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Unsettled Technology Domains in Robotics for Automation in Aerospace Manufacturing

Muelaner Engineering, Ltd.-Jody Muelaner
  • Research Report
  • EPR2019010
To be published on 2019-12-20 by SAE International in United States
Cost reduction and increasing production rate are driving automation of aerospace manufacturing. Articulated serial robots may replace bespoke gantry automation or human operations. Improved accuracy is key to enabling operations such as machining, additive manufacturing, composite fabrication, drilling, automated program development and inspection. New accuracy standards are needed to enable process- relevant comparisons between robot systems. Accuracy can be improved through calibration of kinematic and joint stiffness parameters, joint output encoders, adaptive control that compensates for thermal expansion and feed- forward control that compensates for hysteresis and external loads. The impact of datuming could also be significantly reduced through modelling and optimization. High dynamic end-effectors compensate high-frequency disturbances using inertial sensors and reaction masses. Global measurement feedback is a high-accuracy turn-key solution, but it is costly and has limited capability to compensate dynamic errors. Local measurement feedback is a mature, affordable and highly accurate technology where the robot is required to position or align relative to some local feature. Locally clamped machine tools are an alternative approach that can utilize the flexibility of industrial robots…

Automation: The Future of Medical Manufacturing

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35367
Published 2019-10-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

Manufacturers in the medical industry face unique challenges in terms of product mix, throughput requirements, quality standards, and regulatory guidelines. Whether a company is developing imaging equipment, orthopedic implants, or diagnostics, the manufacturing process must be absolutely error free while delivering high throughput. Device companies are looking more and more to factory automation to ensure that they are addressing these disparate requirements.

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Optimization of Automated Airframe Assembly Process on Example of A350 S19 Splice Joint

Airbus-Elodie Bonhomme, Pedro Montero-Sanjuan
Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University-Sergey Lupuleac, Julia Shinder, Maria Churilova, Nadezhda Zaitseva, Valeriia Khashba
Published 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
The paper presents the numerical approach to simulation and optimization of A350 S19 splice assembly process. The main goal is to reduce the number of installed temporary fasteners while preventing the gap between parts from opening during drilling stage. The numerical approach includes computation of residual gaps between parts, optimization of fastener pattern and validation of obtained solution on input data generated on the base of available measurements. The problem is solved with ASRP (Assembly Simulation of Riveting Process) software. The described methodology is applied to the optimization of the robotized assembly process for A350 S19 section.
Annotation ability available
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New Technologies for Airframe Structural Assemblies

LISI Aerospace-Mehdi Dahane
Published 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
With air traffic demand constantly increasing and several years of aircraft production in their backlog, major aircraft manufacturers are now shifting their focus toward improving assembly process efficiency. One of the most promising solutions, known as “One Side Assembly”, aims to perform the whole assembly sequence from one side of the structure (drilling, temporary fastener installation and removal, blind fastener installation, assembly control) and with a high level of integrated automation. Investments in robotic equipment, automation engineering and innovation are very active and automation capabilities have already increased a lot in the aerospace industry. As an example, drilling operations for large dimensions airframe are clearly moving from manual to automated. However, despite more and more clever and sophisticated robotics, the use of historical fasteners with two side installation method remains a strong limitation to innovative automated assembly sequences. A blind fastener which can provide the same mechanical characteristics than current structural fasteners, while providing automation friendly features and meeting cost objectives is a real “must have” for assembly process efficiency improvements. It is also full…
Annotation ability available

Automated Object Detection in an Image

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-34908
Published 2019-08-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

Recent developments in machine vision have demonstrated remarkable improvements in the ability of computers to properly identify objects in a viewing field. Most of these advances rely on color-texture analyses that require target objects to possess one or more highly distinctive, local features that can be used as distinguishing characteristics for a classification algorithm. Many objects, however, consist of materials that are widely prevalent across a variety of object categories. For example, many trees have leaves, many manmade objects are made of painted metal, and so forth, such that color-texture detectors configured/trained to identify leaves or painted metal are good for some categorizations, but not for others. Much less effort has been made to characterize objects based on shape, or the particular way the component features are arranged relative to one another in two-dimensional (2D) image space.

Point Precision Is Critical in Medical Motion Control

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-34815
Published 2019-07-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

The language used by suppliers of technology solutions aimed at precision engineering applications is vague and, in some instances, confusing. The use of traditional language and words such as precision and resolution without any degree of qualification are just meaningless. This article analyzes the concept of precision. It explores new language for defining submicron- and nanometer-level accuracy for motion control and details why new standards are required to indicate the real levels of precision that different motion control solutions can achieve.

Intelligent Motion Controls for Smarter Air Flow

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-34816
Published 2019-07-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

No longer a trend, automation has become the foundation in technology for manufacturing. This article addresses three areas that require new thinking and innovative approaches for next-generation cooling technology manufacturing: where intelligent motion controls are used, whether they increase product life and performance, and what they protect.

Key Factors to Consider When Designing a Smart Factory

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-34638
Published 2019-06-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

In recent years, the emergence of Industry 4.0 has been steadily transforming the manufacturing sector into an ultra-high-tech industry. Innovative smart technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), the IoT, sensors, and machine vision are powerful tools that many companies are starting to integrate into both their manufacturing techniques and business practices.

Vision Sensors in Factory Automation

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-34577
Published 2019-06-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

There are a number of ways to extract data from a production line. In factory automation, sensors are used in work cells to gather data for inspection or to trigger other devices. These sensors fall into multiple categories – photoelectric, fiber optic, proximity, ultrasonic, and vision are the most common.

Changing the Automation Conversation

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-34407
Published 2019-05-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

With advancements in manufacturing processes and materials, components in many industries are more precise with a new level of complex shapes. There is significant demand to create parts and assemblies that perform better, last longer, and cost less to make. Manufacturers are increasingly focused on robotics or other automated systems to produce, assemble, and inspect these components. The new generation of robotic manufacturing cells incorporates advanced metrology sensors that enable them to perform tasks more accurately and with greater versatility. These robotic cells are typically referred to as Metrology Enhanced Automation (MEA).