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 growing 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.
Trends and challenges for Aerospace Industry
Based on such growth, this industry faces two significant trends and 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.
Since aircraft are growing, robotics play an important role in this industry. Some of the most common applications perform by robotics are:
The composite materials play an important role in aircraft part manufacturing industries, but the aerospace industry still uses metal in some applications and robot certainly very precise and accurate in welding. Robotic welding is widely used for their repeatability, tight tolerance and rigidity that is the main concern of the aerospace industry.
Drilling and fastening:
Titanium is strong metal that aerospace industry uses to build aircraft. Therefore, the manual driller will require more time while the robot is 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 important 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 operation.
Dispensing and Sealing:
Most of the size of the aircraft parts are huge 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. An integrator makes sure that the rails built for the robot reach the desired area for the application to perform, a robot can cover distances from 30 to 40 ft. Robotic innovation brings down expenses and enhances quality while adjusting rapidly to changes or the application that will carry out.