BAE Systems selects robotics partner for Industry 4.0 factory

A robotics supplier has been chosen by BAE Systems to continue working on current and emergent projects in its Factory of the Future.

True Position Robotics (TPR)'s previous work consisted of providing robot guiding technology to enhance the accuracy of conventional robots, significantly reducing the need for traditional assembly tooling. This was realised on a concept fuselage in an industry 4.0 factory demonstrator with TPR’s Adaptive Robot Control (ARC) solution.

TPR was selected again, following a joint proof of concept trial in the Factory of the Future, utilising new Creaform hardware sourced by TPR to enhance the accuracy and build on learning previously gained.

Further work will be undertaken to define and develop the future Industry 4.0 connectivity, system maturity and scalability.

Martin Knott, Factory of the Future technology team lead and licensed technologist for air said: “We are again looking forward to working with TPR to continue our developments and integration of their technologies along with the newly selected hardware. TPR are one of over 50 key partners, who are collaborating with us and share the vision of our developments for UK manufacturing.”

In 2020, BAE Systems opened the doors to a first-of-its-kind Industry 4.0 factory, home to a host of game-changing digital technologies set to advance manufacturing for the UK’s Tempest Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme.

BAE’ Systems' Factory of the Future is branded as a place where revolutionary technologies meet an adaptable and digitally-minded engineering workforce to create incredible solutions to the problems of tomorrow.

FCAS – with its drive to halve the timescales and significantly reduce cost for a future air system – demands a whole new approach to manufacturing. The factory demonstrates a new approach to the way humans and machines can operate together. Cobotic and flexible robotic technologies remove the need for heavy, fixed, long-lead tooling and can quickly switch from the manufacture of one item or platform to another.

Intelligent machines and off-the-shelf robotic technology from the automotive industry have been modified to operate at the precise tolerances required for military aircraft. Such technology drives greater productivity by allowing operators to focus on more highly-skilled and strategic tasks and production managers to oversee operations from a fully digitised, virtual office.

True Position Robotics (TPR)

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