given process, is usually measured in days or weeks. In automotive, it’s measured in seconds, so you can’t have a robot sitting around for a week after it’s done its job. It’s not going to provide a good business case. A lot of the demand in aerospace is either for large-scale systems that can auto- mate an entire process end-to-end, or smaller-scale systems that are flexible enough so that they can be used for different tasks in a process. “We’ve worked on some projects that require very close
tolerances, on the order of 0.010" [0.25 mm] or less,” said Kleemann. “For something like that, we’ve always used the approach of using a coordinate metrology system integrated into the system to provide a second source of measurement of positional accuracy. That’s the approach we used in the inlet duct project, as well as subsequent projects, and it gets the job done.”
An SBIR Phase II program for the F-35, the Affordable Accurate Robotic Guidance (AARG), teams some of the devel-
The new Fanuc M-900iB/700 robot offers improved rigidity and accuracy for airframe drilling operations.
opers of the earlier FILLS project on the AARG system, which uses metrology-guided drilling technology to automate the
ABB Robotics. From small parts to the largest. Automated metal fab made easy.
From entry level systems for smaller parts to the most intricate, highly engineered systems for heavy, large frame welding, ABB has the ideal robotic system for the full range of welding, cutting and metal fabrication applications. With industry leading software innovations that reduce programming complexity, ABB robots and modular systems can easily handle small batch runs of highly diverse parts. The ABB family of robots includes a selection of integrated dressing models that deliver 15% shorter cycle times, lower operational costs and greater flexibility. www.abb.com/robotics