VIDEO: The Role of Automation in Aerospace Manufacturing
James Anderton posted on February 22, 2016 |

Automation is playing a growing role in manufacturing industries across the board.

Dan Korte, CEO of LMI Aerospace Inc., recently made an appearance at AeroDef 2016. There, Korte shared his expertise on how other aerospace manufacturers can benefit from and invest intelligently in automation.

For manufacturers producing common, simple items like washing machines, “lights-out” operations are the dream.

For aerospace manufacturers, however, Korte believes skilled engineers will always be needed for the production of complex parts. As such, automation should not be a manufacturer’s go-to answer to every problem.

He stresses the need for manufacturers to consider all the possible solutions before moving forward.

“The way I look at it, it’s about finding the effective balance between automation, innovation and human capital,” Korte explained. “You may find in some cases that higher training of your people may be the best solution to your problem. Every problem is different.”

To effectively determine if automation is required and to what degree you should invest in automation, companies must perform regular analyses for their applications.

For example, Korte believes manufacturers should be asking themselves questions such as:

  • How long are you going to be producing those parts?
  • Which markets will these be produced for?
  • Is your robot reusable for a different application?

“For those of us in this industry, I would caution that we have to keep looking at our analyses, you have to keep analyzing the same problem over and over again,” Korte explained. “For example, what worked well with a robot in the past, may actually be done more efficiently by reverting back to people because of some of the innovations in hand tools. It is not a static problem set.”

Watch the video above for the full interview.

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