Ajit Sharma accepted for publication in International Journal of Production Research

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Mike Ilitch School of Business Assistant Professor of Information Systems Management Ajit Sharma has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Production Research, which publishes research on manufacturing and production engineering, logistics, production economics and production strategy.

The article, titled “Digital Twin Design and Analytics for scaling up Electric Vehicle Battery Production Using Robots,” was co-authored by Manoj K. Tiwari (NITIE – India).

Abstract

As electric vehicle adoption accelerates and demand increases, the inability to produce batteries in sufficient quantities has emerged as a critical bottleneck in the electric vehicle supply chain. Given the impending climate change crisis, resolving this bottleneck is imperative to accelerate the transition to a zero-emission electric mobility future. One potential solution is the use of robotics for fast and cost-effective assembly of batteries at scale. This study proposes a three-stage digital twin design and analysis method to develop robotic workcells for fast and cost-effective assembly of electric vehicle battery modules. Using digital twin design and simulation, robotic assembly line configurations have been developed for battery module production at different scales. Digital twin analytics was used to evaluate and optimize the proposed robotic battery assembly system for speed and cost. Industrial automation experts were consulted to further improve robotic work cell layouts to minimize investment in robots. Because digital twins of robotic workcells have been used, the configurations of the battery assembly line, as designed and validated, are ready for immediate implementation. For practitioners, this study offers heuristic methods to determine the appropriate assembly line configuration, the required number of robots and humans, for a desired production volume. For researchers, this study outlines promising areas for future investigation.

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