HRH The Duke of York to visit OC Robotics
Industrial robots have been under development for external assembly tasks for many years. However, using an industrial robot to perform tasks inside the wingbox after closeout becomes a real “eye of the needle” problem. It is physically impossible to manouevre an industrial robot arm through the small man-access holes in a wing to conduct tasks inside the wingbox – put simply, the elbows get in the way.
Snake-arm robots are flexible robotic arms that don't have elbows, so they can follow their nose into confined spaces.
OC Robotics has developed a snake-arm robot demonstrator for Airbus, capable of reaching into a mock-up of a rib bay in a wing and conducting swaging tasks. Airbus has been working with OC Robotics for over 3 years and in 2006 co-funded the development of the first aerospace snake-arm robot.
Traditionally, aerospace assembly has always been a craft industry, and with good reason. The highly skilled processes and large-scale structures mean that automation becomes a lot more complicated. But with the pressure of high production rates, increasing Health and Safety legistlation, and globalisation, automation has been seen as the only way to keep up with these demands.
Snake-arm robots enable the aerospace industry to reduce H&S costs by allowing operators to conduct work from outside the confined spaces. Not only that, but they also offer the potential to increase production rates by speeding up processes.
Ultimately, automation cannot replace personnel, but it can augment their skills and expertise to improve quality and production rates. The inevitable changes to the current processes and procedures will result in a more repeatable, more reliable and more streamlined production system.
Rob Buckingham, Managing Director, and Andrew Graham, Technical Director, will show His Royal Highness around OC Robotics’ offices and workshop and the Airbus demonstrator snake-arm robot will be demonstrated conducting assembly tasks inside a rib-bay mock-up.
Contact: Ms Ros Conkie
Tel: +44 (0)117 3144700
Unit 5, Abbey Wood Business Park, Filton, Bristol, BS34 7JU, UK
OC Robotics is the world leader in snake-arm robot technology and is currently the only commercial supplier (verified by Airbus, US Department of Defense, UK Ministry of Defence, British Nuclear Group, Areva and others). OC Robotics has over 10 years of experience in snake-arm robots, particularly for use in confined spaces, and a proven track record of helping customers reach the unreachable.
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