Robotic Sanding and Painting Process Validation



Hello :bigwave:

We are surface preparation and painting facility certified against AS9100, working within aerospace industry.
Currently we are improving our production process by use of robots for sanding and painting.

So we plan for robot to do what usually people are doing.
We are having dilemma shall we perform validation, and what kind of validation shall we perform.

I will appreciate any insight or suggestion
Thank you

Sidney Vianna

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I will appreciate any insight or suggestion
Welcome to The Cove.

For the sanding and painting work done presently, by hand, what is the acceptance criteria? This is the first step necessary in order to determine if the robotic process needs to be validated or not.

If you list the characteristics used to determine the current sanding and painting work, we can assist you.


Thank you :)
I have been following this site for some time and find it as very useful source of information.

Sanding is performed in several phases, each followed by putty application. Depending of the production step, surface must be clear from mould release agent and roughen, or flat and smoothed. No exact criteria is defined, inspection is visual.

For painting, wet/dry layer thickness, gloss, color and texture are defined. Texture is evaluated with master samples, other values are instrumental. Layer thickness is the only parameter that cannot be determined in a non-destructive way.


But, even if we don't have to validate sanding process, how about equipment and software validation as required in of the AS9100D?
How is equipment and software validated and what kind of records shall be produced?
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As part of your contract with customers you may need to disclose changes to customer approved processes such as sanding and they may ask for supporting documentation that there has be no negative affect to their produce. I.e. Validation report

Validations can simply be a comparison between current method and new method with some form of measurement made such a comparison of sanding results to a surface finish standards or photographic compassion between hand work and machine work.

Formal reports should be written covering the following basics:

a) Description of the equipment (make, model, serial number) as appropriate
b) Author of the report
c) Report date
d) Purpose for performing the equipment validation
e) Equipment capabilities to be validated
f) Process capabilities to be validated
g) Calibration reports if required
h) Test, lab, inspection, first article reports as appropriate
i) Outcome/conclusion of validation performed

Report should contain sufficient data, pictures, drawing etc. that supports the conclusion of the report. Good place to start would be the new equipments specification sheet and any applicable industry and internal (procedure/work instructions) standards you currently must meet.

AS9100D requirements 8.1, 8.5.1, and 8.5.6 are applicable to equipment and process validation. Software programs referenced in would be validated during equipment/process validation and as the standard requires, must be completed prior it use in producing product intended for delivery to the customer.

The short answer to your question would be yes you should perform a validation to assure yourself and your customers that the new method works and produces results similar (or better) than current method.

Sidney Vianna

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Basically you validate the robotic painting process by performing a painting operation under controlled conditions, taking note of all variable parameters that can be adjusted and confirming by whatever required examination, destructive and non-destructive that setting leads to acceptable work.

Keeping records of the validation process you satisfy the AS9100D requirements.

Then, during production, you replicate the process as defined in your validation run. It can be tricky depending on the painting chamber if temperature and humidity varies greatly.

Good luck.
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