Automated, robotic systems are commonly used in dedicated production lines for welding large numbers of standard products. Inflexibility and reprogramming time have, to date, prevented their widespread use for 'one off' or small batch production of customised products.
The NOMAD project is part of EC Framework V and aims to develop an autonomous, flexible robotic welding system capable of fabricating small batches of customised products as easily and quickly as large multiples. The system will embody innovative aspects such as
- Use of manufacturing simulation for automated process planning and real-time monitoring
- Autonomous vehicle navigation for high accuracy positioning of a 6-axis robot arm
- Design and build of an industrial Robot Transport Vehicle suitable for the welding tasks
- Specially developed consumables, procedures and sensor systems to allow a degree of control not found in current systems.
The project participants are a mixture of suppliers, technology enablers and end users. The countries involved are Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
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