Single-step drilling, countersinking, and quality control. Flexible and scalable process automation is key to optimizing and automating processes with the aim of increasing competitiveness through more flexible manufacturing, boosting quality by reducing error rates, and increasing production systems’ uptime. The robot-based application arcarde (Assembly Robotic Cell Application for Riveting and Drilling End Effector) brings these benefits to aircraft manufacturers.
Focused on customer needs engineers from thyssenkrupp System Engineering developed arcarde. This robot-based application enables the most common process in aircraft production – positive connection of structural parts – to be fully automated at high levels of precision. arcarde makes drilling and countersinking possible in a single process step that includes post-process quality control.
With the help of a stereo camera, the robot-assisted tool is highly accurately positioned on a part with complex geometries (double-curved surfaces). In a typical drilling process for aircraft manufacturing, the tool drills a hole with a diameter of up to 12 mm in no more than 10 seconds. The 20,000 rpm spindle enables very
accurate holes to be drilled through stacks of almost any kind of relevant material. Productivity data are transferred automatically into a database that can be accessed from anywhere. Though implementation of additional process steps, such as sealant application or rivet setting, is still at the trial phase, these operations are expected to be available in the near future.
In addition to the excellent performance data arcarde is maintenance- and repair-friendly. The deployment of standard components from well-known manufacturers means spare parts can be purchased quickly and cost-effectively thanks to the support of thyssenkrupp’s global after-sales service network. Together with thyssenkrupp, aircraft manufacturers can equip themselves to face the challenges of tomorrow’s world.