Industrial robots are extensively used by the aerospace industry for finishing operations on composites such as drilling and trimming. Drilling and trimming conventional materials is a fairly trivial task when compared to the same operations on composites. Common workshop tools would quickly damage, and be damaged by, composite materials. Often this damage may not be visible to the naked eye, but is very visible when exposed by destructive and/or non-destructive testing methods. With suitable programming, tooling, and part support design, FAC Technology’s robot can effectively and repeatedly perform such operations on composites.
The use of industrial robots for precision and damage free drilling, trimming and other finishing operations on composites is typically the preserve of large aerospace and defence companies and it is certainly unusual for a company of FAC technologies scale to have similar capabilities. Yet there still remain many hurdles in the production of composites that have not been satisfactorily automated by anyone. A particular area of focus for FAC Technology is our development of machinery, methods, and systems that integrate with our robot to enable the automation of other processing steps for composite materials.