembly. This new approach was used to review the design of the crankmechanism of an existing reciprocating compressor. The loads (including inertia forces) were applied to the gudgeon pin and, by means of the MDA, to all the other components


2007 - Design methods for intelligent robotic deburring cells [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Cast iron parts deburring is a complicate and always more demanding task: it requires to realize an accurate 3D surface contouring, to be performed with an adequate tool stiffness and cutting power. At present time, cast iron parts production is characterized by small size lots of components which often have very different geometries. Moreover, it is easy to find that every single part of the same lot is quite different from the others, due to different burrs, varying in size and geometrical shape. Then cast iron parts deburring is a hard task which requires extreme flexibility. For this reason industrial robots seem to be the ideal solution; unfortunately the long time needed for programming the robot and the manufacturing cycle, together with the parts variability and components range reduces heavily the overall manufacturing efficiency and profitability. For this reason, novel intelligent manufacturing methods must be realized and implemented. In the present paper it will be presented the integrated design and development of a new generation of cast iron parts robotic intelligent deburring and the engineering design methods adopted to achieve such results. The deburring of cast iron parts is performed by anthropomorphous robots with the integrated aid of vision systems, custom designed adaptive compliance tools and virtual prototypes of the cell itself, where it is possible to simulate all the different manufacturing tasks and automatically generate the code for the robotic cell numeric control. Using synergically all these tools and technologies it has been finally possible to overcome all the limits and problem of the state of the art. In fact, through the creation of a functional virtual prototype of the cell architecture, linked to different design and simulation environments, all the different operating scenarios can be simulated and all the information and data needed to solve the specific problems obtained. Exploiting synergically the performances of the vision system and the digital prototype it is possible to let the robot to interpret the operating scenario and to adopt proper intelligent behaviours, while, the realization of custom designed adaptive tools improves the cell overall performances. Furthermore, a design method for iron cast robotic deburring will be described.


2007 - Product and Process Robustness Enhancement for a Top Class Automotive Gearshift Tower [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Automotive engineering is a challenging task for modern engineers. Requirements and technical specifications are more and more demanding, especially in relation with high performance and luxury class. Such aspects involve both functional and emotional aspects and pursues total quality, equally in product and manufacturing process. Moreover, a structured concurrent and co-design based engineering approach, involving the whole value chain, is required while cost need to be reduced, time saved and human and industrial resources spared. The present paper deals with the design and manufacturing optimization of manual selection and clutch mechanism in a gearbox tower, realized to provide top class cars. Gearbox tower is the mechanical interface between drivers and engine transmission system in automotive applications. It has the primary function to permit driver selecting and shifting gears during vehicle march, to optimize engine running. Furthermore such mechanism has a central role in enhancing the overall market perception of the product and in transmitting to the customers good feelings about driving quality and car reliability, according to top class targets. Robust design approach was primary followed, focusing on the continuous improvement of products and processes [1], [2]. Different existing solution for gearbox tower were firstly analyzed, performing a concurrent engineering analysis of each mechanical component from functional, productive and assembly points of view. Technical and technological aspects were discussed and compared through FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) while an integrated CAD/CAM analysis (Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0) were carried out to optimize 5-axes CNC manufacturing. SPC (Statistical Process Control) were concurrently performed to maximize efficiency and process consistency. A novel gearbox tower was finally designed. Three-dimensional parametric virtual prototype was realized and evaluated into its kinetic-dynamic characteristics within SolidWorks 2006 (Figure 1) and COSMOSMotion environments, in order to test the impact of different Computer Aided Tools inside a holonic and collaborative supply chain. The method developed and the following studies leaded to the general enhancing of the gearbox project, especially in its more critic aspects. The gearbox tower family was optimized in its technical aspects and engineering performances respect to the state of the art. Moreover it was improved in terms of total quality perception from final users. Results obtained leaded to the develop of specific solutions focused in make the product and the related process more robust in the overall life cycle.


