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Aerospace Robotics: Will Automation Replace Manual Operations?

November 05, 2020 | Aerospace & Defense

Right from painting airframes and drilling, to constructing aircraft engines- robots play a crucial role in the aerospace industry. Owing to their high precision, capability, and reliability, their demand is surging day by day in this industry. They confer a large number of vital benefits, such as novel manufacturing, improved quality, timescales, manpower, and reduced costs. Robotic technology in the aerospace sector has evolved efficiently. Today’s robots are providing new levels of productivity.

According to Fortune Business Insights™, the global aerospace robotics market is expected to reach USD 7.78 billion by 2027. It is set to showcase an astonishing growth on account of the increasing investments by Japan, Germany, South Korea, China, France, and the U.S. in research and development activities. They are doing so to manufacture unique aerospace robots equipped with artificial intelligence (AI). The European Union, for instance, invested approximately USD 110.6 million for research programs on information & communication technologies between 2010 to 2016.

What are Some of the Significant Uses of Robots in the Aerospace Industry?

  • Welding: Industrial robots deliver the accuracy and repeatability needed for maintaining quality and safety during welding processes, especially while dealing with exotic metals, such as nickel-alloy and titanium. Though composite parts have become very popular in the aerospace industry, there is still rising demand for precision welding in turbines and motors.

  • Transport: Nowadays mobile robots are being extensively used to move large components and structures weighing several tons in and around the manufacturing facility. These robots are equipped with multiple specialized wheels that make them easily movable.  

  • Assembly: Robots are used to automate the entire assembly process in this industry. It contains tasks, such as setting rivets, applying sealants, countersinking, and drilling. These tasks are laborious and require huge manpower. Robots being faster and accurate are therefore selected for these tasks.

  • Inspection: There is no room for failure in the manufacturing process as the aerospace industry is under constant observation and strict norms. Thus, robotic inspection and non-destructive ultrasonic testing help in enhancing the accuracy of inspections.

  • Removal of material: Robots featuring state-of-the-art sensors for analysis and path planning are being rapidly used in this industry for paint removal and sanding applications.

Airbus Acquires MTM Robotics to Expand its Advanced Robotics Capabilities

In December 2019, Airbus, a multinational aerospace corporation based in France, acquired MTM Robotics, an industrial automation company. This acquisition would help the former to broaden its advanced robotics capabilities, while MTM Robotics will be able to retain its dominant position by gaining access to its facility in Seattle. At the same time, Airbus will aim at leveraging the cost- and time-saving benefits associated with utilizing robotics in the assembly and manufacturing of commercial aircraft.

As per Mike Woogerd, founder of MTM, “The competitiveness of the future will be determined by both building the most efficient manufacturing system and designing the best aircraft. Robotics and automation are the most important industrial strategies. We are looking forward to blending our unique approaches and products into the Airbus industrialization chain.”

Epson Robots Announces its AutomateElite Authorized Systems Integrator Program

Epson Robots, a designer and manufacturer of robotics headquartered in Los Alamitos, California, declared the launch of its authorized systems integrator program named AutomateElite in August 2019. It will be conducted under the Epson Advantage Partner Program. It will choose authorized robotics integrators on the basis of the Epson Robots portfolio expertise, technical competency, and automation experience.

Moreover, the AutomateElite program will aid every robotics integrator in growing their business by selling Epson robots. This will make it easier for customers to select the best integrators as per their automation projects. According to one of the company officials, “The new program is one of the best examples of our commitment to the success and growth of our shared customers and system integrators. System integrators will be able to broaden their businesses by offering the best solutions with the help of the support and comprehensive resources from Epson.”

Will the Industry Have a Bright Future?

The high demand for various aircraft components is anticipated to bolster suppliers to deploy novel robots for simplifying the manufacturing process. It will help in producing high-quality aircraft systems and parts in less time. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the aerospace industry by halting tours and travels. To overcome the severe effects of this pandemic, governments of various countries are planning to reconstruct the supply chain management. Additionally, many OEMs are aiming to streamline their operations by managing inventories.

In-depth report on global aerospace robotics market by Fortune Business Insights:


Author’s Bio –

Name: Reeti Banerjee

Reeti Banerjee has an extensive experience in the field of innovative technology. She specializes in writing articles, press releases, blogs, and news reports on a wide range of topics. She believes in maintaining simplicity throughout her content to provide the readers with a seamless experience.

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