Aerospace case study
A global aerospace OEM found that their current application method for Dinatrol, a Corrosion inhibitor, needed updating. Before automation, 5-6 operators manually applied the spray to the interior of the fuselage using necessary, heavy duty protective equipment. This system had several drawbacks, foremost of which was the dangerous environment for the operators. They were working with toxic chemicals in the confined fuselage which had limited floor space, mostly consisting of elevated metal railing. This system was also restricted due to safety requirements of ATEX, the governing body for potentially explosive atmospheres. ATEX require, amongst other things, a sealed environment and intensive training for operators.
Our solution was a caterpillar driven AGV carrying a collaborative spraying arm robot. The AGV used a laser guided deployment platform to deliver it to the fuselage’s centre running seating rails, utilising a Serapid ridged chain for wiring to breach the gap. Once in place, a ‘dummy door’ was required by ATEX safety standards to contain toxic chemicals, allowing for a controlled extraction. The AGV is able to move along the centre seat rails, precision spraying the bays as it goes. Finally, returning for automated collection by the platform.
By automating this dangerous and expensive process, they now save on cost with no fear of endangering operators whilst complying fully with ATEX regulations. They have also found huge benefit in the significant increase of precision in the new system along with its reliability