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 this is to change with the "AutoMoK" research project - to increase safety and save fuel.
Aircraft engines are highly delicate components - they not only ensure constant propulsion, but their design and implemented settings are also largely responsible for fuel consumption. This is especially true for the engine blades. Similar to the feathers in a bird's plumage, the engine blades must be optimally aligned with each other.
The aim of the "AutoMoK" project is to develop a system that automatically blades engine components. The process from the measurement of the blades to the correction of the gap dimension is to be mapped. This is an adaptive process, as unpredictable adjustments have to be made due to the long tolerance chain. The system automatically measures the blades provided, calculates the optimal distribution and determines blades to be replaced as well as blades to be added in order to obtain an optimised, balanced rotor. A robot that can adapt to geometric and positional deviations, as well as an integrated camera system, will take over these tasks from measuring and assembly.
The project is being carried out by IBG Technology Hansestadt Lübeck GmbH together with the Institute of Aircraft Production Technology at TU Hamburg-Harburg as research partners. The project is also supported by the associated partner Lufthansa Technik.
This research and development project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.