odular Automation concerns the proficiency of defining standardized interfaces for robotic automation components to enable easier re-configurability, reusability and interchangeability. Modularity can be applied on many levels, and has already been extensively applied to automation components such as PLCs, Grippers and tools, robot configurations, and construction profile systems. RAMPup defines interfaces on a higher level for self-contained Robotic Automation Modules encapsulating complete process or sub-process functionality including hardware, software and control.
Modularity enables the distribution of functionality and control into smaller entities. When setting up a large system these entities can be considered as black boxes of functionality. Thus the integration of a larger system is simplified, and the integration of the module itself is delimited by its own functionality. Modularity also increases the robustness, as failing modules can be rapidly replaced without disturbing the whole system. New modules can also be developed decoupled from the larger system, and their functionality added later with limited downtime.
Modularity enables scalability. Smaller solutions can be applied and evaluated before scaling up. In Human-Robot Co-operation the level of automation can be applied in smaller steps, increasing the level over time if there is a need to ramp up. This also result in smaller investment and organizational changes initially, and thus it is associated with less risk.