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WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 6/2019

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  • Industrial
  • Industries
WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 6/2019

MOTION AND DRIVES

MOTION AND DRIVES Complex robotics in aircraft construction Industrial robots rotate a thousand times over several axes whilst riveting aircraft fuselages. A stress test for data, pneumatic and energy cables. To endure the movements, the Spanish plant manufacturer LOXIN (ARITEX GROUP), relies on cable guides made of high-performance plastic – developed by the Cologne-based motion plastics specialist, igus. Passengers think of a lot of things on the flight to their summer holiday. Of relaxation, the beach and a cocktail. But very few think of rivets, of the inconspicuous fasteners that safely hold the fuselage parts of the aircraft together. In a task that takes weeks, skilled workers beat the rivets into metal fuselages that weigh several tons. Wasn’t automation of this laborious activity possible? Desirable, yes but it had been impossible for a long time, because robots were not sophisticated enough. They needed more than just flexibility to reach every point of a fuselage. They also had to master several work steps – from drilling and milling to riveting. With a precision of 0.2 millimetres. 16 WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 6/2019

Fuselages are riveted together by 6-axis robots LOXIN 2002 succeeded in automating the riveting process. The multi-axis robots of the Spanish company work in the production division of a large aircraft manufacturer. Left and right next to the raised fuselage. The robots are mounted on platforms that can be raised up to a height of several metres by linear units – similar to a forklift (Figure 1). Arriving at the right height, the heavy robot weighing tons, moves to the operating point with millimetre accuracy over six axes. It drills a hole in the metal, mills a recess for the rivet head, vacuums up the dust, applies a sealant and sets the rivet. Depending on the fuselage section, the robots must constantly change the angles and diameters during drilling, milling and riveting. But this flexible multitasking was not the only hurdle that LOXIN had to overcome during development. 01 The cables for the tools on the end effector of the robotic arm are housed in black, three-dimensionally movable triflex chains and are safely guided by them WORLD OF OF INDUSTRIES 6/2019 17

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