Auburn Hills, MI., USA, May 3, 2007 Dassault Systèmes (NASDAQ: DASTY: Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, today announced that Airbus has completed a major research project that is expected to result in a greater level of automated drilling applications within the aerospace giant. This patent-applied-for process, which incorporates DELMIA V5 Robotics software, is aimed to reduce costs, cut production time, and improve quality.
“Our research is part of a drive to significantly reduce manual processing across aircraft programs. Standard industrial robots are not accurate enough for our process specifications, as absolute positional accuracy of ±0.2 mm is required in many application areas. Our team brought together two development partners, KUKA UK and M3, using DELMIA solutions, to address this problem and come up with a way to bring a low cost, flexible robotic platform into the aerospace sector,” explains Mark Summers, engineering group leader, Automation and Robotics, Airbus UK. Company-wide, Airbus drills around 50 million holes per year, half of which are manually processed.
M3 is a METRIS metrology integrator, and a DELMIA UK Service Partner. The new Airbus process links a METRIS system to the KUKA robot dynamically, on-line. All of the robot programs being created off-line use DELMIA’s Robotics simulation solutions.
“Because aircraft parts are so large and accuracy requirements so high, Off-Line Robotic Programming was needed. DELMIA Robotics Simulation software technology with our metrology interface and integration means the robot is consistently running programs, accurately, and data is referenced back to the CAD master dynamically on-site. The first production system will be put into action at Airbus in the UK,” said Roger Holden, managing director of M3, the company with joint commercial rights to this solution (with KUKA UK). The project is a real partnership between Airbus, KUKA, METRIS, and DELMIA.
The unique and fully integrated metrology system measures the virtual world first and adapts the real world to fit, making the robot intelligent enough to make its own adaptations. This means that it can make accurate allowances for temperature fluctuations, for example. The system makes the robot aware of deflections by measuring the relative positions of the target and the robot as it moves towards it. The robot is then able to coordinate that data and make the necessary compensations.