Piper Aircraft recently integrated a Wilder Systems Agile Manufacturing Robot (AMR) to the M600/SLS production line, a move that the company said will enable it to boost production to meet demand. Full production handoff at the end of January culminated in a project that began in August and involved a series of milestones surrounding delivery, installation, calibration, and testing.
A 12-by-8.5-foot autonomous system, the AMR is used as a drill for the PA-46-600TP wings. It incorporates a light-duty drill unit, HSK-E25 tool holder, and programmable drill process, as well as a safety system monitored by Keyence Safety Scanners.
“As we’ve been manufacturing handcrafted aircraft for more than 85 years, we’re constantly finding new methods of increasing both product quality and manufacturing efficiencies to benefit our customers,” said Greg Spadaro, Piper v-p of operations and supply chain. “Additionally, we’re looking forward to now having the opportunity to train our assembly teams on the most advanced production tools and elevate their skills as aircraft production professionals."
Sitting atop the Piper aircraft line, the six-seat M600 sports a 600-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A turboprop and boasts a top speed of 274 ktas, 1,658-nm range, and standard useful load of 2,400 pounds. Equipped with Garmin G3000 avionics, the model was the first general aviation aircraft to be certified with Garmin Autoland.