Fully automated robot-based riveting cell at Premium Aerotec

Automated KUKA assembly system at Premium AEROTEC

Premium AEROTEC in Augsburg is home to the world’s most modern aircraft assembly line: partial shells for fuselage section 19 of the Airbus 320 family are riveted and pre-assembled to half-sections in a KUKA assembly system measuring 80 meters in length. For this, KUKA has networked manual assembly operations with intelligent automation solutions.

06 November 2017

Their special shape makes automated assembly of the partial shells for Airbus fuselage section 19 particularly challenging. Together with Premium AEROTEC and other partners, KUKA devised an automated system solution. Three KUKA KR 1000 titan  handling robots are used in the system for moving the loads quickly and precisely. Premium AEROTEC and KUKA developed a lightweight gripper for the robots and a component carrier that now only weighs 400 kilograms including the partial shell. Furthermore, KUKA implemented three automatic riveting machines, partially in cooperation with subcontractors such as the US firm Gemcor. 

Seamless tracking of components with RFID chips

During the first phase of the manufacturing sequence, each partial shell is fitted with an RFID chip. The handling robots and riveting machines use these chips to distinguish between the individual components and process them accordingly. It is also possible to see which component is located where in the system at any time. Production can be documented and monitored even more closely using the component-specific process information accumulated in the assembly stations. This makes it considerably more transparent overall – in keeping with the philosophy of Industrie 4.0.

Standardized KUKA control technology 

KUKA handling robots and the riveting machines can be operated via a single, familiar interface: machine control, including robot control, is bundled in the Siemens Sinumerik 840D integrated by KUKA. Information about the component and its production status is processed and made available via KUKA’s own miKUKA control standard.

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