Airbus has acquired an industrial automation firm, MTM Robotics, in the vicinity of arch-rival Boeing as part of its efforts to modernise its production systems.

MTM Robotics is located just outside Paine Field, where Boeing’s Everett production and delivery centre is sited.

Airbus has not disclosed the terms of the acquisition. But it says the decision “deepens” its commitment to advanced robotics capabilities for its manufacturing processes.

Chief operating officer Michael Schoelhorn adds that robotics is “central” to the company’s strategy, adding: ”The competitiveness of tomorrow will be determined by both designing the best aircraft and by building the most efficient manufacturing system, in parallel,“

Airbus already had an established link with MTM, which becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Airbus Americas. Several light automation systems are already used at Airbus manufacturing plants.

“The acquisition marks the latest step for Airbus in its industrialisation roadmap, aimed at leveraging the time- and cost-saving benefits associated with using robotics in the manufacture and assembly of its commercial aircraft,” the airframer states.

”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 industrialisation chain,” says MTM founder Mike Woogerd.