Robotic system at Spirit Aerosystems

7th January 2020

Composites World has published an article featuring USL robotic inspection system at Spirit Aerostructures in Prestwick

A unique robotic system has been installed at Spirit Aerosystems in Prestwick UK for the inspection of Resin Transfer Moulded (RTM) spoilers for the Airbus A320 family aircraft. The system is one of USL’s most advanced systems to date and is part of a fully automated manufacturing cell at Spirit which is described in an article in Composites World.

A video of the facility can be seen here.

Two Stäubli robots work collaboratively to load and inspect all skins, spars and ribs of the RTM spoilers using immersion phased-array ultrasonics before returning the spoiler, ready for final assembly. With up to 10 inspections per spoiler and 10 spoiler types, a range of automatically changed end-effectors are utilised with individual settings and parameters loaded for each tool, guided by the MES system.

This requires extremely accurate and reproducible positioning, which is achieved by the combination of industrial robots and custom USL motion control, which replaces the conventional controllers from the robot manufacturer. B and C-Scan images are generated for every inspection giving a comprehensive overview and flagging any defects from preceding production stages.