High Path Accuracy, High Process Force Articulated Robot 2013-01-2291
Spirit AeroSystems' process of producing carbon fiber nacelle panels requires heat and high force plus a high level of dynamic accuracy. Traditionally this would require large and expensive custom machines. A low cost robotic alternative was developed to perform the same operations utilizing an off-the-shelf 6-axis robot mated to a servo-controlled linear axis. Each of the 7 axes is enhanced with secondary position encoders and the entire system is controlled by a Siemens 840Dsl CNC. The CNC handles all process functions, robot motion, and executes software technologies developed for superior dynamic positional accuracy, including enhanced kinematics. The layout of the work cell allowed the robot to span two work zones so that parts can be loaded and unloaded while the robot continues working in the adjacent zone.