This content is not included in your SAE MOBILUS subscription, or you are not logged in.
Crawler Robots for Drilling and Fastener Installation: An Innovative Breakthrough in Aerospace Automation
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
Published September 16, 2008 by SAE International in United States
Annotation ability available
Looking at ways to improve assembly techniques and cut lead times for serial and future programs, Airbus' research and technology team launched a project some years ago to evaluate greater automation of sub-components or final assembly lines.
The idea was to develop a new type of machine or ‘robot’ that could be attached to fuselage sections using suction cups, and walk along it while drilling and installing fasteners. A camera inside the robot takes a snapshot to work out its position on the part, so that it knows where to drill or install what. Once a fixed working area is complete, the robot moves itself into a new position and starts the process again until the whole surface is covered.
Three companies - Alema, MTorres and Serra - were approached to develop prototype robots along the same basic principles, although each was asked to follow a slightly different specification to test a range of options, such as weight, size and positioning. Each company developed a ‘crawler’ robot in conjunction with an Airbus team in Germany, France and Spain.
The prototypes were put through their paces together in a series of comparative tests, conducted in Toulouse in October 2007, which Airbus dubbed as the ‘crawler robot race’.
The goal of this paper is to describe this project starting by Airbus requirements and concluding by main results gained from the ‘crawler robot race’. In addition the 3 suppliers provide brief technical descriptions of the 3 prototype robots in order to explain the differences of each solution.
|Technical Paper||A High Reliable Automated Percussive Riveting System for Aircraft Assembly|
|Technical Paper||Flexible Automated Riveting and Assembly of Fuselage Skin Panels|
|Technical Paper||Robotic Trailing Edge Flap Drilling System|
CitationMarguet, B., Cibiel, C., De Francisco, Ó., Felip, B. et al., "Crawler Robots for Drilling and Fastener Installation: An Innovative Breakthrough in Aerospace Automation," SAE Technical Paper 2008-01-2292, 2008, https://doi.org/10.4271/2008-01-2292.
- Ribere B., “AIRBUS A340 Final Assembly By S.O.J.A.: Semi-Automatic orbital fuselage join up Robot”, 2002, SAE Aerofast, 02FAS-16