04. December 2014

Robotic Quality Control for the Aviation Industry

© Fotolia.com

In collaboration with a project consortium, PROFACTOR has developed the prototype of a robot that increases efficiency in lightweight construction.

The subject of lightweight construction is of tremendous relevance, especially in the aviation industry. However, the production of components made of fibre composite materials is extremely labour-intensive. Together with partners from industry, including the aircraft component supplier FACC, PROFACTOR has just completed a three-year research project that promises a 50% increase in production efficiency.

The production and quality control of lightweight components have so far been very labour-intensive and consequently cost-intensive: the filling, stopping, grinding and activating of surfaces for finishing and patching generally had to be done by hand. Automatic quality assurance similar to the automatic inspection of metal surfaces was all but impossible owing to the complex textures of the materials.

"With this project we have accomplished our task," says Christian Eitzinger, head of research at PROFACTOR. "The robot-controlled prototype with fully automatic inspection system works. In practice an increase in efficiency of approximately 50% can be expected."

Robot-controlled sensors inspect a carbon component © Benteler