FRS Robotics contributes with Industry 4.0 innovation to Audi Brussels 'Factory of the Future' award

This title was awarded to Audi Brussels by the Belgian employers' organisation, Agoria. Audi is delighted that our Belgian site, and thus the entire team at Audi Brussels, has been awarded this ‘Factory of the Future’ prize. This is great praise for the unwavering commitment of the staff and, at the same time, recognition for everything they have achieved along the way. The electric age began in 2018 at the Brussels plant. Since then, Audi Brussels has been producing the Audi e-tron – in a CO2-neutral factory. Early 2020, it wass time to start series production of the Audi e-tron Sportback, Audi’s second electric model.

Agoria awards the “Factory of the Future” title to factories that are investing in digitalisation, smart processes and products, and first-rate production. Additional requirements include the resource-saving use of energy and materials and look at the commitment, creativity and autonomy of employees. “Naturally we are delighted and very proud that the experts recognise our efforts and endeavours in all of these areas,” explains Volker Germann, CEO of Audi Brussels.

One of the innovations contributing to Industry 4.0 is the FRS URQC-200 ultrasonic robotic quality control of Audi e-tron car body parts. The new FRS robot cell enables the flexible automation of highly sensitive ultrasonic measurements along the fold glue joints of vehicle doors and other parts. The patent-pending solution revolutionizes today’s complex manual ultrasonic quality control, which is time consuming and error prone. As all parts are tested by a robot in a non-destructive mode, scrap is reduced drastically. FRS develops, produces and distributes software, machines and systems for any robotic ultrasonic measurement application, based on the latest research results and innovative technologies.

Audi Brussels also impressed the jury with its rating as a CO2-neutral factory. Audi's Belgian subsidiary is the world’s first certified CO2-neutral manufacturer in the premium segment. For example, the factory's roof is covered with the largest photovoltaic system in the Brussels region covering a total area of 91,000 m².

As a premium manufacturer, Audi Brussels meets high quality standards. The company strategically aligns its production and logistics processes to future requirements. Employees are a key focus of this, with assistance systems efficiently supporting workers, including with new forms of human-machine interaction. These assistance systems increase process reliability and ergonomics in the workplace.

Partly derived from Audi Brussels Media Center.

URQC-200 installed and operational at Audi Brussels

Audi Brussels has commissioned a robot cell for ultrasonic quality control, developed by FRS Robotics in Leuven, Belgium. FRS Robotics successfully integrated a standard cobot into a robot cell for automated ultrasonic inspection, hereby extending the working range to allow all car parts to be inspected in one go without intermediate part repositioning. By combining force control and feedback of the ultrasonic signal, FRS Robotics introduces a reliable and productive non-destructive quality control procedure. The FRS Robotics cell enables Audi Brussels to further increase production quality, speed up quality control, and reduce material scrap. The robot cell is fully operational and replaces today’s manual inspections, which are complex, time consuming and error prone. In the fenceless cell, our operators intuitively collaborate with the robot, which eliminates any physical strain. Audi Brussels currently uses the FRS Robotics cell to inspect the fold glue joints on Audi e-tron 516 door, hood, trunk lid and other car body parts.

audi news item 1200

FRS / Audi Press release

Audi Brussels cooperates for ‘Robotic Ultrasonic QC’ solution with FRS Robotics to flexibly automate fold glue joints inspection on vehicle doors. Innovations in adaptive sensor positioning developed by FRS Robotics enable Audi to flexibly automate manual ultrasonic quality control

Laureate of "BEyond", the acceleration program of Pulse Foundation

FRS Robotics is one of the ten laureates of the second edition of "BEyond: Excellence in Entrepreneurship". The Pulse Foundation jury valued the presented strategy, product development roadmap, and expansion plans of FRS Robotics. In the coming years, FRS Robotics will further optimize and extend its solution portfolio for robotic ultrasonic quality control and geographically expand across Europe and beyond. BEyond is an initiative of Pulse Foundation, in collaboration with Agoria, EY, imec, Sirris and We Connect Data.

The focus of the BEyond acceleration program is on ambitious tech scale-ups. BEyond supports FRS Robotics with expertise from experienced, leading Belgian and international entrepreneurs.

FRS Robotics

A team of experienced robotics specialists and innovators who automate ultrasonic and other inspection and assembly tasks. The result is a faster, more robust, more accurate, and more flexible process that delivers higher production quality standards with less strain for operators and at economically more competitive standards.