Precision technology for new aeronautical production systems
Tekniker is working on a solution aimed at improving Aernova’s assembly lines

The technology centre is currently involved in a project which, based on mathematical models, will increase the level of accuracy of industrial robots involved in different aircraft assembly operations to make them more efficient, to optimise resources and reduce costs.

Although the boom experienced by automation in the case of manufacturing processes in the aeronautical sector has served to enhance competitiveness and increase production capabilities, solutions are still needed to improve the performance of new production systems.  

It is in this context that the Tekniker technology centre is currently involved in a project whose ultimate goal is to design a solution for Aernnova that will improve the accuracy of the robots the company is using to perform several aircraft assembly operations at the Berantevilla plant in Alava (Basque Country).  

The research group specialised in precision engineering and metrology at Tekniker will provide all the knowledge and expertise required by this aeronautical company to carry out their initiative. 

More specifically, Unai Mutilba, the researcher in charge of the project, explains that “it is a customised solution that characterises Aernnova robots and the extent to which they can be applied to drilling or assembly processes”. Consequently, the team will “provide mathematical models showing how the robots operate”.  

The Tekniker researcher also explains that “this implementation will not only improve the accuracy of these production resources but also increase productivity and reduce production costs”.


Implementation in the control system

The centre will develop a mathematical model that will show and predict how robots operate and explain what has to be done with regard to geometric composition and rigidity in order to improve system accuracy in several working positions. At a later stage, the team will incorporate this model to robot control systems to improve their accuracy.

As repeatability, and not accuracy, is the main strength of a robot, metrology techniques must be applied to these resources.  

The Tekniker researcher explains that research work focused on these technologies will allow aeronautical firms such as Aernnova “to offer products that are more profitable and sustainable; assembly line efficiency will be increased, delivery times will be shortened, quality will be better and consumption of resources will be optimised to achieve significant savings with regard to manufacturing costs so that ever-growing levels of demand in the aeronautical sector can be met”.

In this initiative led by Aernnova, scheduled to close in 2025, four SMEs from the aeronautical sector will be collaborating with Tekniker whose role will consist in acting as a supporting technological partner in its capacity as a member of the Basque Network of Science, Technology & Innovation.

The project is also supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation under the PTA2022 Technological Aeronautical Programme sponsored by CDTI.