The Latest Uses of Industrial Robotics in Aerospace Applications

The Latest Uses of Industrial Robotics in Aerospace ApplicationsThe aerospace industry faces unique challenges. In terms of robotic automation, one unique challenge is the fact that aircraft are typically in use for decades, but the technology used to create them develops at a rapid pace. The need for ever-increasing productivity and streamlined operations places a great deal of responsibility on robotic automation to consistently deliver a competitive advantage.

Robotic technology in the aerospace industry has evolved quickly, and today’s aerospace robots are delivering entirely new levels of productivity.

5 New Uses of Industrial Robots in Aerospace

  1. Material Removal: robots equipped with advanced sensors for path planning and analysis, mounted on a mobile track, are now being used for sanding and paint removal applications. These robots are a major source of productivity. The Air Force, for example, spends upwards of 40,000+ hours on these tasks – robotic material removal drastically reduces the time and cost of these applications.
  2. Non-Destructive Inspection: the aerospace industry is known for tight tolerances and strict regulations, as there is no room for failure in the manufacturing process. Robotic non-destructive ultrasonic testing and inspection improves the accuracy of inspections while increasing productivity in a heavily manual process.
  3. Welding: there’s been a widespread need for some time for the welding of metal parts in motors and turbines, but most recently robots have been welding exotic materials. For metals like Titanium or Nickel-Alloy, today’s robots can provide quality and safety above and beyond manual processes.
  4. Assembly: robots with versatile end-effectors are now being used to automate the assembly process, including tasks such as drilling, countersinking, applying sealants and setting rivets. Much of this work is laborious and demanding for human workers – robots are faster and more accurate at these tasks.
  5. Transport: some forms of mobile robots are now used in the aerospace industry to move large structures weighing several tons around the manufacturing facility. Many of these mobile robots are quite large themselves, featuring dozens of specialized wheels, and can move autonomously.

These 5 new uses of industrial robots in aerospace manufacturing represent some of the most innovative and technologically advanced robotic systems available today. The constant rate of innovation in robotics for aerospace manufacturing has led to some new and exciting robotic applications. As the industry continues to strive for higher levels of productivity, robotic technology will also continue to be a source of innovation.