A research project to enable robots to accurately machine holes in composite aircraft components, has matured into a production system and is on track to save BAE Systems millions of pounds in capital and operational costs over the coming years.
The robotic countersinking technology was developed through collaborative research, led by the AMRC and involving KUKA Systems UK.
The development technology derisked the process enabling the design of a production system. This production system has now been installed at BAE Systems in the UK, where it will be used to processes a wide range of composite components for military aircraft.
Ben Morgan, head of the AMRC’s Integrated Manufacturing Group, said: “We have been able to develop a cost effective solution with the latest state of the art control systems.
“The architecture of the system will allow the technology to evolve over time and embrace the ideas behind Industry 4.0. We’re now advancing the development system further, enabling process monitoring and generating ‘Big Data’. Analysis of this data, i.e. ‘Data Mining’ will provide an understanding of quality in process.”