SME involvement
SME Participation

Training and Education
Socio-economic impact and new business models
SME Participation
Workshops with all four SMErobot demonstrators were held at end-user sites between January and April 2009.

D1 workshop
April 22, 2009
The workshop “Final Presentation and Assessment for the Intuitive Robot for fettling castings for the foundry” offers a platform for potential end users and system builders as well as for the technology developers. During a one-day event, participants will be able to test the capability by real time programming trials on two robot systems: an ABB IRB4400 robot fitted with an intelligent burning torch, and a parallel kinematic light weight new robot development fitted with a low weight slitter/grinder end effector. Participants will be actively involved in the evaluation and assessment of the technologies with respect to their own needs and requirements.
Flyer and Registration in English
D3 workshop
March 26, 2009
The SMErobot project partners have developed a number of new concepts to program and operate robot assistants specifically aimed at small and medium-sized companies in metalworking industries, who manufacture small to medium batchsizes. During a one-day workshop organised by KUKA Roboter GmbH in Augsburg on Thursday 26 March 2009, you have the opportunity to learn everything about these concepts. Specifically, the possibilities of online and offline Programming will be demonstrated, tested and discussed. Possible use-cases for your own applications could be discussed with experts. Relevant robot experience is not required!
Flyer und Anmeldung auf Deutsch / in German
D2 workshop
March 25, 2009
Learn the latest developments in Plug’n’Produce-concepts for industrials robot applications integrating the possibilities of a newly developed bin-picking system. The work cell at Hirschvogel Umformtechnik GmbH in Denklingen (Germany), demonstrates a typical SME metal working application for bin picking of cold forged transmission shafts. Your opinion and feedback is very valuable for further developments and improvements!
Flyer auf Deutsch / in German No more places available.
D4 workshop
January 30, 2009
Get to know the latest developments in the field of industrial robot programming for shop floor manufacturing and small lot size production in woodworking. Applicability to processes at your company will be discussed with experts.
Flyer in English
Flyer auf Deutsch
European Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in manufacturing will be the future customers of the SMErobot™ developments. They are offered the opportunity to become part of the SMErobot™ initiative, which is aimed at developing low-cost, modular and interactive automation solutions. The SMErobot™ consortium fully exploits the potential of industrial robots and is creating radically new types of robot systems, offering a whole new family of SME-suitable robots. SMErobot™ is virtually open to SMEs in all major branches of manufacturing industry.

SMEs have the opportunity to co-operate within SMErobot™ as a partner, either as a member of the so-called SMEEIG or as a member from the SMEpool. They can actively participate in shaping the strategy of SMErobot™.
The official name is SMEEIG EESV, which is a so-called European Economic Interest Group (EEIG). SMEEIG has been founded to facilitate the integration and co-operation of both SME End-Users and System Integrators within SMErobot™. The SMEs which actively participate will be organised in it to allow for maximum flexibility without much bureaucratic burden. The SMEs in SMEEIG will actually receive money to compensate their active involvement. Obviously, they will have to justify their efforts and cost claims on a cost-level basis to the SME co-ordinator Pro Support. Hence, it is important that all SMEs have a clear added value to the project, and, prior to their integration, have a good understanding of what is required from them, both with respect to their technical tasks and their administrative obligations. Therefore, a formal entry procedure has been drawn up.
The main purpose of the SMEpool is to provide a low-entry platform for linking SMEs to the project. Although the SMEpool is not a legal body, its members will clearly benefit from the co-operation within the Consortium. All SMEs with an interest in production automation and robotics are welcome in this pool. It provides the Consortium with a focused and relevant contact database for disseminating noteworthy achievements and innovative results. The SMEpool will also serve as a reserve list (‘waiting room’) for possible future entrance to SMEEIG. The majority of the SMEpool members will however not be involved in SMEEIG. Also, the SMEpool participants do not get financial compensation for their efforts.
More Info
For more information, please contact the SME coordinator
Ir. Maarten B. BONKE, M.Sc.
Phone: +31 74 2551160
Fax:       +31 74 2508171

SMEEIG Benefits Flyer in English
SMEEIG Benefits Flyer auf Deutsch
Training and Education

A variety of tailor−made training and education activities and information materials are developed to meet the requirements of the different target groups of SMErobot™.

In particular training and education activities intend to:

  • support the process of technology development, the implementation and testing of prototypes,
  • encourage the skills and qualification of developers, manufacturers and system integrators of SMErobot™ automation as well as students and teachers of higher and vocational education to plan, develop, maintain, operate and manage SMErobot™ automation systems and facilities, as well as providing basic robot knowledge,
  • support the cooperation between the project partners and the SME end-user groups during the process of technology development and the implementation,
  • create a positive image of SMErobot™ automation in public.

In the last project period the T&E activities focus on conducting

  • workshops to evaluate the ergonomic design and usability of the SMErobot™ applications and
  • final practice tests, interviews and case studies.

The SMErobot™−Toolbox (www.smerobot-tools.com) demonstrates one of the main results of the work package Training & Education and is transferred to SME-clusters and multipliers as well as educational organizations.

It offers various self-explanatory training modules and checklists to develop and implement the new SMErobot™ technology (a robot system as a multifunctional tool for small and medium-sized companies).

SMErobot™−Toolbox: Tools − HCA−Assessment


Prospektiv GmbH
Geselschaft für betriebliche Zukunftsgestaltungen mbH
Friedensplatz 6
D-44135 Dortmund

Barbara Bierfreund
Phone: +49 231 556976-16
Fax:       +49 231 556976-30

Socio-economic impact and new business models

The implementation of robot technologies in SMEs has potential socio-economic impact. Effects of new robotic concepts on the economic competitiveness of SME end-users and on their workforce, e.g. regarding workload and qualification requirements, will be evaluated. Scenarios of the new roles of workers interacting with the new robotic concepts in SMEs will be designed. Results are prototypical human-resource allocation concepts taking into account the new interfaces between the worker and the robot concept (as regards programming, maintenance etc.) and the specific frame conditions of different SME types (financial resources, firm size, branch, manufacturing mode etc.). The analysis will be based on expert interviews with the different SME end user-types.

In addition, new manufacturing and robot technologies often act as an enabler for SMEs to build up additional competencies and resources. Options for new business models for SMEs may open up, giving way to innovative service models and patterns of cooperation up to the vision of creating virtual SME manufacturing. Based on expert interviews with SME end users, robot manufacturers and system integrators, future market needs, opportunities and requirements regarding flexible manufacturing and new business models will be assessed.

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