Aerobotix Marks 40th Robot Installation for U.S. Missile Manufacturing
“Automation is often the smartest strategy when defense contractors really need to increase production,” said Ricky Schwartz, Principal Engineer at Aerobotix. “Contractors are realizing it’s time to ‘tech up.’ That’s why we’ve now installed 40 robotic systems for U.S. missile manufacturing and are already on our way to No. 50.
“Recent demand has focused around the automation of testing, scanning and quality operations. We’re able to transform these manual – and sometimes even subjective – inspections into fully-automated processes that just crank out products. Our robots can perform a perfect inspection every time and record the data so that the customer then has a digital twin of the missile.”
In recent months, Aerobotix has delivered robotic systems to support surge production at several prime defense contractor sites where missiles are manufactured. The robotic systems are supporting interceptor, cruise, air-to-air and hypersonic missile production on multiple levels. Industrial-grade FANUC robots integrated by Aerobotix are proven to operate for 60,000+ hours before a major failure, enabling more than 10 years of 24-hour operation.
This level of durability ensures a strong return on investment, gives contractors confidence that they can answer the call for more product, and removes human workers from dangerous or difficult manufacturing environments, where robots excel. Aerobotix robotic systems are comprised of off-the-shelf commercial components to create flexible, turn-key systems that can be supported by a customer’s internal maintenance and engineering teams.
Aerobotix is working with defense contractors to identify missile manufacturing processes that are best suited to automation. The company has designed, built, installed and programmed robotic systems for processes including structured light scanning, active force compliant sanding, painting of performance coatings, sculpting of outer mold line shape, non-contact coating thickness measurement, and automated application of masking tape.
“A lot of the work that Aerobotix does is commercial in confidence, but our customers include some of the biggest names in defense manufacturing,” added Schwartz. “We’re proud that our robot technology is helping to build the missiles needed to keep America safe from any potential adversaries.”
Headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, Aerobotix is an innovative leader in advanced metrology and robotic solutions for the aerospace and defense industries. Now merged with Shape Fidelity, the company specializes in the creation of cutting-edge automated robotic and measuring solutions for high-value, high-precision components, aircraft and vehicles. Aerobotix has more than 130 robotic systems installed in the U.S. and abroad, providing exceptional results and savings for our clients.