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Integrating Human-Robot Collaboration into Danish SME Manufacturing and Production

Hanne Hørup (left) and Xuping Zhang at the company Jydsk Emblem Fabrik A/S located in Malling, Aarhus. Photo Lars Kruse.
Hanne Hørup (left) and Xuping Zhang at the company Jydsk Emblem Fabrik A/S located in Malling, Aarhus. Photo Lars Kruse.

Jydsk Emblem Fabrik A/S in Malling, Jutland produces medals, trophies, emblems, name tags and accessories for uniforms. Now the family-owned company wants to have collaborative robots working with their employees, and they're doing this with engineers from DIGIT. Back then, company management couldn’t imagine how large industrial robots could ever be an efficient part of their factory. But when they saw how collaborative robotic arms can simply and efficiently be incorporated into a production line and work together with people without risking accidents, they were sold on the idea.

“The idea is to integrate cooperation between people and robots into production, so that they share their work and cooperate fully. The goal is to increase efficiency by reducing the strain injuries that often result from monotonous, repetitive work, and to enable employees to focus on tasks with a higher value. Unfortunately, not many Danish SMEs are willing to ride the robot wave, even though they’re increasingly worried about losing competitive ground to foreign Industry 4.0 companies, and even though it’s actually very easy to start a development programme with us,” says Xuping Zhang about the solution that DIGIT is providing He is associate professor and expert on collaborative robots at the Department of Engineering, Aarhus University.

"It’s fantastic to open up for the opportunities offered by modern technology”

Hanne Hørup, managing director and co-owner of Jydsk Emblem Fabrik A/S

In cooperation with the machine supplier NIZE Equipment ApS, Jydsk Emblem Fabrik A/S and DIGIT, Aarhus University have now started a development project as part of the Central Denmark Region’s Smart Industry development programme. The programme focuses on innovation- collaboration and knowledge sharing, whereby researchers from the university share knowledge with companies in order to optimize processes and incorporate new technology.

Contact: Xuping Zhang, Associate professor, xuzh@eng.au.dk

Online Reference: https://eng.au.dk/en/research/research-projects/mechanical-engineering-research-projects/134-year-old-danish-family-business-ready-for-robots/