Airbus SE this week acquired MTM Robotics, which provides automation systems and services for aerospace manufacturing, for an undisclosed amount.
Although MTM Robotics is based in Mukilteo, Wash., near Airbus rival The Boeing Co., it has been partners with the French aerospace company for more than 10 years, winning the 2018 Airbus Innovation Award.
“The competitiveness of tomorrow will be determined by both designing the best aircraft and by building the most efficient manufacturing system, in parallel,“ stated Michael Schoellhorn, chief operating officer at Airbus. “Automation and robotics are central to our industrial strategy..”
Airbus said that the company, formerly known as Mobile Tool Management, will retain its current leadership and 40-person staff, as well as its facility near Seattle. It will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Herndon, Va.-based Airbus Americas Inc.
MTM Robotics to provide agility to Airbus
MTM Robotics said it provides automation to “increase manufacturing efficiency where traditional systems cannot be deployed.” The company also provides engineering services, and its Serenity software suite is designed for real-time monitoring of systems across manufacturing.
The company also said it has deployed more than 40 aerospace manufacturing systems including machines, tools, machine software, enterprise software, and support throughout the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Airbus said the acquisition is the latest step in its industrialization roadmap, aimed at leveraging the time- and cost-saving benefits associated with using robotics in the manufacture and assembly of commercial aircraft.
“MTM perfectly fits Airbus’ ambition for engineering and innovative manufacturing solutions while maintaining agility,” said Patrick Vigié, head of industrial technologies at Airbus. “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.”
MTM Robotics uses technologies from robotics suppliers including Allen-Bradley, Cognex, Elmo Motion Control, Omnron, and Rockwell Automation.