CT has successfully completed WELDER, a toolkit for next-generation aeronautics equipment.

WELDER Consortium members
  • Clean Sky 2 WELDER project has successfully delivered and commissioned the ultrasonic and resistance welding heads.
  • The two new welding solutions will replace conventional joining systems relying on fastening, riveting and adhesives, greatly improving the environmental and economic performance of the aerospace sector, in line with Clean Sky 2 objectives.

Precision welding equipment is an essential component for high-quality aerospace manufacturing. The WELDER (Welding Equipment for optimized, fast and accurate LongituDinal barrEl joint closure) project aims to be at the forefront of the aerospace industry’s thermoplastic adoption strategy through the provision and demonstration of aeroplane fuselage welding.

CT, a leading engineering company in technological innovation throughout the complete product life cycle, has been responsible for the system integration and the coordination of the project consortium, formed by AIMEN, AITIIP and Dukane.

The main objective of the project was to design, develop and deploy two robot-based, modular, flexible (Plug-and-Produce) and fully operative welding solutions, including all the needed tooling and auxiliaries for performing the longitudinal barrel joint of the 8 m long fuselage at the Multi-Functional Fuselage Demonstrator.

The two welding solutions (namely, ultrasonic welding and resistance welding end-effectors), were designed and developed by Dukane and AITIIP, respectively.

WELDER’s multidisciplinary team of experts in welding, materials and design worked closely with the four consortium members to achieve the success of the project. The welding heads designed and developed by Dukane and AITIIP were integrated by CT into a complete system, while AIMEN conducted the welding tests in the laboratory, which was tested and commissioned by the WELDER team.

Moreover, WELDER focused on implementing an online monitoring and control system based on an end-to-end digital manufacturing solution, which enabled a bidirectional dataflow to feed the digital twin. This system optimizes process and product performance and has enabled new approval/acceptance procedures, thus becoming the spearhead of the aerospace industry’s thermoplastic adoption strategy.

Thanks to its successful execution, the WELDER project opens the door to new collaborations and similar R+D initiatives in the field of welding thermoplastic composite materials.

WELDER is one of the two projects, along with RETPAIR, that CT has submitted to the Clean Sky 2020 bid to move forward in the aerospace industry thermoplastic adoption strategy, and greatly improve the environmental and economic performance of the aerospace sector, according to CS2 objectives.

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