A unique facility for research into intelligent automation, systems installation and the assembly of airframe and aero-engine structures.

The laboratory is well equipped with a range of industrial robots, including a FANUC CR-35iA collaborative robot that can be configured in individual and collaborative cells. The physical elements are supported by software resources allowing research solutions to be investigated virtually.

Summary of applications

  • Full-scale wing assembly jig.
  • FANUC CR-35iA collaborative robot.
  • Comau 45Kg industrial robot.
  • Comau 200Kg industrial robot.
  • Kuka KR 200 industrial robot.
  • Universal Robot UR5 robot.
  • Leica Laser Tracker, T-Mac and T-Probe.
  • 2 x Nikon Krypton camera systems.
  • Nikon K-Robot laser scanner.
  • Suite of safety systems including a Pilz Safety Eye.
  • Delmia V5 simulation software.
  • Spatial Analyzer metrology software.

Using the facility

Global manufacturers have used the facility to investigate, develop and demonstrate new technologies in manufacturing, engineering, robotics, automation and human factors.

The laboratory has been used for a wide range of research projects in collaboration with a number of leading companies, including Airbus. For example, a recent breakthrough has partially automated and streamlined a process used for aircraft assembly that is now being applied in production.

The laboratory also supports basic research within the EPSRC Centre in Intelligent Automation, producing blue-sky ideas as well as being as a teaching and support facility for students.

Take a virtual 360° tour of the intelligent automation laboratory below.