More aerospace organizations are now exploring automation in the form of collaborative robotic (cobot) and machine-integrated robotic technology. Cobots are ideal as they facilitate operators to step in, scrutinize, and verify the grinding process.
FREMONT, CA: In today’s aerospace industry, businesses often feel bound to operate a particular way. The reason is a tried-and-true, validated process or because the physics of aerospace dictates certain limitations on systems, materials, and designs.
With conventional methods, manufacturers cannot hope for different results and real innovation. They will also miss out on some notable technological advancement on the horizon for aerospace, most of which will involve the grinding process.
More aerospace organizations are now exploring automation in the form of collaborative robotic (cobot) and machine-integrated robotic technology. Cobots are ideal as they facilitate operators to step in, scrutinize, and verify the grinding process. Nevertheless, as measurement and cell controller technology become ever more refined, businesses may rely less on humans and adopt fully closed-loop systems. In these systems, upon completing a part on the grinder, a robot moves it to the measurement system for examination. Next, an algorithm in the cell controller decides if thresholds are in an acceptable range and whether or not to modify the grinding program to adjust for any drifts in performance. These systems will also automatically enter corrections to the grinder’s offsets.
3D printing is poised to play a significant role in the manufacture of aerospace components. The technology will open new opportunities for intricate part design and possibly facilitate aerospace Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to manufacture components with both improved durability and decreased weight.
Along with new processes, aerospace manufacturers continuously look at new materials that can enhance parts and their performance. At present, enterprises are exploring nonmetals like ceramics. Ceramics distribute tremendous amounts of heat resistance, which is a vital element for turbine parts. As such non-traditional, tremendously hard materials become more prevalent in aerospace components; diamond grinding wheels will play an even more fundamental role. They are the only wheel types sturdy enough to grind the materials effectively.
Aerospace OEMs also extend to research new designs to make aircraft faster and more efficient. The challenge with the innovations, however, is to overcome the insubstantial balance of physics that makes flight possible. Despite many avenues for change and growth, innovation for the aerospace industry is expected to come at a cautious and calculated pace.