While robots may apply paint or coating to elements when they are being fabricated, there are also robots that automate the removal of those paints and coatings as well. This automated removal has been adopted by several industries, and even by the U.S. Department of Defense to use on their aircraft.
According to the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, almost all helicopters and tiltrotors today have composite main rotor blades that are sanded by hand, as well as impact-blasted to remove the paint, when needed. By using this manual removal process, instead of automated removal, there is an increased risk of damage to the blades because of lack of application consistency.
Also, the center states that the process not only lacks consistency, but costs a lot of time as well. It takes a crew 372 hours to complete the removal process on the V-22 Osprey, to ready it for the repair process, which only allows the crew to complete one aircraft a month for repairs.
By automating removal of the paint and coatings from the V-22 blades with a laser stripping system, the DoD would save $100k a year, as well as speeding up the automated removal process, allowing more aircraft through in that month timeframe. This will also greatly reduce the hazardous waste that can be generated during the process.
While the DoD is still testing this new robotic automated removal process, RobotWorx has several robot models available that can automate removal in several different ways. We have robots that sand, drill, route and mill, along with many other removal processes.
RobotWorx is a certified integrator for Motoman, KUKA, and FANUC industrial robotics. Our highly-qualified staff will work with you to build a system that is perfect for automating your removal process.