3C (computer, communication and consumer electronics) Manufacturing industry is now one of the most important industries around the world. There are more than ten million workers in this industry merely in China. A typical process can be divided into four main phases: module manufacture, assembly, testing and packaging, with the latter three most dependent on human workers. And as we all know, more than 90% of the assembly work in mobile phone’s manufacture is done by workers because of the difficulty of the automation assembly. A typical assembly process of mobile phones can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASpsu8lrPU0
There are three major kinds of assembly work in 3C industry. The first work is the FPC/FFC work, the second is the Board to Board work, and the third one is the Radio Frequency (RF) assembly work, which are respectively shown in the following pictures.
Figure1. FPC/FFC Connectors
Figure2. Board to Board Connectors/ Board to Wire Connectors
Figure3. Radio Frequency Connectors
There are several challenges for the assembly work in 3C industry.
- They are all made by flexible material;
- They are all very small;
- It is very easy to damage these assembly parts.
We divide these assembly work into two categories:
- Some can be done within single operation, such as Radio Frequency connectors;
- Some requires subsequent operation, such as FPC connectors.
In addition, the assembly processes require much finer actions, which almost go beyond the limit of even skilled human worker. Also the labor costs are growing each day. As a result, automatic assembly systems are urgent if 3C manufactory is to survive in the future.
So, according to the above description, it is easy to come out that the ultimate goal of this project is to comprehensively classify and evaluate robot configuration for a given type or class of assembly operations in 3C industry, and to develop an efficient algorithm for robot configuration selection. Simulation or experiment shall be conducted for verification of effectiveness as well.
And nowadays the assembly work in 3C industry is a hot topic, there are so many companies doing some research work in this area. This is the link about how Rapoo Mouse assembly Combo by Robot Arm, which could give you a brief introduction about what the assembly work in 3C industry could be done by robots automatically. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCgBmY34sDw
Students in charge: Kun XIONG, Yang GAO