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Technical Paper

Developing Robotic Sealing Processes in Aerospace Manufacturing

Aerospace manufacturing is becoming more competitive and cost reduction is a key factor in building a competitive edge. Robotic technology has advanced tremendously over the past 25 years primarily due to the automotive industry adopting robotic manufacturing disciplines. The aerospace industry is at the threshold of introducing robotic manufacturing in many areas such as drilling, painting, material handling and sealing. We will review several key steps required to introduce robotic sealing technology into the aerospace manufacturing industry. In the first section, we will review the prerequisites for implementing robotic sealing in the aerospace industry. These are: leadership direction, commitment to investment and establishing the multidisciplinary team. In the second section, we will review current sealing processes, application techniques, sealant materials, sealing specifications, manufacturing constraints and production quality systems.
Journal Article

Automated Painting for Aerospace, Challenges, Newer Technologies and Lessons Learned

Many Aerospace Manufacturers desire to automate their painting processes to improve quality, reduce coating and other materials usage, and reduce labor content. Automated Painting Systems have been developed for a number of industries, but are less common in Aerospace for a number of reasons, including 1) very large objects to paint with complex surfaces, 2) parts to be painted which are not located accurately or consistently, and 3) a (relatively) small number of parts to paint although often a very large variety of different parts. In developing and implementing automated painting systems, these challenges need to be overcome in robust and cost effective ways, and technologies have been developed and are being enhanced to deal with these challenges. This paper will address some of the most important technologies which are being used to facilitate implementation of automated painting systems.