Robotic Orbital Drilling of Structures for Aerospace Applications 2002-01-2636
This paper describes ongoing research into orbital drilling using standard industrial robots. The research is a part of an ongoing EU funded aircraft industry project - ADFAST*. Generally it is difficult to use standard industrial robots to automate drilling in the aerospace industry. The stiffness of the standard robotic device is not sufficient to resist the deflections caused by the cutting forces from the drilling process, therefore it is difficult to achieve the tight hole tolerance requirements. Orbital drilling creates lower axial cutting forces compared to conventional drilling and therefore allows the use of low-cost standard industrial robots for drilling holes within the required hole tolerances. This paper presents results from a study where forces, moments and dislocations produced during orbital- and conventional drilling have been measured.