Robotics & Automation News

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Flexiv robot irons car seats during manufacturing process

Flexiv, a provider of general-purpose robotics solutions, has completed its latest successful installation: an automated ironing system for car seat manufacturing.

This latest use of the Rizon 4 robot represents a significant step forward in the creation of luxury car seats, as it enables throughput rate to be sped up without compromising output quality.

Equipped with a custom end-of-arm bracket for mounting a standard high-pressure steam iron, the Rizon 4 uses its advanced force control capacity to accurately emulate the movement and pressure trained experts utilize to remove wrinkles and ensure correct material placement.

Able to adapt seamlessly to the various shapes and contours of the seat while simultaneously applying consistent and precise pressure, Flexiv’s ironing solution maximizes output quality and consistency, which were key performance indicators for the client.

Shuyun Chung, Flexiv’s head of application development and chief robotics scientist, says: “The launch of our automated ironing system is a breakthrough in manufacturing technology and the ideal application for an adaptive robot due to the necessity of highly precise force control.

“Excessive pressure or prolonged ironing on one area could damage the leather, but our system prevents this. This innovation not only elevates the quality and efficiency of car seat production but also improves workplace safety.”

Flexiv’s new solution addresses essential health and safety concerns by removing workers from the dangers of burns and exposure to high-pressure steam.

By automating the ironing process, Flexiv has enabled staff to shift to safer, more rewarding tasks that genuinely benefit from a human touch.

Empowered by the Rizon 4 robot, which utilizes seven degrees of freedom, an ultra-responsive 5000Hz joint force control servo, and a 1000Hz arm coordination algorithm, any future seat design, regardless of design complexity, can be incorporated into the automated ironing process.

Further enhancements, including AI visual detection for quality assurance and monitoring purposes, are currently in development.

Chung says: “As the luxury EV market continues to expand, Flexiv is proud to help manufacturers reach their production targets. We’re committed to meeting the needs of every industry and providing them with innovative, efficient, and safe solutions.

“Who knows, maybe one day we’ll see this same ironing technology being used in hospitality settings or even within the home.”

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