AutoMoK - Automatic blading of engine compressors

Can robots assemble the blades of an aircraft engine? So far, the answer to this question has been “no”, but that is going to change with the “AutoMoK” research project to increase safety and to save fuel.

Aircraft engines are highly intricate components. They not only ensure continuous propulsion, but their design and implemented settings are also responsible for the consumption. This applies in particular to the engine blades. Similar to the feathers in the plumage of a bird, the engine blades must be optimally aligned with each other.

The intended goal of the “AutoMoK” project is the development of a system that automates the blading of engine components. The process from the measurement of the blades to the correction of the gap is to be mapped. This is an adaptive process, since unpredictable adjustments need to be made due to the long tolerance chain. The system automatically measures the blades provided, calculates the optimal distribution, and identifies blades to be replaced and added to obtain an optimized, balanced rotor. A robot that can adapt to geometrical and positional deviations, as well as an integrated camera system, will take over these tasks of measuring and assembly.

The project is being carried out by the IBG Technology Hansestadt Lübeck GmbH together with the Institute for Aircraft Production Technology of the Hamburg University of Technology as research partner. The project is also supported by the associated partner Lufthansa Technik.

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