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Analysis and implementation of robotic orbital drilling process for aeronautical structures

Abstract

The technology for holed structures with the required accuracy of position, form, and without burrs is an elementary requirement for aeronautical structure assembly. The conventional drilling process is expensive due to the relative long lead time, the need of skilled employees and tailored tooling. As an innovative proposal, this project aims to analyze and develop the orbital drilling process by using end mill cutting tools. Due to combined movement of the cutting tool, the orbital drilling process provides better quality holes, without burrs and additionally, it avoids some stages in the drilling chain process (e.g. disassembly of the parts). The procedure for analyzing the proposal consists of two steps: the first, the test will be executed in a high speed five axis CNC machining center at ITA, Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica, where it will be tested with standard cutting conditions; the second step, the best technical cutting parameters defined in the first step, will be applied to a robotic orbital drilling system composed by an orbital drilling end-effector - designed and commissioned at ITA – to be integrated to an industrial robot. (AU)

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