Abstract Many assembly processes, particularly in the manufacture of aircraft components, are still carried out by humans manually. In addition to rationalization aspects, high quality requirements, non-ergonomic activities, the lack of well-qualified workers etc. may require the use of automation technology. Through novel possibilities of human-robot-cooperation these challenges can be met through a skills-based division of labor. Tasks are assigned to humans and robots in a way that the respective strengths can be used most efficiently. This article presents, how assembly processes can get empowered for human-robot-cooperation, using a specific work description for humans and robots, an assembly priority chart and suitable robot programs, to prepare for a skills-based task assignment. In the area of formerly exclusively manual assembly, the operations for the assembly of the product must first be described in detail.