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Unsettled Technology Domains in Robotics for Automation in Aerospace Manufacturing

Muelaner Engineering, Ltd.-Jody Muelaner
  • Research Report
  • EPR2019010
Published 2019-12-20 by SAE International in United States
Cost reduction and increasing production rates 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 (AM), composite fabrication, drilling, automated program development, and inspection. New accuracy standards are needed to enable process-relevant comparisons between robotic systems.Accuracy can be improved through calibration of kinematic and joint stiffness parameters, joint output encoders, adaptive control that compensates for thermal expansion, and feedforward control that compensates for hysteresis and external loads. The impact of datuming could also be significantly reduced through modeling and optimization. Highly dynamic end effectors compensate high-frequency disturbances using inertial sensors and reaction masses. Global measurement feedback is a high-accuracy turnkey 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 while…
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Changing How the Aerospace Industry Makes Parts

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35684
Published 2019-12-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

Technology that increases production rates and part quality, while reducing setup times and costs, is seeing a surge in demand within the aerospace sector as the commercial aircraft backlog continues to grow.

Collaborative Automation: It's More Than Just the Cobot

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35608
Published 2019-12-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

Collaborative robots, often called “cobots,” offer opportunities for companies of almost any size to cost-effectively automate processes that were previously out of reach. Cobots are available in a wide range of sizes, payloads, and capabilities but they all share attributes that define the term “collaborative.” The aspect that most people think of first is safety — the ability for cobots to work alongside human workers without bulky, expensive guarding. Cobots include a number of built-in safety mechanisms including rounded edges and softer materials as well as power-and force-limiting technologies that avoid injury and minimize discomfort in case of contact, and sensors that automatically slow or stop the robot arm if a human enters its workspace.

2019 'Create the Future' Manufacturing/Robotics/Automation Category Winner: The HPCI® Joining Gun

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35440
Published 2019-11-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

Plate Handler Adds Automation in Medical Laboratories

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35504
Published 2019-11-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

Peak Analysis and Automation (PAA), Farnborough, UK, has designed a budget-friendly plate handler that works in a tight laboratory footprint, developing an innovative product that could be a game-changing development in the medical community.

Expanding Traditional Machine Vision With High-Speed Digital Imaging

  • Magazine Article
  • TBMG-35474
Published 2019-11-01 by Tech Briefs Media Group in United States

Machine vision is a proven process control tool for a variety of industrial automation applications. Traditionally, this technology integrates commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) imaging sensors, lighting modules and processors to guide, inspect or identify parts as they move along production lines. Compared to human operators, machine vision systems are fast, accurate and repeatable—improving product quality, lowering scrap rates and increasing productivity in fast-paced manufacturing environments.

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.
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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…
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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.