Aerospace Defense Component Assembly Automation System

A large government defense manufacturer needed to double their current assembly production capacity, improve assembled part quality and reduce system downtime all while reducing operator intervention and improving operator safety. In order to meet and exceed all the customer's requirements, RedViking developed a fully automated turnkey robotic, automation, and 3D vision-based assembly system. The RV system provides not only the required increase in production capacity but also improves assembly quality. In addition, this new system reduces product variability, reduces equipment downtime and maintenance, and provides much-needed production and quality data collection capability.

Problematic component handling,  component delivery accumulation issues, and ever-increasing equipment downtime were problematic for this large aerospace manufacturer.  With state-of-the-art Robotic, automation, and 3D vision-based technology for part sorting along with custom-engineered robotic (EOAT) end of arm tooling for part handling all work together to produce complete product assemblies in less time with an increased level of quality and little to no operator intervention.

A series of six Fanuc Robots all of various sizes work together to accomplish the part handling and assembly needs. Along with integrated 3D iRVision technology, the Fanuc Robots manipulates parts through the various assembly processes. A non-contact linear motion pallet/part transfer system facilitates the movement of parts from the operator load station, to accumulation and ultimately to the final assembly stations.

A dual traveler pallet transfer system with increased positioning accuracy and repeatability improves implementation of a custom engineered automated pallet final Lift and location system.

Key System Features

  • Minimized operator dependence to keep the system running
  • Maximum cycle time of (3) hours per (1) completed module assembly
  • Multiple Fanuc Robots with integrated 3D Vision System
  • Custom Engineered (EOAT) End of Arm Tooling with ATI quick change out capability
  • Component sub-assembly with Fanuc Robot and 3D Vision System
  • Safety Area Scanners, Light Screens and Safety Lockout systems
  • Turn-Key Part and Pallet transfer system
  • Independent Control for each assembly station

Project Highlights

Part Feeding & Integrated Robotic Vision System

A Fanuc Robot with integrated 3D vision and custom EOAT is used to sort, select and pick components. This advanced solution has the ability to find what it needs from multiple parts, locate it, pick it, and place with specific orientation to the corresponding table-mounted subsystems such as the (3) jaw grippers or adjacent flip stations to reorient the parts.

Advanced Safety Systems

Safety area scanners are mounted strategically within the automation cell, one at each corner of the main assembly table so all areas around the equipment are monitored. Safety light screens prevent the conveyor system from being run while an operator is working in the light screen protected safety zone.

Automation Cell Control Solution

The RedViking solution includes an advanced Automation Cell control system with independent operator workstations located outside of the assembly cell room. The operators have individual widescreen monitors for process monitoring located on each of the assembly area operator consoles. Integrated, wide panel touchscreen (HMI) Human Machine Interface units are mounted in the Main Cell Control Enclosure which provides complete system control as well as ability to view all cycle statuses and monitor system conditions.

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