Precision and flexibility for the aerospace industry

Aerospace

Companies manufacturing parts and componentry for the aerospace industry have specific priorities: quality is more important than quantity, precision rather than productivity.

The high value of each product affects the approach to finishing processes, so companies will tend to focus on consistency of the coating quantities applied in order to achieve tight tolerances regarding weight. Being able to control process parameters is important in order to achieve first-time quality.

Another aspect which is crucial concerns production flexibility. Aircraft or spacecraft are made of many thousands of different parts, many of which require coating. These can be made from carbon fibre, aluminium or other high-tech materials. In a production line, handling several different products, sizes, shapes etc., the equipment you use needs to accommodate many variables.

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Technologies or finished products?

If you are interested in discovering the numerous technologies we have mastered over the years, we have a section dedicated to spray coating, roller coating, curtain coating, drying, wrapping, handling and other techniques or processes.

On the other hand, you may want to read more about the solutions we have already developed and customised for a number of customers in the aerospace industry. These integrated lines were turnkey solutions designed to coat wings, flaps, fuselages or even external insulating elements for spacecraft.

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The value of service and competence

Experience in this field, with a number of lines installed and serving customers who have re-ordered more lines after witnessing the performance of the first line, enables us to provide consultancy services and simulation technologies to define the best line configuration and mix of machines. Once the line is installed, we are available online and onsite to ensure service for spares and maintenance requirements, and we will be happy to give advice on ways to adapt the line if production requirements evolve.

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The best way to ensure flexibility

When dealing with several different parts, a coating line must be flexible at all stages, whether it is coating, drying or handling. Our turnkey solutions take this into account and feature iBotic, our Cartesian spraying robot, which in its recently launched version incorporates TIMESKIP, a solution that enables colour changeover with zero downtime. As we avoid using an anthropomorphic robot in favour of a flatbed line, superior flexibility makes programming much simpler. iBotic is followed by OMNIDRY, a vertical oven able to handle different shaped and sized pieces in a continuous flow, the line is equipped to handle a variety of parts without requiring stoppages to switch parameters and lose uptime.

Process monitoring capabilities

Being able to monitor the process at all stages and intervene whenever required is possible with our in-house software solution cTracker. One advantage is that of being able to perform constant tracking, even of a single piece on the line. This allows the operator to switch shapes or thicknesses on the fly. Such a degree of flexibility and accurate adjustment capabilities improves production efficiency and ensures constant quality.

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Slow speed, high precision

Establishing the correct process parameters is vital for this type of product. One way which will help to achieve first-time quality is to perform coating tests on the actual product with the actual coating to be used. We can run full tests together with the customer’s line operators or quality control staff in one of our laboratories located in Europe, Asia or the United States. Weight is a critical issue for aerospace componentry and the coating thickness needs to be carefully adjusted in order to ensure correct protection of the substrate without applying superfluous coating quantities. Superior production efficiency is made possible, not through high-speed lines but through precise production quality assurance.

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Satellite launch vehicles built by AVIO and coated on our equipment

By adopting an automated solution, one of our customers saw their productivity jump by 5 times while also achieving important savings on the expensive anti-static coatings used to coat the cork tiles found on the exterior of the satellite launch vehicle. Pre-tested using the customer’s coatings and parts in our Finishing LAB, iGiottoApp and Omnidry ensure improved quality, precision and flexibility.

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Products and Solutions

The search function is now available for complete production lines. All you need to do is select the material involved, the market sector or the finished product. Whichever search criteria is used, a corresponding solution for your spray coating line is obtained in just 3 steps. Search results will indicate the most suitable solution, based on the level of flexibility required, the productivity range and the overall footprint. Solutions are classified as small (S), medium (M) or large (L).

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We believe technological research and continuous innovation to be essential for the achievement of rewarding results. First and foremost, our goal is to be a consultant and partner.

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