New-generation aircraft are more fuel-efficient and quieter for passengers and people who live close to airports. Engine acoustics have been optimized using micro-drilled panels that cover a large portion of the interior and exterior surfaces of the cold air stream. This is the principle of the Helmoltz resonator, which is applied to sandwich panels that comprise a honeycomb and a pierced skin with 40 to 60,000 holes per m².
Manufacturing these panels is a real challenge partly because production rates have never been so high, and partly because of increasing pressure on production costs.
GEBE2 designs and manufactures robotic cells with multi-spindle heads that provide greater flexibility than special machines, and are more cost-effective than solutions based on conventional CNC machine. This pioneering solution has been chosen to produce most of the acoustic panels for the LEAP.
Drill robot used to manufacture OPB for the LEAP engine. The part is mounted on a turntable for continuous drilling of the whole part periphery.
GEBE2 has supplied a turnkey solution that comprises the robotic cell, the tooling fixture and the part drilling programs.
If the robot has several end effectors, drill bits are changed in hidden time. However, there is still a need for regular operator intervention.
Drills are changed by a second robot in order to give the drilling cell greater autonomy. This limits operator intervention to once per part during drill loading and replacement.
Drilling conditions have to meet several, often conflicting, criteria (delamination, hole entrance quality, cycle time, cutting tool cost, etc…)
Compliance with hole entrance quality is a delicate step in thermoplastics. To avoid the use of costly drills, or the need for manual reworking, the robot is fitted with a specific surface sanding end-effector, thus ensuring that burrs are perfectly removes and that the surface is cleaned at the same time. Learn more about robotic sanding.
The patching software makes it possible to use a library of drilling effectors that can be combined with a given acoustic pattern to produce patches, to be repeated on the surface of a part.
This allows, in real time, when creating a patch on the surface:
It also has:
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