The Franco-Italian manufacturer of satellites has delivered some details about its “Factory of the future” program. The Cannes will deploy the robots in its clean rooms where the satellites are mounted. The first robots will arrive from mid-2015, while a next phase of the project will see reach of collaborative robot, the cobots, assist operators at their workstations.
A good way for the industry to reduce the Time-to-Market in the Assembly of the satellites… and his staff.
Beginning this year, the robots will participate in the mounting of Thales Alenia Space satellites. The first project, named Sapphire implemented by AKEO + and KUKA will see 2-arm robots pose inserts on panels of satellite. It is necessary to paste up to 3,000 inserts on a Panel, which requires 3 weeks of work for 4 people. With this workstation equipped with 2 arm robots (the first carries out preparation, the second installation), the operation may be conducted in 1 week hope industry and mobilize more that a single operator. A full satellite account and up to 10,000 inserts to ask. A valuable time saver and a nice reduction in cost to term in a context where the industrialist removes posts in France.
The second phase will see happen collaborative robots (or cobots) in cleanrooms of Thales Alenia Space. The press release mentions a fixed cobotique arm and an arm mounted on an autonomous vehicle. AKEO +, Kuka and the Robotics Laboratory of Lille ENSAM, AKEO + (which is also Airbus and saffron among its customers) to KUKA worked on the development of these cobots which will be intended to coexist with human operators and help them in their repetitive and tedious tasks.
This project Sapphire and cobotique are the first components of the programme “Factory of the future” of Thales Alenia Space. Other projects mentioned in the press release include the 3D printing, connected objects, augmented reality.
Source : “Thales Alenia Space présente l’Usine du Futur”, Communiqué de presse Thales Alenia Space, February 27, 2015
“Satellites : l’usine du futur”, Enjoy Space, 27 février 2015
“Satellites : Thales Alenia Space veut supprimer 7 % de ses effectifs en France”, LesEchos, January 17, 2014