Airbus has acquired industrial automation company, MTM Robotics, for an undisclosed sum. MTM already partners with Airbus, supplying its robotic hole-drilling system, as reported by Robotics and Automation News previously.
The aerospace colossus says the move “deepens Airbus’ commitment to expanding advanced robotics capabilities within its manufacturing processes”.
The MTM business will retain its current leadership and 40-person staff, as well as its facility in Mukilteo, Washington, near Seattle.
Mike Woogerd, MTM founder, says: “We are pleased and excited to become a part of the Airbus family and look forward to further integrating our products and approaches into the Airbus industrialization chain.”
The acquisition is the latest chapter in a trusted, ten-year-plus relationship between the companies, with multiple MTM light automated robotics systems currently in use at Airbus manufacturing facilities.
While MTM will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus Americas, headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, it will continue to serve other customers in the aerospace industry.
Since 2003, MTM has deployed more than 40 aerospace manufacturing systems comprised of machines, tools, machine software, enterprise software and support throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
The acquisition marks the latest step for Airbus in its industrialization roadmap, aimed at leveraging the time- and cost-saving benefits associated with using robotics in the manufacture and assembly of its commercial aircraft.
Michael Schoellhorn, Airbus chief operating officer, says: “The competitiveness of tomorrow will be determined by both designing the best aircraft and by building the most efficient manufacturing system, in parallel.
“Automation & robotics are central to our industrial strategy. We are very happy to welcome MTM Robotics as a family member and take a step forward on this exciting endeavour together.”
Patrick Vigié, head of industrial technologies at Airbus, says: “MTM perfectly fits Airbus’ ambition for engineering and innovative manufacturing solutions while maintaining agility.
“Airbus and MTM Robotics each believe that tomorrow’s automation in aircraft manufacturing can and must be lighter, more portable and less capital intensive.
“By joining our efforts and skills, we are well positioned to establish industrywide standards for the factory of tomorrow.”