Automated Gas Turbine Maintenance Process With Robotics

Client MTU Aero Engines Robotik

Dez 2020,

“In order to be the first mover, speed is crucial. With this project, MTU and Motius succeeded to accelerate the time for building a proof of concept for a highly complex problem significantly.”

Fabian Donus

Innovation Management, MTU

The
Challenge

Optimize the maintenance process of damaged airfoils through an automated solution.

The
Outcome

A proof of concept to show that a miniature robot arm enables the automation of the process with its complex technological requirements.

The
Impact

Proof of concept, new business opportunities, prospect of minimized maintenance costs.

Technologies

  • CAD
  • 3D Printing
  • Embedded Hardware

Team Size

6 people

Duration

4 months

Maturity Level

Proof of Concept

How can the maintenance process of damaged airfoils be optimized

Repairing aircrafts from foreign object damages (FODs) is crucial, yet complex and complicated. MTU aimed for an automated solution with the potential to check and repair FODs quickly, reliably, and efficiently.
If aircrafts suffer from FODs, the airfoils have to be checked and repaired as quickly as possible in order to minimize aircraft downtime costs. The crucial challenges were:

  1. Creating a miniaturized solution that still has sufficient power to repair airfoils.
  2. Creating a precise damage measurement solution that prevents additional repair shop visits by indicating whether the reparation can be done on-wing.

Building a miniature robot arm as a proof of concept

After intense research and ideation phases, we built our first prototypes for a little robot arm that could meet the requirements. We built several iterations of prototypes with different manufacturing technologies from 3D-printing and sintering to laser cutting. The final prototype, the 5:1 model of a miniature robot arm, was able to move due to several high precision linear and rotary actuators. In effect, the whole prototype was able to move by the push of one button and executed several movements one after another to enter the engine through a hole, bend, go to its designated position, and then rotate the tool at the tip of the robot arm.

The Impact: A proof of concept for a highly complex problem

The miniature robot arm was a proof of concept, as it showed that automated solutions to repair damaged airfoils are feasible. This underlines the great opportunity to minimize aircraft maintenance costs.
In addition, this project was a great example of successful open innovation in an agile project. Motius and MTU developed a cutting-edge technological solution that opens up new business opportunities and emphasizes the value of open innovation.

Fabian-Donus-MTU

“Maintenance costs are crucial for our customers. The repair solution developed between MTU and Motius combines high precision with low effort. Due to its high potential, we started an internal follow-on project aiming at a first demonstration.”

Fabian Donus

Innovation Managenment

Want to build a product of the future?

The
Challenge

Optimize the maintenance process of damaged airfoils through an automated solution.

The
Outcome

A proof of concept to show that a miniature robot arm enables the automation of the process with its complex technological requirements.

The
Impact

Proof of concept, new business opportunities, prospect of minimized maintenance costs.

Technologies

  • CAD
  • 3D Printing
  • Embedded Hardware

Team Size

6 people

Duration

4 months

Maturity Level

Proof of Concept

How can the maintenance process of damaged airfoils be optimized

Repairing aircrafts from foreign object damages (FODs) is crucial, yet complex and complicated. MTU aimed for an automated solution with the potential to check and repair FODs quickly, reliably, and efficiently.
If aircrafts suffer from FODs, the airfoils have to be checked and repaired as quickly as possible in order to minimize aircraft downtime costs. The crucial challenges were:

  1. Creating a miniaturized solution that still has sufficient power to repair airfoils.
  2. Creating a precise damage measurement solution that prevents additional repair shop visits by indicating whether the reparation can be done on-wing.

Building a miniature robot arm as a proof of concept

After intense research and ideation phases, we built our first prototypes for a little robot arm that could meet the requirements. We built several iterations of prototypes with different manufacturing technologies from 3D-printing and sintering to laser cutting. The final prototype, the 5:1 model of a miniature robot arm, was able to move due to several high precision linear and rotary actuators. In effect, the whole prototype was able to move by the push of one button and executed several movements one after another to enter the engine through a hole, bend, go to its designated position, and then rotate the tool at the tip of the robot arm.

The Impact: A proof of concept for a highly complex problem

The miniature robot arm was a proof of concept, as it showed that automated solutions to repair damaged airfoils are feasible. This underlines the great opportunity to minimize aircraft maintenance costs.
In addition, this project was a great example of successful open innovation in an agile project. Motius and MTU developed a cutting-edge technological solution that opens up new business opportunities and emphasizes the value of open innovation.

Fabian-Donus-MTU

“Maintenance costs are crucial for our customers. The repair solution developed between MTU and Motius combines high precision with low effort. Due to its high potential, we started an internal follow-on project aiming at a first demonstration.”

