Browse Publications Technical Papers 2023-01-1012

Development of a Robotic System for Automated Drilling and Inspection of Small Aerostructures 2023-01-1012

Traditional solutions developed for the aerospace industry must overcome challenges posed for automation systems like design, requalification, large manual content, restricted access, and tight tolerances. At the same time, automated systems should avoid the use of dedicated equipment so they can be shared between jigs; moved between floor levels and access either side of the workpiece. This article describes the development of a robotic system for drilling and inspection for small aerostructure manufacturing specifically designed to tackle these requirements. The system comprises three work packages: connection within the digital thread (from concept through to operational metrics including Statistical Process Control), innovative lightweight / low energy drill, and auto tool-change with in-process metrology. The validation tests demonstrating Technology Readiness Level 6 are presented and results are shown and discussed.


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