Speed and Accuracy – The benefits of painting automation for Boeing
Robots have been used by the aerospace industry for years, and now, they are being utilized more than ever because of their speed and accuracy – the two main benefits of painting automation.
According to a June 2013 article on Robotxworld.com, Boeing is using robots to paint the 166-foot wings on the 777 airplane. While this process takes human workers up to four and a half hours, robots can have it finished in 24 minutes. This kind of speed is one of the more attractive benefits of automating the painting process.
Another benefit of painting automation? Lack of overspray. Since the robots are accurate and precise, they do not waste a lot of paint. As a matter of fact, not only do they not waste a lot of paint, they also use less paint on the object. The article stated that since Boeing made the switch to painting automation, the amount of paint on each wing has been lowered by 70 pounds.
A sometimes unintended painting automation benefit is the ability to decrease the number of workers needed on a painting line. Boeing was able to reduce painters per shift from 30 down to 15. This saves production costs. The laborers were assigned to other tasks and no employees were let go from Boeing during this reassignment.
With this speed and accuracy, the benefit of painting automation, in a nutshell, is savings to the manufacturer. Manufacturers can reduce production costs while increasing production, which gets the product out to the consumer faster. This savings may even be passed on from manufacturer to consumer.