The Problem: An aircraft manufacturer needed to cut production costs for part trimming. Their manual measurement and trimming process was time consuming and costly.
The RedViking Solution: An automated laser radar aircraft measurement and robotic trimming cell designed to trim six different parts within tolerance, reducing aircraft door and hatch trimming time from more than 70 hours to less than 10 hours per assembly. Estimated first year savings will exceed $2M.
Original Process Required Over 70 Hours
An aerospace manufacturer’s door measurement and trimming process was outdated and costly, with highly skilled workers spending too much time on unskilled operations. Production time for each assembly exceeded 70 hours because each aircraft opening was measured and trimmed to fit by hand. This manual process involved many iterations of measuring the opening, trimming the panel, and placing it to test fit.
Laser Radar Data Integration for Robotic Trimming
RedViking integrated a laser scanning system that measures airframe openings and interprets the coordinate data for a trimming robot. Custom algorithms were created to translate the laser radar measurement data into a format usable by the robot. The system can robotically trim 6 different door types to within tolerance and the complete process now takes less than 10 hours.
Key Design Features Improve Operator Safety
Operator safety was a key part of our design, as the manual process involved lifting and bending. The design includes clamping assemblies that allow the operator to load and unload the parts with ease. During trimming, an integrated vacuum collects dust and debris to prevent inhalation of potentially harmful particles. The robot can’t be operated unless the cell door is closed, and there are 5 emergency stop buttons in quickly accessible locations within the cell.
Positive Return on Investment in Less than a Year
With RedViking’s intelligent automated solution, the aircraft manufacturer reduced part trim time from more than 70 hours to less than 10 hours for a single airframe. What once took two operators almost a week now takes one person a day’s worth of work. The manufacturer has predicted a positive return on investment in less than a year.
Precision Trimming within Tolerance
The Automated Aircraft Measurement and Trimming Cell vastly improves the manufacturer’s measurement accuracy and consistency. In addition to a 60+ hour reduction to complete the operation, the new system also frees up skilled operators to do more valuable work.
Decades of Aerospace Experience
The customer selected RedViking because of our extensive expertise designing and building custom machines, automation, tooling, software and controls – and seamlessly integrating them. We’re doing projects for fixed wing assembly, jet engine test and assembly, helicopter dynamic component testing and more. If you’ve get an aerospace test or assembly challenge, we’ll work with you to design the solution that fits your timeline and your budget, with outstanding support for the life of your machines.