Fabian Donus

Innovation Managenment

Want to build a product of the future?

The
Challenge

Optimize the maintenance process of damaged airfoils through an automated solution.

The
Outcome

A proof of concept to show that a miniature robot arm enables the automation of the process with its complex technological requirements.

The
Impact

Proof of concept, new business opportunities, prospect of minimized maintenance costs.

Technologies

  • CAD
  • 3D Printing
  • Embedded Hardware

Team Size

6 people

Duration

4 months

Maturity Level

Proof of Concept

How can the maintenance process of damaged airfoils be optimized

Repairing aircrafts from foreign object damages (FODs) is crucial, yet complex and complicated. MTU aimed for an automated solution with the potential to check and repair FODs quickly, reliably, and efficiently.
If aircrafts suffer from FODs, the airfoils have to be checked and repaired as quickly as possible in order to minimize aircraft downtime costs. The crucial challenges were:

  1. Creating a miniaturized solution that still has sufficient power to repair airfoils.
  2. Creating a precise damage measurement solution that prevents additional repair shop visits by indicating whether the reparation can be done on-wing.

Building a miniature robot arm as a proof of concept

After intense research and ideation phases, we built our first prototypes for a little robot arm that could meet the requirements. We built several iterations of prototypes with different manufacturing technologies from 3D-printing and sintering to laser cutting. The final prototype, the 5:1 model of a miniature robot arm, was able to move due to several high precision linear and rotary actuators. In effect, the whole prototype was able to move by the push of one button and executed several movements one after another to enter the engine through a hole, bend, go to its designated position, and then rotate the tool at the tip of the robot arm.

The Impact: A proof of concept for a highly complex problem

The miniature robot arm was a proof of concept, as it showed that automated solutions to repair damaged airfoils are feasible. This underlines the great opportunity to minimize aircraft maintenance costs.
In addition, this project was a great example of successful open innovation in an agile project. Motius and MTU developed a cutting-edge technological solution that opens up new business opportunities and emphasizes the value of open innovation.

Fabian-Donus-MTU

“Maintenance costs are crucial for our customers. The repair solution developed between MTU and Motius combines high precision with low effort. Due to its high potential, we started an internal follow-on project aiming at a first demonstration.”

Fabian Donus

Innovation Managenment

Want to build a product of the future?

The
Challenge

Optimize the maintenance process of damaged airfoils through an automated solution.

The
Outcome

A proof of concept to show that a miniature robot arm enables the automation of the process with its complex technological requirements.

The
Impact

Proof of concept, new business opportunities, prospect of minimized maintenance costs.

Technologies

  • CAD
  • 3D Printing
  • Embedded Hardware

Team Size

6 people

Duration

4 months

Maturity Level

Proof of Concept

How can the maintenance process of damaged airfoils be optimized

Repairing aircrafts from foreign object damages (FODs) is crucial, yet complex and complicated. MTU aimed for an automated solution with the potential to check and repair FODs quickly, reliably, and efficiently.
If aircrafts suffer from FODs, the airfoils have to be checked and repaired as quickly as possible in order to minimize aircraft downtime costs. The crucial challenges were:

  1. Creating a miniaturized solution that still has sufficient power to repair airfoils.
  2. Creating a precise damage measurement solution that prevents additional repair shop visits by indicating whether the reparation can be done on-wing.

Building a miniature robot arm as a proof of concept

After intense research and ideation phases, we built our first prototypes for a little robot arm that could meet the requirements. We built several iterations of prototypes with different manufacturing technologies from 3D-printing and sintering to laser cutting. The final prototype, the 5:1 model of a miniature robot arm, was able to move due to several high precision linear and rotary actuators. In effect, the whole prototype was able to move by the push of one button and executed several movements one after another to enter the engine through a hole, bend, go to its designated position, and then rotate the tool at the tip of the robot arm.

The Impact: A proof of concept for a highly complex problem

The miniature robot arm was a proof of concept, as it showed that automated solutions to repair damaged airfoils are feasible. This underlines the great opportunity to minimize aircraft maintenance costs.
In addition, this project was a great example of successful open innovation in an agile project. Motius and MTU developed a cutting-edge technological solution that opens up new business opportunities and emphasizes the value of open innovation.

Fabian-Donus-MTU

“Maintenance costs are crucial for our customers. The repair solution developed between MTU and Motius combines high precision with low effort. Due to its high potential, we started an internal follow-on project aiming at a first demonstration.”

Fabian Donus

Innovation Managenment

Want to build a product of the future?

Related Insights

Alle Einblicke