Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Better high-tech welding and airbrushing to boost industry

New insight into how workers conduct manual welding and airbrushing will advance automation of these pivotal activities in several industrial sectors.
Better high-tech welding and airbrushing to boost industry
Welding represents an important activity in many industries, from aerospace to medicine, and the shift from manual to automatic could help the competitiveness of these sectors significantly. The EU-funded SKILLASSIST (Skill assistance with robot for manual welding) project identified skills in manual welding that could help further robotise the activity. It worked to bridge the gap between human assistive robotics research and manual welding.

To achieve its aims, the project team worked on developing two robotic systems: one for assisting manual welding and one for training novice welders with a robot. It measured the welders' performance when using a robot, in addition to studying dominant versus non-dominant hands in various related activities. The was done to develop a robotic assistance scheme for manual welding and airbrush painting, coupled with a robotic training system for manual welding.

In this vein, project research revealed valuable findings that could support better automation. For example, specific observations on how workers conduct airbrush painting could be used to improve robotic assistance technology and painting quality. Documenting the difference in technique between professional and novice welders also yielded insight into improving robotic assistance.

Key project achievements include a shared, interactive robotic welding/painting system to introduce force disturbances for impedance measurement purposes during welding or painting. In addition, the team successfully developed an impedance compensation-type robotic assistance system for manual welding by using the knowledge of hand-impedance characteristics of professional and novice welders. It also developed a training system for manual welding that features a helmet that detects deviations in quality and alerts the workers.

Overall, the project addressed when, what and how robotics can be exploited in relation to welding and airbrushing. It showed that real-time feedback alarms improve welding performance immediately and support novice welders. The project's results will certainly be useful to radically advancing activities such as welding and airbrushing, giving a welcome boost to these important industrial activities.

Related information


Welding, airbrushing, automation, manual welding, robotic assistance
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