2007 - 3D MID Integrated Design for New Product Development in Advanced Mechatronics [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems) are required to provide high efficiency RF transmission, to be realized using components with reduced overall dimensions. Then, the design of TPMS antennas is a critical task, to be performed with accurate optimization activities based on intensive experimental development. In this field, MID technology can provide a strong strategic advantage since it can reduce the overall dimensions integrating different components and functionalities and, at the same time, permitting seamless fast prototyping, and customization, of different variants of the antenna layout. In this paper it will be presented the integrated design and development (and the methods adopted) of a novel TPMS RF transmission unit, realized with LDS technology. In this activity, the design engineers used synergically several software tools to simulate and evaluate concurrently all the different problems involved. The component geometries were designed in order to fulfil the structural and mechanical requirements, the molds were concurrently developed and the injection moulding process accurately simulated to validate the final shapes. At the same time, different design variants of the antenna were developed with intensive numerical simulations. A prototype mould was then quickly realized and specimens produced where, with LDS technology, the antennas lay out variants were manufactured. Several experimental testing on such prototypes were then performed in order to tune the 3D electromagnetic field simulation parameters (and be then able to perform further optimization studies on virtual prototypes). Finally a fast optimization of the antennas components was realized and the manufacturing processes tuned. Such activities were jointly realized by DIMEC, Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Modena researchers and Kontek Comatel R&D team


2006 - Digital engineering methods for enhanced flexibility of robofacturing (robotic manufacturing) applications [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

A digital engineering method was developed to enhance robotic cell flexibility in industrial manufacturing applications. Computer Aided 3D parametric modeling, behavioural simulation, offline programming were integrated into the design process to define and generate robotic cell virtual prototypes. Resulting information and data were primarily used during design and engineering stages for optimizing the cell layout and for assuring best performances in cycle time reduction and manufacturing path accuracy. Then digital models were simplified and fit within customizable virtual environment, developed for allowing final users to quick re-configure the robotic cell and re-program robots without any specific competence on robotics. The robotic deburring and finishing manufacturing of crankshaft for V8 and V12 high-performance engines was investigated through the method developed. A cell prototype was finally realized by R&D engineers from SIR S.p.A. (www.sir-mo.it) and researchers from the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, sharing competences, experiences and technical resources within the Integrated Design and Simulation of Robotic Systems Lab, a novel Industry/University hybrid structure. Such digital engineering method applied to a robotic manufacturing problem leaded to the theorization of a “Design for Robotic Manufacturing (“Robofacturing”)” approach, finally called. Robotic cell flexibility was enhanced providing final users a digital engineering service for manufacturing cell re-configuration and robot re-programming.


2006 - Innovative Research Model for the Integrated Design and Simulation of Robotic Cells in an Italian University - Industry Partnership [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; G., Bertacchi; S., Bertini; P., Bonaretti; Leali, Francesco; G., Moretti; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio
abstract

Many investigations and surveys on collaboration between Research and Industry in R&D activities have largely demonstrated western industries need to hold the globalization blast innovating design methods, developing new products/engineering processes and investing in advanced technologies. Such approach often requests the support of government institutions and results particularly demanding for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises which often suffer a lack of capital, time and human resources to invest in R&D activities. At the state of the art University and Research Institutes play a really important role to support enterprises in such challenging tasks. The present paper describes the experience realized at the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering of Modena to promote high-quality interdisciplinary research on design methodologies and robotics and to actually realize the tech-transfer toward the local industrial texture. Some existing laboratories were structured as a network into an High Tech District (HI-MECH), to offer specific competences on integrated design and simulation (SIMECH net-lab), while new hybrid structures (both academic and industrial) were founded to allow R&D engineers sharing experiences, knowledge and instruments with students and researchers on specific themes (La.P.I.S. - Integrated Design and Robotic Cell Simulation Lab). Working in such operating scenario, successful experiences were realized, carried out to design and prototype a new generation of robotic cells deeply based on virtual modelling and offline programming.


