FHWS building at Sanderheinrichsleitenweg Würzburg


Configurable process chains in the collaborative assembly of complex components

Short Facts

  • Duration: 01 Mar. 2022 to 28 Feb. 2025
  • Funded by: Bavarian Research Foundation - AZ-1512-21
  • Project partner(s): Fresenius Medical Care, Wittenstein SE, Uhlmann und Zacher, DE software & control, Universal Robots
  • Follow-up project to InKoMo (Interactive, collaborative assembly of complex components)


Here you can see a hybrid assembly workstation.

Shrinking lot sizes of products with many variants cause a high planning and programming workload for partial automation using robots. In particular Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC), where humans and robots work hand-in-hand, may become uneconomical due to this. The KoPro projects aims to reduce this workload by applying two measures: 1) New kinds of planning algorithms and 2) adjusting the assembly sequences and robot programmes in real time.

Project goals and contents

Over the past 10 years, a clear trend from mass production towards “mass custom products” can be observed in many industries. Consumers ask for increasingly customised products which results in small lot sizes in manufacturing.  Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC) represents a promising approach to the semi-automated production of these small lot sizes. Through the new combination of humans, cobots, and worker assistance systems in the workplace, the InKoMo feasibility study could show that pre-determined and controlled work steps could make assembly more efficient and reduce errors. However, the planning effort for such a hybrid process chain is currently very high and requires specialised knowledge. The goal of KoPro is to reduce the planning effort in hybrid assembly teams through appropriate algorithms at the planning stage and (partially) automate it based on available product and process data. This is complemented by suitable environmental perception and bi-directional communication modalities to enable interaction between humans, robots, and assistance system, from which, in turn, adaptive robot programmes and work instructions are derivable.

Preliminary work from InKoMo:

  • Video about the collaborative installation
  • Guideline for the systematic planning of hybrid assembly workstations

Project contact(s)

Prof. Dr. Jan Schmitt

Prof. Dr. Tobias Kaupp

Philipp Kranz, M.Eng.

Fabian Schirmer, M.Sc.