Date of Award

2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

Department

Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Musa Jouaneh

Abstract

Electric vehicles offer an environment friendly solution to mobility. An assessment of automation potentials in the recycling of electric vehicle (EV) batteries and a simulation of two different disassembly cell layouts was conducted in this thesis. This study was broken up into three distinct parts. First a literature review is presented for examining recent developments and challenges in the disassembly of electric vehicle batteries. Because of the large variety in the designs of EV batteries, human-robot collaboration was suggested. Based on the review, an assessment of automation potentials was conducted using as an example the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt battery. A disassembly graph was developed that shows all constraints of the parts and fastener and a disassembly sequence with 46 disassembly steps was also developed. For assessing single disassembly steps in terms of economic feasibility and technical possibilities in automation, a criteria catalogue was developed and applied on a large battery electric vehicle and a small hybrid electric vehicle. The results were compared to similar assessments and a comparison of the different types of EV batteries towards disassembly was conducted. For large battery electric vehicles automation of disassembly operations is more feasible but also technically more challenging. In the third part, a simulation disassembly layout was created, that compares a layout with a Cartesian gantry robot with a layout that used two collaborative robots. It was shown that the collaborative robots that were proposed for the disassembly of hybrid vehicle batteries face difficulties in disassembly of large battery electric vehicles due to the large size and heavy parts. The comparison of both layouts favors the use of a Cartesian gantry robot because the disassembly is faster and also the disassembly steps that include large and heavy parts can also be performed.

Available for download on Wednesday, July 21, 2021

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