Hanns Voith Foundation awards Foundation Prize for Outstanding Final Theses




Oliver Petrovic, M.Sc.



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Oliver Petrovic receives award in the Digital Ventures category

  Group picture of award winners Copyright: © Hans-Voith-Stiftung Oliver Petrovic (third form left) receives the Hanns Voith foundation prize for his outstanding final thesis

In 2019, the Hanns Voith Foundation awarded the Hanns Voith Foundation Prize for outstanding theses in engineering, sciences and economics for the seventh time. Chaired by Prof. Dr. Dr. e.h. Dr. h.c. mult. Sigmar Wittig, the jury honored Oliver Petrovic from the Chair of Machine Tools at the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University for his master thesis in the category "Digital Ventures".

Oliver Petrovics master thesis "Automated Process Planning for MRK Processes based on Extended Product Lifecycle Information", written in the Department of Automation and Control, deals with the current technology of Human-Robot Collaboration (MRK). The aim of the work was to develop a methodology that simplifies the commissioning of such processes. The approach examined in the thesis can reduce the current challenges for a successful introduction of MRK processes, which should contribute to a broad acceptance especially in medium-sized companies.

The methodology developed during the work is not only convincing due to its intuitive user interface, but also essentially provides information from the engineering phase (CAx) of the product for the commissioning of the necessary assembly processes. The development of the user interface is based on the solutions of the Panda robot from Franka Emika GmbH, although the functional scope of the developed solution is much higher. For example, the products to be assembled and the corresponding process steps can be modelled.

This information is used in addition to engineering data to define robot operations and to increase MRK-related process understanding. In addition, time-consuming programming efforts are eliminated by the use of product and process information, which also increase process understanding. This leads in connection with the implemented, MRK-related instructions and warnings to an increased acceptance of the worker in relation to the cooperation with the robot. The simplified robot programming reduces the obstacle to commissioning and thus the amount of training required. This results in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) for the commissioning of MRK processes. The implemented strategies enabled Petrovic to significantly simplify the commissioning of MRK processes with the help of his work.