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Airbus introduces robotic welding process at its Toulouse pylon factory. Airbus team members: left to right David Ripoll, Pierre Tabouriech, Stéphane Pernodet and Stéphane Catusse.

Airbus introduces robotic welding process at its Toulouse pylon factory

At Airbus' dedicated pylon manufacturing facility in Saint-Eloi (in Toulouse) operations for complex welding can now be performed by a robot. The new process, called “4D Adaptive TIG welding”, is a major industry achievement because it allows for the first time complex line welds to form pieces of different thicknesses – a process which hitherto had to be carried out manually. This was because only a human welder could accurately adapt to changes in desired thickness during welding and repeatedly yield consistent results to meet the requirements of the design office.

The process, conceived in collaboration between Airbus and “l'Institut de Soudure”, benefits from a mathematical model which determines the optimum values welding intensity and speed of the filler wire. The algorithm takes into account the thicknesses of each of the parts to be joined and the welding position. Once this data is loaded into a programme, the robot moves the welding torch along the actual profile of the workpiece measured with a laser camera. In addition to significant cost savings per aircraft and reduced welding time, quality is also improved since the calibration allows for a consistent result every time. Going forward, TIG adaptive robotic welding will be used to weld the A380, A350 and A330neo 'Lower Pan' structure.

Press release issued by Airbus S.A.S. on November 24, 2015

 

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Airbus S.A.S. Airframer

 

 Related aircraft programs:
Airbus A380
Airbus A350 XWB
Airbus A330

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