Aerospace Research and Innovation Center

Aerospace Research and Innovation Center Prepares to Revolutionize the World’s Aerospace Manufacturing

September 7, 2016

The Aerospace Research and Innovation Center (ARIC) a strategic partnership between Khalifa University (KU) and Strata Manufacturing PJSC (Strata) has acquired a robotic arm to further its efforts in developing cutting-edge solutions that can support the future of manufacturing aircraft components in the UAE. The state-of-the-art robot that resembles a large mechanical arm was recently installed at ARIC’s facility located on Khalifa University’s Abu Dhabi Campus.

The robot is a key component for the joint research team from ARIC and Strata and will be used to develop and demonstrate automated assembly processes for complex aircraft components. Currently aircraft assembly processes are replicated manually which could affect accuracy and consistency resulting in higher manufacturing costs. Automating these manual processes falls in line with Abu Dhabi’s objective to introduce ‘automation” across various industries to implement efficient consistent processes.

Mounted on a moveable rail the robot offers specific features for the research team to develop and demonstrate processes for real-size aircraft components that can later be replicated in the manufacturing processes used at Strata’s manufacturing facility located in Al Ain.

“The acquisition of this robot contributes to putting the UAE on the map in terms of innovation and research into practical advancements that will solve industry problems ” said Dr. Arif Al Hammadi Executive Vice President of Khalifa University. “The aerospace industry and research into that field in the UAE is key to the growth of the country and the development of technologies that will increase our economy’s reliance on highly-trained Emirati manpower is vital to the achievement of our leaders’ visions for the future. With two major international carriers a growing interest in space travel and exploration and an aircraft manufacturer the UAE is poised to become a hub for advancement and innovation in this area and Khalifa University and its programs and research centers will be at the center of this innovation.”

“The development of automation capabilities alongside Khalifa University is a key element of Strata’s strategy to deploy state-of-the-art technologies in the assembly and manufacturing process of Strata’s future programs. With the increasing complexity and size of our work-packages establishing capabilities in robotics and digital manufacturing is critical for our success ” said Mr. Ismail Ali Abdulla Strata Deputy CEO.

“Obtaining state-of-the-art equipment is vitally important to the growth of the Center and the achievement of its goals and objectives ” said Dr. Wesley Cantwell Director of ARIC. “Designing and developing new processes and materials that can be used to make lighter faster and more easily assembled aircraft can be revolutionary to the industry. ARIC and Khalifa University provide the space tools knowledge and education needed to drive these innovations and we look forward to seeing what the students and researchers working with the Center come up with.”

The acquisition of the robot follows the recent delivery of a seven-ton autoclave unit to the Center. Measuring 1×1.5 meters with internal temperature up to 400° C and pressure of up to 20 psi the giant pressure chamber will be used to make carbon fiber reinforced plastic laminates which can be used for the manufacturing of some of the aircraft components such as the wings.