2006 - Integrated Design and Development of MID Antenna for TMPS Applications [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; M., Crippa; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems) are required to provide high efficiency RF transmission, to be realized using components with reduced overall dimensions. Then, the design of TPMS antennas is a critical task, to be performed with accurate optimization activities based on intensive experimental development. In this field, MID technology can provide a strong strategic advantage since it can reduce the overall dimensions integrating different components and functionalities and, at the same time, permitting seamless fast prototyping, and customization, of different variants of the antenna layout. In this paper it will be presented the integrated design and development (and the methods adopted) of a novel TPMS RF transmission unit, realized with LDS technology. In this activity, the design engineers used synergically several software tools to simulate and evaluate concurrently all the different problems involved. The component geometries were designed in order to fulfil the structural and mechanical requirements, the molds were concurrently developed and the injection moulding process accurately simulated to validate the final shapes. At the same time, different design variants of the antenna were developed with intensive numerical simulations. A prototype mould was then quickly realized and specimens produced where, with LDS technology, the antennas lay out variants were manufactured. Several experimental testing on such prototypes were then performed in order to tune the 3D electromagnetic field simulation parameters (and be then able to perform further optimization studies on virtual prototypes). Finally a fast optimization of the antennas components was realized and the manufacturing processes tuned. Such activities were jointly realized by DIMEC, Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Modena researchers and Kontek Comatel R&D team


2005 - Computer aided engineering optimization of two screw based innovating intra-medullary fixation devices [Poster]
Barbanti, Giovanni; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

A new generation of intra-medullar fixation devices was designed and developed through intensive Computer Aided Engineering research studies. The target of the research activities was the development of a novel design of intra-medullar nails for pertrochanteric fractures with enhanced performances on the in vivo subjects.


2005 - Design of Iron Cast Deburring Robotic Cells with Simulation and Offline Programming Tools [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

The design of last generation anthropomorphous robots manufacturing cells is a challenging activity, to be developed accurately in a fast and effective way due to the strong requirements to satisfy in terms of time to market, overall performances and the total costs of the final application. During the design stages, different types of graphical and technical representations are needed to exalt and communicate the design intent and to evaluate the effects of every design variant on the final operating performances. For this reasons the choice of the tools to adopt, and a correct methodology for an integrated use, for this purpose is strategically important and delicate. On one side the design tools must be focused to point out all the multidisciplinary effects involved, especially those concerning the strong interrelation of the mechanical apparatus solutions with the electrical and electronics systems, while on the other side they must be absolutely integrated and easy to use. In the present paper it will be explained the choices effected on the graphical representation and design tools, and the design method created for an effective integrated use, in the design and development of iron casts deburring anthropomorphous robots manufacturing cells, performed during real experiences, developed together by DIMEC University researchers and SIR, an important system integrator enterprise. Actually, state of the art 3D parametric CAD and behavioural simulation design tools confirmed to be powerful but the adoption of anthropomorphous robot simulation and offline programming tools proved to be fundamental for the final validation of every design variant. The need to enrich classical mechanical design representation, static and fixed for single configurations, with animations where robot movements and the motion control can be effectively communicated and evaluated, was then solved and proved to give an important feedback to the design engineers, who acquired more consciousness on the real performances achievable. Furthermore, the availability of multimedia movies, was finally appreciated even to interact with the final user for training purposes.


2005 - Integrated Design of a Robotic Cell for Lasts Roughing. [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

A computer simulation based methodology was elaborated for the integrated design and development of a footwear lasts roughing robotic cell, developed by DIMeC (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy) researchers and the design engineers of SIR S.P.A., an italian robot system integrator market-leader. The integration of different design and simulation software tools leads to a time and cost-saving procedure to be used in the design of high-performance robotic manufacturing cells, with increased machining quality, flexibility, low set-up time and ease of re-configurability. A Concurrent Engineering approach was followed throughout all the stages of the robotic cell development, while behavioral simulation and off-line programming performed on the definitive model allowed to close the Computer Integrated design process loop.


2005 - Parametric design methodologies for the feasibility study of internal grinding spindles [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Barbanti, Giovanni; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Nowadays design engineers need to apply, and to develop, innovative methodologies to achieve goals like superior product performances, cost containment, time-to-market reduction, satisfying also Mass Customization paradigms. Moreover, technical teams must focus on logic processes rationalization and information flow transparency, looking for cooperation with different company departments and aiming at best operating flexibility. A modern industrial project involves complex tasks connected to quick development, product management simplicity and adaptability to the changeable boundary conditions. Increasing software availability, together with calculation, graphic visualisation and modeling hardware devices escalation, is not enough to guarantee optimal results. In fact, these tools need to be integrated into a customized methodology process, defined according to a systematic approach. Moreover, different problems have to be faced up in a concurrent engineering logic, through an accurate parameterization of the main design aspects and a deep analysis of the characteristic variables. The present work deals with an accurate feasibility study concerning a grinding spindles family for internal gears. The problem, complex both from technical feasibility and industrial production side, involved the identification of creative and innovative design solutions. In particular, to achieve coherent results, it was necessary to develop accurate calculations, performed on a spreadsheet, later used to rule completely the CAD geometries. Then, the integrated adoption of three-dimensional CAD modeling and numerical tools have been permitted the design team to obtain all the data and informations necessary to evaluate the best design variants and to correctly design the product family, defining sizing and products configuration. The graphical design has been supported by the power of automated dimensioning, permitting the design engineers to focus on the product architecture. Thus, a product knowledge base has been easily realized, and used to rule model configuration and to optimize different design choices. Furthermore, such knowledge base may be used for future works, enabling a strong time compression of other projects. Finally, the spreadsheet linked to the CAD resulted a natural interface to other software tools, permitting to synchronize different design activities involved in the new product development process.


