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Robotics 2018, 7(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics7010001

Automation of Electrical Cable Harnesses Testing

1
Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN 46805, USA
2
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN 46805, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robust and Resilient Robots)
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Abstract

Traditional automated systems, such as industrial robots, are applied in well-structured environments, and many automated systems have a limited adaptability to deal with complexity and uncertainty; therefore, the applications of industrial robots in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are very limited. The majority of manual operations in SMEs are too complicated for automation. The rapidly developed information technologies (IT) has brought new opportunities for the automation of manufacturing and assembly processes in the ill-structured environments. Note that an automation solution should be designed to meet the given requirements of the specified application, and it differs from one application to another. In this paper, we look into the feasibility of automated testing for electric cable harnesses, and our focus is on some of the generic strategies for the improvement of the adaptability of automation solutions. Especially, the concept of modularization is adopted in developing hardware and software to maximize system adaptability in testing a wide scope of products. A proposed system has been implemented, and the system performances have been evaluated by executing tests on actual products. The testing experiments have shown that the automated system outperformed manual operations greatly in terms of cost-saving, productivity and reliability. Due to the potential of increasing system adaptability and cost reduction, the presented work has its theoretical and practical significance for an extension for other automation solutions in SMEs. View Full-Text
Keywords: modular systems; system adaptability; system automation; automated testing; small- and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs); electrical cable hardness; system flexibility modular systems; system adaptability; system automation; automated testing; small- and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs); electrical cable hardness; system flexibility
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Bi, Z.; Pomalaza-Ráez, C.; Hershberger, D.; Dawson, J.; Lehman, A.; Yurek, J.; Ball, J. Automation of Electrical Cable Harnesses Testing. Robotics 2018, 7, 1.

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