There is uncertainty around the impact on the Aerospace sector with the UK leaving EU, but what is true is that aerospace continues to grow and due to the strong collaboration between Government and Aerospace industry continues to incentive and to encourage investment in aerospace innovation.
The industry shows a remarkable growth on Commercial Aircraft, New Passenger and freight aircraft, Travel Demand, and defence sectors. Total global demand for new aircraft production over the next 20 years is estimated to be 35,155 aircraft. Demand for 33,070 New passenger & Freight aircraft (Single-aisle 23,530 / Twin-aisle 8,060 / Very Large Aircraft 1,480) according to the Airbus document.
Since aircraft are growing, Robot Automation plays a vital role in this industry. Some of the most common robot applications perform by industrial robots are:
Aircraft, part manufacturing industries, tend to use composite materials to build parts, but they still use metal in some applications. However, industrial robots are very precise and accurate in welding. Some of the benefits of Robotic welding are their repeatability, tight tolerance and rigidity that is the primary concern of the aerospace industry.
Drilling and fastening
Titanium is a strong metal that the aerospace industry uses to build aircraft. Therefore, manual driller will require more time while the robot is a huge time saver. The robot uses a vision system to drill the metal at the precise position in a single task. In this demanding sector, it is essential to follow all regulations. Robots can also perform several inspections after the drilling operations by adding a laser scanner to the end-effector to provide the data of the process.
Dispensing and Sealing
Most of the size of the aircraft parts are enormous and it will require a big dispensing application too. Applying any kind of sealant to this large fuselage will be difficult for a manual operator but more suitable for the robots. A robot integrator makes sure that the rails built for the robot reach the desired area for the application to perform, industrial robots can cover distances from 30 to 40 ft. Robotic automation brings down expenses and enhances quality while adjusting rapidly to changes or the application that will carry out.
Robotic Automation Trends and challenges
Because of this growing, this industry faces two significant challenges to consider (1) the entrance of new global competitors, and (2) the impact on the supply chain.
It is well known that the aerospace industry is an extremely demanding sector, and they need to comply with high-level regulations. Therefore, they need to increase and accelerate their production to maintain competitiveness. The most secure and cost-effective solution is through robotic automation. An example of large aerospace manufacturers that go in this direction is Airbus and Lockheed Martin.
Phoenix provides the support this industry needs in terms of Industrial Control Systems and Robotic Automation.