Airbus uses two powerful KUKA omniMove heavy-duty mobile transport vehicles for the construction of its A380 flagship in Hamburg. With their Mecanum wheels, they are able to transport aircraft components weighing up to 90 tonnes with millimeter precision in confined spaces.
(3)Two KUKA omniMoves contribute significantly to the flexibility of production of the Airbus A380. (Credits: Photo: KUKA)
Mecanum wheels of the KUKA omniMove enable maximum maneuverability
Construction of the Airbus A380 in Hamburg involves moving aircraft components measuring 15 meters in length and weighing up to 90 tonnes. This is made possible by the KUKA omniMove mobile transport platform, a transport vehicle for heavy loads that is equipped with omnidirectional Mecanum wheels. This wheel design ensures unrestricted maneuverability without the need to steer the wheels. For a year now, Airbus has been using two of these vehicles in the hangar in which the A380 is produced. This enables implementation of the desired cycle time for transportation of the fuselage sections and the parts are moved along the production line.
Robot platform maneuvers from a standing start
Due to the different work stations and the huge fuselage sections, space in the Airbus hangar is limited. The ability to turn from a standing start is the greatest advantage of the KUKA omniMove. The Mecanum wheels move in every direction and operate with the utmost precision even with a maximum payload of up to 90 tonnes. “Our success is unequivocally based on innovation and we also implement state-of-the-art technologies in our production facility,” explains Dr. Kai Brüggemann, Airbus plant manager in Hamburg.
In this video you can find out more about the Mecanum wheel technology.
KUKA omniMove impresses with simple handling, flexibility and precision
The KUKA omniMove meets these requirements very well. It is easy to operate, quick to learn and particularly easy to steer. Furthermore, the batteries are very powerful: the transport platform operates tirelessly for 48 hours without the need to recharge them. The ease of handling, flexibility and precision of the KUKA omniMove have greatly impressed the team at Airbus that operates the platforms. “The omniMove has always been the optimal solution for handling and transportation of the A380,” summarizes Dr. Brüggemann, and adds: “I hope to be able to introduce further KUKA products to our hangars.”