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SandRob: the applications of the finishing robotic system in the aerospace industry

The applications connected to the aerospace industry are generally characterized by strict and rigorous production protocols to protect both quality and safety of the finished products: with the robotic system SandRob, Roboticom provides the aerospace companies with a multifunctional cutting-edge tool able to process complex shaped object ensuring the highest quality standards and total control. The finishing operations that can be automated are:

  •  Sanding
  •  Cutting and grinding
  •  Polishing

robot polishing airplane

The solid experience and know-how in industrial robotic applications and the development of strong collaborations with leading companies of the aerospace sector, are the basis of Roboticom ability to design innovative solutions that meet the market specifications.

A specific programming software, ARPP

SandRob is able to perform a wide range of finishing processes by selecting automatically one of the end-effectors of which is equipped. The robot is guided by the in-house designed software ARPP, the most powerful programming software on the market. You can start by importing the file of any 3D shape and the software will generate the robot tool paths and the complete 3D simulation of the operation.

    Aerospace industry applications

    This is a list of examples of specific applications of SandRob to the aerospace industry:

    • Polishing of painted surfaces;
    • Mirror polishing of metal parts, such as helicopter blades and rotors, or aircraft wing leading edge; polishing of the transparent enclosure over the cockpit of aircrafts and helicopters.
    • Cutting and trimming of carbon parts
    •  Sanding of carbon components

    As in these application examples, SandRob allows you to automate a process that usually relied on the manual skills of operators, increasing the quality and reducing the time of production, protecting the health and safety of the operators at work.

    Precision and repeatability of polishing processes

    The precision and the repeatability of the process ensured by SandRob are fundamental to meet the high requirements of the aerospace industry: the finishing results on helicopter blades and wing leading edges must meet quality and precision standards to not compromise the aerodynamic efficiency of the aircraft. The wing lift is closely connected with the level of polishing of the surface that cuts the air: a perfectly shiny surface has positive effects on the flight.

    robot sanding helicopter

    In addition, when polishing the transparent canopy of an aircraft or helicopter, SandRob effectiveness lies in ensuring the protection of the optical standards of the material: no distortion is allowed. The advanced technical specifications of the robot allow complete automation, total control and repeatability of a very delicate polishing process: the advanced compensation system allows you to have very precise control of the applied force, keeping the both the pressure and the pad inclination constant, for a perfect adherence to the surface.

    Carbon fiber parts trimming

    Remaining within the aerospace robotic applications, is to highlight the performance of SandRob in cutting and trimming carbon fiber panels of the aircraft cockpit: the installation of SandRob in their facility allowed the Canadian aerospace company Delastek, to improve the productivity and to move people to other tasks, avoiding the risks of unhealthy dusts from carbon fiber processing.

    robot triming panels

    Carbon fiber parts sanding

    SandRob’s most common application is sanding carbon fiber parts, especially for the automotive field, but the use of carbon fiber for aircraft components is widespread too, to reduce weights. We have recently tested sanding on aerospace composite typical parts, such as the passenger seats, with excellent results!

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