DESIGN OF SMALL AUTOMATION WORK CELL SYSTEM DEMONSTRATIONS

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The introduction of automation systems into many of the facilities dealing with the production, use and disposition of nuclear materials has been an ongoing objective. Many previous attempts have been made, using a variety of monolithic and, in some cases, modular technologies. Many of these attempts were less than successful, owing to the difficulty of the problem, the lack of maturity of the technology, and over optimism about the capabilities of a particular system. Consequently, it is not surprising that suggestions that automation can reduce worker Occupational Radiation Exposure (ORE) levels are often met with skepticism and caution. The development ... continued below

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373 Kilobytes pages

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TURNER, C.; PEHL, J. & AL, ET December 1, 2000.

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The introduction of automation systems into many of the facilities dealing with the production, use and disposition of nuclear materials has been an ongoing objective. Many previous attempts have been made, using a variety of monolithic and, in some cases, modular technologies. Many of these attempts were less than successful, owing to the difficulty of the problem, the lack of maturity of the technology, and over optimism about the capabilities of a particular system. Consequently, it is not surprising that suggestions that automation can reduce worker Occupational Radiation Exposure (ORE) levels are often met with skepticism and caution. The development of effective demonstrations of these technologies is of vital importance if automation is to become an acceptable option for nuclear material processing environments. The University of Texas Robotics Research Group (UTRRG) has been pursuing the development of technologies to support modular small automation systems (each of less than 5 degrees-of-freedom) and the design of those systems for more than two decades. Properly designed and implemented, these technologies have a potential to reduce the worker ORE associated with work in nuclear materials processing facilities. Successful development of systems for these applications requires the development of technologies that meet the requirements of the applications. These application requirements form a general set of rules that applicable technologies and approaches need to adhere to, but in and of themselves are generally insufficient for the design of a specific automation system. For the design of an appropriate system, the associated task specifications and relationships need to be defined. These task specifications also provide a means by which appropriate technology demonstrations can be defined. Based on the requirements and specifications of the operations of the Advanced Recovery and Integrated Extraction System (ARIES) pilot line at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), which are considered to be representative of nuclear material handling glove box operations, the UTRRG has developed three task demonstration concepts to evaluate modular small automation systems. These demonstrations, utilizing 2 to 3 degree-of-freedom systems, include container movement, material transfer via pouring, and container loading. Based on an analysis of the ARIES pilot line specifications, these three simple demonstrations are considered to be similar to approximately 50% of the tasks in the ARIES pilot line. Since these task demonstrations functionally represent basic tasks, they are representative of the current potential of modular small automation technology to a wide spectrum of hazardous applications extending beyond the ARIES pilot line. The selection of these three demonstrations, their design and their effectiveness in demonstrating the potential of modular small automation technology are discussed.

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373 Kilobytes pages

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  • Report No.: LA-UR-00-5859
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 769096
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc717203

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  • December 1, 2000

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  • Sept. 29, 2015, 5:31 a.m.

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  • March 24, 2016, 6:49 p.m.

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TURNER, C.; PEHL, J. & AL, ET. DESIGN OF SMALL AUTOMATION WORK CELL SYSTEM DEMONSTRATIONS, article, December 1, 2000; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc717203/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.