A step towards a sustainable flight at ITP Aero​

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Case with ITP Aero

The CraftMate software automates grinding processes of 3D printed turbine parts and is enabling a step forward to a sustainable flight. 

What challenges
did the customer face?

ITP Aero was in need of an automated solution to optimize their post-processing of 3D manufactured turbine parts as their current manual grinding process gave them the following challenges:

  • Low repeatability causing high amount of surface testing
  • High risk on scrapping materials caused by faulty processing
  • Harsh workplace ergonomics
  • Hard to find automated solutions that are flexible and easy to reconfigure (re-usable)‍
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The manual grinding process at ITP Aero

How did Nordbo Robotics
address these challenges?

To solve these challenges Nordbo Robotics used the AutoPath and P2P teach methods to generate the robot path on a 3D point cloud. This made it possible to configure a new grinding program within minutes combining it with teaching waypoint when straight, curved and precise paths are required. By creating a fixture and securing the part to be in the same position, the program can be repeated when there is a batch of identical parts. Using a compensation unit at the end of the robot arm it is ensured that the correct amount of force is applied to the product during the grinding process, increasing output consistency.

The robot precision and repeatability together with Nordbo Robotics CraftMate software and force control ensured consistent quality output and gave ITP Aero the following results:

  • Increase repeatability of post-processing by using robot precision
  • Decrease scrapped materials caused by faulty processing
  • Improve workplace ergonomics and safety within post-processing department
  • Enhance their workforce by enabling them to configure and operate the robot system on current but also future products

“Together with Nordbo Robotics, ITP Aero is making another step forward to provide a sustainable flight.”

Mikel Esparta, Manufacturing Technology Specialist At ITP Aero

The Nordbo software was implemented using the following hardware set-up:

  • 1x KUKA KR16 robot
  • 1x Compensation unit (to be defined)
  • 1x NRV-D35 ENSENSO 3D camera
  • 1x Robotic cell with in- & outfeed

What is the next step in this development cooperation?

As Nordbo Robotics CraftMate software is still under development, the final results are still in progress. Although, we are working on an integration kit for ITP Aero to implement at IDEKO in Spain, where they will be able to test the CraftMate software together with IDEKO’s technology to control the amount of material that is taken off by applying a specific abrasive. When everything goes according to ITP’s expectations, we will work together on a system that will be implemented in their manufacturing facilities.

About ITP Aero

ITP Aero is a world leading company in the aeronautical and industrial engines market, involved in all phases of the product life cycle from the design phase to support and maintenance. In its thirty-year history, ITP Aero has established itself as the ninth largest aeronautical engine and components company in the world.

Go to company website

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