2004 - Complex virtual models development for didactic purposes in the medical field [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Consolo, Ugo; Bortolini, Sergio; Landini, Barbara; Gatto, Andrea; Pellicciari, Marcello; Leali, Francesco
abstract

The many advantages in the availability of a virtual model of human parts regard, first of all, an easier shape comprehension of complex models in which different parts can be independently visualized and manipulated. The research job regards the virtual reconstruction of a maxillary arch physical model, through a reverse engineering approach. Thanks to the combination of laser scanning and mechanical touching, it was possible to obtain a CAD model in which all the teeth, the bone and the soft tissues can be independently viewed, moved and modified. The results can be applied for an improved communication between teachers and students, for a better comprehension of the inner correlation between different elements, and doctors and patients to the rapid overcoming of the initial cultural barrier. The research represents the first step of a fertile collaboration between engineering and medical staff, towards the implementation of innovative technological tools in human centred application, also in the field of virtual and augmented reality.


2004 - On tire monitoring systems temperature compensation [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Barbanti, G; Pellicciari, Marcello; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste
abstract

Direct type [1] Tire Monitoring Systems supervise tire internal inflating pressure. The authors previously proved that Tire Monitoring must be focused on the tire (i.e.: vehicle) dynamic behaviour [2]: the real aim of the supervising action. In this case, even the external absolute pressure must be taken into account. NHTSA studies showed improper warnings must be avoided in order to keep the driver confidence with the system; internal temperature decrease is the Tire Monitoring Systems' main cause of improper warnings. A new approach for optimal Tire Monitoring Systems temperature compensation related to external environmental temperature, able to avoid improper warnings, will be presented. Copyright © 2004 SAE International.


2004 - Reverse engineering methodologies applied to complex virtual models development in the medical field [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Bassoli, Elena; Gatto, Andrea; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Negli ultimi anni si è assistito, nell’ambito della ricerca applicata, ad un progressivo processo di trasferimento delle pratiche e delle metodologie tipiche dell’ingegneria industriale in ambito medicale, ed alla costituzione di gruppi di lavoro eterogenei, formati sia da personale medico che tecnico-ingegneristico. In particolare, sembra essersi affermata la tendenza alla definizione di modelli ed ambienti virtuali, ad esempio, per la pianificazione pre-chirurgica degli interventi e per la comprensione delle problematiche ad essa inerenti, e sembra progressivamente essersi diffusa la consapevolezza che sfruttando l’elevato contenuto informativo delle rappresentazioni grafiche tridimensionali è possibile favorire il superamento delle normali barriere culturali e comunicative, soprattutto tra medici e pazienti o tra insegnanti e studenti e creare gruppi di lavoro in grado di comunicare più facilmente e, quindi di raggiungere risultati migliori in tempi ridotti. Il presente lavoro di ricerca, realizzato grazie alla forte sinergia tra il gruppo di Disegno e Metodi dell’Ingegneria Industriale e il gruppo di Tecnologia e Sistemi di Lavorazione del Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica e Civile di Modena, riguarda la definizione di una procedura che, attraverso l’uso combinato di differenti tecnologie di reverse engineering e di strumenti software dedicati alla generazione ed alla modellazione delle superfici, consenta di ottenere un prototipo virtuale complesso di un oggetto fisico. Il benchmark adottato, fornito dal Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Testa-Collo, Riabilitazione di Modena è costituito dall’arcata mascellare di un modello artigianale scomponibile, formato da una base in resina e legno e da 14 denti in resina completamente estraibili, che, inserito in un apposito articolatore insieme alla corrispondente arcata mandibolare, viene attualmente utilizzato per descrivere la normale occlusione in ambito didattico. Il metodo sviluppato, basato sull’uso di strumenti hardware e software di costo medio basso, ha consentito di definire una procedura rapida e facilmente implementabile anche da parte di personale non tecnico, facilitando l’accostamento alle potenzialità offerte dalle tecnologie assistite da calcolatore per la realizzazione di prototipi virtuali.


