Pierre-Olivier Dubois


Video of the Researcher

Lab name

Centre technologique en aérospatiale




Full name

Pierre-Olivier Dubois


Using robotics to automate shot peening and machining for high precision aerospace components as well as undertaking metrology of pre-existing parts much quicker

Introduce yourself, your experience and your credentials

Hello. My name is Pierre-Olivier Dubois and I am an engineer in robotics at the Centre Technologique en Aérospatiale du Cégép Edouard Montpetit. Our team consists of four engineers and two college interns who work on applied research projects in aerospace.

Describe your research

My principal research is on robotic shot peening. Shot peening is a process that consists of projecting marbles on the surface of a material to modify either its geometry or its mechanical properties. By mechanical properties we generate residual constraints by compressing the surface of the piece.

This will reduce the residual constraint when the piece will be put into service. This will eventually delay the propagation of cracks and increase the life of the piece. Our team works principally on robotizing this processes which are important in aerospace, such as machining, surfacing by shot peening, prestress shot peening, et non-destructive testing.

At the CTA we have many robotics cells. The first one is a cooperative machining cell where we have two robots that can machine a single piece. The first robot keeps the piece in place and the second robot machines the piece. This type of configuration gives multiple possibilities in terms of optimization.

Our second cell is also for machining but for lighter pieces. We have a stereoscopic vision system in this cell that allows us to see the position of the robot in real time then to do corrections.

Our third cell is a smart cell where we have a digitally controlled machining device and a metrology station. Because of the robot, we are able to interact with the two devices. For instance, machining a piece, followed by performing metrology, then finally doing corrections.

Our last cell is a non-destructive testing cell. Therefore, it is a cell where we can install different non-destructive testing systems to analyze pieces.

Explain its significance

What we do in automatizing shot peening is important because we work on ways to solve real industrial problems. For example, when it comes to training operators to do surfacing of panels, it takes approximately five years to become independent.

We also alleviate musco-skeletal issues. Given that positions are uncomfortable and not organic, there is a real risk of injury. Finally, when it comes to quality, surfacing that operators do will differ from person to person. It is important to have a certain standard. So this is for shot peening.

When it comes to prestress shot peening, it is important because currently, the process is not profitable. When we want to put a new piece into production, it takes much longer and we have to set aside a machine for up to a week. Therefore, it is not profitable to design a new piece.

By developing better programming methods, we can free up machines to allow more production and to produce pieces much faster.


Institution name

Cégép Montpetit

Type of institution