The world of automotive crash repairs could be set for a radical shake-up thanks to a collaborative project that aims to bring together 3D printing and robotics technologies to repair the previously unrepairable. If successful, the Repair Bot would cut repair times and costs while significantly reducing scrap.
The Repair Bot project is a joint venture between Swinburne University of Technology, the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) and Tradiebot Industries.
It aims to use 3D printing technologies and robotics along with complex materials to create an automated rapid repair service for plastic car parts.
According to Tradiebot Industries Founder Mario Dimovski: “The ability to repair previously non-repairable parts using world-first technology will reduce overall repair times and repair costs. It will also create real and significant export opportunities and has flow-on benefits for the environment by reducing landfill.”
“Tradiebot will also deliver new future skills to the industry as more processes become automated,” he adds.
As well as improving procedures in the automotive repair industry, the project could have a lasting impact on future of advanced manufacturing and Industry 4.0, according to Dr Mats Isaksson, Senior Research Fellow from the Swinburne Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology.
“Industry 4.0 is all about ways of using digital technologies and connectivity to integrate the value stream,” says Dr Isaksson.
“In the case of this project, knowledge can be captured regarding design information, supply and logistics, as well as distributed manufacturing capacity.”
IMCRC CEO and Managing Director David Chuter is enthusiastic about the positive implications of the Tradiebot Repair Bot project for other Australian manufacturers.
He says: “This is a unique partnership that explores and invests in advanced manufacturing technologies. It is a great example of how research-led innovation ensures that the Australian automotive repairs industry can meet the challenges and opportunities of the global economy.”
The Repair Bot project has accumulated more than $1.2 million in funding. Research will take place throughout 2018 and 2019.