In order to be able to meet all these requirements, the sealing concept of Broetje-Automation has a modular structure. Depending on the application, the system can be operated autonomously within a robotic cell or with small, collaborative robots (“CoBots”). The system also provides a “digital twin”, which is integrated into the automated NC programming environment “SOUL OLPS” and can fully simulate the processes. The system is thus optimally prepared for use in the digital factory of the future.
In order to meet the requirements of customers worldwide, the technology team at Broetje-Automation has developed various end-effectors for the application of the material. The system can use polysulfite and epoxy sealants, both using pre-mixed cartridges and with a “mixing-on-the-fly” module that can mix several components live during sealing.
“The many different component types, material mixtures and not least the complexity of the components themselves were a major challenge for us in the industrialization of the system,” explains project manager Dr. Thomas Schwane. “We are proud that after several years of development we have now found a comprehensive solution for the various applications”.
The following types of sealing are already available, for which special nozzles have been individually developed:
- Fillet sealing (e.g. for clips, stringers, frames)
- Cap Sealing (for sealing of rivet heads)
- Epoxy Edge Sealing (for composite components)
- Complex shapes (curves, connections)
The foundations of the technology, which has now been developed to industrial maturity, were laid by research funding within the framework of the Aviation Research Programme (LuFo) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWI). Broetje-Automation is grateful for this support, without which the current success would not have been possible.