2003 - New Hip Joint Simulator Model For Biomaterials Tribological Analysis [Articolo su rivista]
Pellicciari, Marcello; G., Barbanti; A. O., Andrisano
abstract

ABSTRACT: Using the traditional tribological wear tests it is not possible to completely verify the real final performance of a combination of biomaterials and hip joint prosthesis geometry. Thus, for such a complex bearing combination, a more physiologically representative implants wear test is required; this can only be provided using complex mechanical simulators capable to reproduce, as close as possible, the real in vivo physiological loading and motion replacement working conditions. In this paper a new model of hip joint simulator will be presented, developed in order to test different kinds of hip joint prosthetic implant materials under the in vivo working conditions. Unlike other existing multi-axis hip joint simulators, whose performance were initially accurately studied and classified in terms of transmitted force and reproduced motion accuracy and versatility of use, this hip joint simulator has been studied to stand out the state of the art for its superior accuracy in completely reproducing the physiological condition of time dependent loading and three-dimensional mutually articulating bearing surfaces, and also simulating the physiological environment.


2003 - On the integrated design and development of a high speed cartesian robot [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pellicciari, Marcello; G., Barbanti; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste
abstract

Nowadays, high speed cartesian robots are widely used as system integration of machine tools, commonly preferred to other robot architecture because of their high accuracy, reduced overall dimensions, and especially cost effectiveness and versatility. The increasing cycle speed and structural complexity of last generation machining processes imposes the design engineers to strongly improve the manipulators performances, and new requirements must absolutely be satisfied, for example the need to adopt proper safety systems and to implement different standard components to harmonically integrate with the existing machine tools. Since cartesian architecture robots are basically well developed industrial products, often already optimized during past design experiences, it becomes quite hard to find new solution and to further optimize the existing ones to realize superior performances and cost reduction. Then it becomes necessary to adopt a proper approach, on one hand able to follow the design engineers team intent during the fast evolving conceptual design stage and to help them to recognize, in a fast and effective way, the best solution to develop, on the other hand to optimize the design variant adopted. All the future users needs and design requirements must then absolutely be formalized, organized and correctly connected, in order to easily identify the task to perform, with the related priority, and their effects on all the different functionalities. In order to realize an effective robot configuration all the possible solution must be checked, as well as the choice of the motion apparatus type or the spatial placement of all the different components. Finally, once the decision of the detailed architecture took place, an intensive optimization activity becomes necessary. It is clear that a real performance improvement can be achieved only in the first design stage, where can be found design solution that can avoid future problems and simplify the structure. To really test the effectiveness of the choice adopted, a complete virtual prototype, strictly connected with the 3D CAD model, has been developed and all the possible solution verified, and compared, trough the numerical simulations, aimed to evaluate the robot different design variant final dynamical performance. The interaction between the CAD model and the virtual prototype imposed the use of third party spreadsheet, able to modify the main parameters and to easily process the simulation data results. In this paper the methodology and the solutions adopted for the design of a novel model of High Speed Cartesian Robot will be described.


2003 - Tire monitoring systems design: A novel approach [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Barbanti, G; Pellicciari, Marcello; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste
abstract

Monitoring tires working conditions has proved to be very important for best aircraft ground performances. Thus, to prevent safety risks it is necessary to recognize all the parameters really affecting tires dynamic behaviour and study a proper supervising strategy, able to guarantee an easy and effective security action. It will be proved that measuring tire internal gas pressure (even with internal temperature compensation, then measuring the total internal gas mass) it is not possible to monitor accurately the tire dynamic behaviour. In this paper a new approach to design a new generation of tires monitoring system will be presented. Copyright © 2003 SAE International.