Smart Portable Tools: The Practical Solution to Agile Assembly
Fully autonomous systems are seen as the ultimate solution to all manufacturing problems due to their consistent quality and ability to improve rates, but they also have one key disadvantage: Limited equipment versatility. This shortcoming becomes most apparent when trying to apply automation to aircraft final assembly. The variety of jobs is great and would necessitate the development of many unique solutions. Therefore a robotic system designed for one job on one aircraft version might be useless on the next version. Also there are many tight spaces and complex jobs where automation is just not practical, meaning that workers with portable tools will always have some presence in production. The modern smart portable tool as exemplified by the Novator PM Series orbital drill motor is capable of matching the quality and speed of a robotic system while still maintaining the ability to be applicable over a wide variety of jobs.