Why is the edge sealing process not yet broadly automated? – Airborne

Why is the edge sealing process not yet broadly automated? - Airborne

One of the many tasks which is still manual in aerospace composites is the sealing of trimmed edges. And the companies that are doing it will tell you it’s cumbersome, not a fun job to do, physically strainful and just something you want to automate.

So why didn’t it happen yet?

This is what we heard from customers:

  • It needs to be precise, the quality specs are very strict, we don’t think automation can do it
  • We have 100’s of parts, the programming is a nightmare
  • The parts have features like joggles, thickness variations, holes: how are you going to deal with that if you automate?
  • For automation, we need to have high precision fixtures which are just too expensive
  • The sealing needs to be continuous around the whole edge, especially the start and end can not be done in an automated way

Well, let’s solve this then!

Luckily we have our Automated Programming software at our disposal. In our Automated Edge Sealing system, it takes the 3D CAD and the camera images of the part, and creates all the robot code on-the-fly. Many parts: not a problem!

Parts are placed on an infeed belt, camera detects the part, robot takes the part and manipulates under the dispenser: no fixtures needed
By combining high precision dispensing technology, our proprietary nozzle designs and on-the-fly calibration of the robot, we can reliably seal the edge with the tolerances required, accommodate all the different geometric features and make sure the start and end are flawless.

With our launching partner COTESA GmbH we are currently bringing this into a running aerospace production programme. It has more than 500 different part designs, with all the difficult features mentioned above and of course it needs to be OEM-qualified.

If you also want to automate this task, feel free to reach out.