Rivet-hole templates are needed to help ensure rivet-holes are drilled in the right position and the right quality for securely joining the segments of the airplane. Conventionally, there are hundreds of different templates that need to be made specifically for every single part of the plane. A high level of training and skills is also needed for accurate drilling. Reducing all that will represent a huge reduction of investment for the company.
MADS as an autonomous drilling system poses an easy-to-use alternative to these templates. The operator only needs to position it in the area in which the holes need to be drilled. The system scans the surface and uses photogrammetry and existing pre-holes as a reference for positioning itself according to the 3D data of the plane. The curvature of the planes hull is countered by a mechanism that always keeps the drill spindle perpendicular to the surface. While the system is drilling autonomously, the operator can use the time to install and start another system.