Robotics company lines up aerospace growth

Simon Andreou, Roger Holden and Jonny Craig of True Position Robotics

A Nottingham robotics company which supplies some of the biggest names in the British aerospace industry is to launch a new 3D inspection tool.

True Position Robotics, based at the University of Nottingham Innovation Park, produces the technology used to guide robots for high precision manufacturing and inspection of aircraft parts.

It specialises in Smart Robotics, integrating different technologies, that are already available to provide bespoke systems for clients.

Roger Holden, director, said: “We turn standard industrial robots, developed for automotive and general industry, into really high precision machines capable of aerospace manufacturing tolerances.

“Our Adaptive Robot Control (ARC) is a high-precision optical guidance system which ensures any standard industrial robot operates within 0.1mm of its 3D CAD programmed position, over a large working space.”

The new 3D inspection tool, which incorporates a blue light laser from Nikon and optical tracking from Canada-based company NDI, is currently in pre-launch testing. A large, unnamed aerospace firm has already placed an order with new systems available for delivery this autumn.

Holden said: “It can be used both during the manufacturing build process or afterwards. Working with 3D CAD, it verifies that what’s been built in reality matches up to the specifications and measurements of the original design.”

The company is also currently promoting a novel ultrasonic inspection system for non-destructive testing (NDT). Using robotic ultrasounds scans, it enables manufacturers to see inside joints and structures. These systems use “collaborative” robots, which work alongside the production workers, assisting them in their work.

True Position Robotics began in its current form in summer 2018 and is based in the Sir Colin Campbell Building at the University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP).

They currently have three employees – Holden, experienced systems engineer Simon Andreou and graduate systems engineer Jonathan Craig.

Holden said: “UNIP is a great place to be. Its location in the centre of the country is ideal, with a really nice environment to be surrounded by. Quite often businesses like ours would be located in an industrial park somewhere, but here we have access to wonderful facilities and all the knowledge and learning that comes with being part of a university.

“The buildings are great and very well managed, and it’s convenient for us as a small business, to help us grow with access to things like a full-time reception.”

Mark Tock, UNIP operations director, said: “UNIP is proud to be home to the Institute for Aerospace Technology, one of the world’s leading aerospace research centres.

“It makes us a very attractive location for businesses in this field, who benefit from the skills, expertise and industry connections on offer. True Position Robotics are proof of this and we’re delighted to have them on site.”