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Automated FML Manufacturing for Aircraft Fuselages

SAE International Journal of Aerospace

Premium AEROTEC GmbH-Hilmar Apmann
  • Journal Article
  • 2016-01-2112
Published 2016-09-27 by SAE International in United States
As a new material FML, made by aluminum foils and Glasfiber-Prepreg, is a real alternative to common materials for fuselages of aircrafts like monolithic aluminum or CFRP. Since experiences within A380 this material has some really good advantages and develops to the status as alternative to aluminum and composite structures.To become FML as a real alternative to aluminum and carbon structures there are many things to improve: design, material, costs and process chain. So following one of the main goals for an industrial application for high production rates of aircrafts is the automation of production processes inside the process chain for FML-parts like skins and panels for fuselages. To reach this goal for high production rates first steps of automation inside this new process chain have been developed in the last two years. Main steps is the automated lay-up of metallic foils and Glasfiber-Prepreg. Over this there are some more steps within positioning of i.e. stringers and doublers by automatic integration and also in parallel shorter process chain to reduce process cost significantly.Different concepts and…
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Evaluation of Control Methods for Thermal Roll Forming of Aerospace Composite Materials.

SAE International Journal of Aerospace

Airbus UK-Harvey Brookes, Jon Wright
University of Nottingham-Patrick Land, Luis De Sousa, Svetan Ratchev, David Branson
  • Journal Article
  • 2016-01-2118
Published 2016-09-27 by SAE International in United States
With increased demand for composite materials in the aerospace sector there is a requirement for the development of manufacturing processes that enable larger and more complex geometries, whilst ensuring that the functionality and specific properties of the component are maintained. To achieve this, methods such as thermal roll forming are being considered. This method is relatively new to composite forming in the aerospace field, and as such there are currently issues with the formation of part defects during manufacture. Previous work has shown that precise control of the force applied to the composite surface during forming has the potential to prevent the formation of wrinkle defects. In this paper the development of various control strategies that can robustly adapt to different complex geometries are presented and compared within simulated and small scale experimental environments, on varying surface profiles. Results have found that traditional PID control can be utilized, although its robustness under varying conditions reduces performance in situations that are far from the tuned scenario. This causes the PID controller to struggle with geometries containing…
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An Asymmetric Wrenching System with High Torque Transfer Capability for Aerospace Pins

SAE International Journal of Aerospace

Alcoa Fastening Systems & Rings-Rodrigo Pinheiro, Robert Gurrola, Sead Dzebo
  • Journal Article
  • 2016-01-2081
Published 2016-09-27 by SAE International in United States
The installation of common threaded aerospace fasteners by the application of a torque to a nut or collar is made possible by an internal wrenching element or recess feature adapted to the threaded end of a pin, which accepts a mating anti-rotation key designed to partially balance the applied torque. In applications such as the mechanical joining of composite structures accomplished by wet clearance fit installations of permanent fasteners, high nut or collar seating torques not adequately opposed by frictional resistance at the contact surfaces of the fastener and joint members effectively shift a greater proportion of the torque reaction requirement onto the recess and mating anti-rotation key which in turn can experience high torsional stresses exceeding their design capability and result in frequent service failures. In particular, the industry standard hexagonal recess and key have been shown to be highly susceptible to such severe conditions with failure rates as high as 20% in field applications. A superior asymmetric recess design was developed for use in aerospace pins to enhance the reaction torque capability of…
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Process Understanding of Dry Drilling CFRP/Aluminium and AL/AL Stacks in IT8 Quality

SAE International Journal of Aerospace

Mapal Dr Kress KG-Peter Mueller-Hummel
  • Journal Article
  • 2016-01-2116
Published 2016-09-27 by SAE International in United States
Drilling holes into metal with MQL (Minimal Quantity Lubrication) is a normal procedure, because the drill is designed for drilling metal and the malleable capability of the metal compensates for the insufficient cutting capability of a worn out drill. Drilling composite materials using the same drill (designed for drilling metal) is a different procedure, because composite fibers are not malleable like metal at all. Due to this fact the tools become very hot trying to forge composite fibers like metal. The elastic behavior of the composite and the delamination inside the hole makes the tool temporary smaller than the diameter of the drill.The hole in the metal part of the stack remains slightly larger due to the heat and the thermal expansion rate. This paper shows how to drill metal and composite with the same diameter, so that achieving H8 quality is no longer a dream. Besides drilling H8 with cpk higher than 1.7, the dry drilling is one other important goal for aerospace assembly ever since. This paper will show how the dry drilling…
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Aircraft Wing Build Philosophy Change through System Pre-Equipping of Major Components

SAE International Journal of Aerospace

Airbus UK-Kevin Forster
Cranfield University-David Judt, Helen Lockett, Craig Lawson, Philip Webb
  • Journal Article
  • 2016-01-2120
Published 2016-09-27 by SAE International in United States
In the civil aircraft industry there is a continuous drive to increase the aircraft production rate, particularly for single aisle aircraft where there is a large backlog of orders. One of the bottlenecks is the wing assembly process which is largely manual due to the complexity of the task and the limited accessibility. The presented work describes a general wing build approach for both structure and systems equipping operations. A modified build philosophy is then proposed, concerned with large component pre-equipping, such as skins, spars or ribs. The approach benefits from an offloading of the systems equipping phase and allowing for higher flexibility to organize the pre-equipping stations as separate entities from the overall production line. Its application is presented in the context of an industrial project focused on selecting feasible system candidates for a fixed wing design, based on assembly consideration risks for tooling, interference and access. Further industrial, human and cost factors are discussed to establish project competiveness. The main findings show a potential to reduce assembly time of systems equipping operations by…
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Automatic Temporary Fastener Installation System for Wingbox Assembly

SAE International Journal of Aerospace

Electroimpact Inc.-Kyle Pritz, Brent Etzel
Xian Aircraft Co.-Zheng Wei
  • Journal Article
  • 2016-01-2085
Published 2016-09-27 by SAE International in United States
The automation cycle time of wing assembly can be shortened by the automated installation of single-sided temporary fasteners to provide temporary part clamping and doweling during panel drilling. Feeding these fasteners poses problems due to their complexity in design and overall heavy weight. In the past, Electroimpact has remotely fed these fasteners by blowing them through pneumatic tubing. This technique has resulted in occasional damage to fasteners during delivery and a complex feed system that requires frequent maintenance.Due to these issues, Electroimpact has developed a new fully automated single-sided temporary fastening system for installation of the LISI Clampberry fasteners in wing panels for the C919 wing factory in Yanliang, China. The feed system stores fasteners in gravity-fed cartridges on the end effector near the point of installation. The cartridge placement at the end effector eliminates the need for pneumatic feed tubes in addition to limiting input sensors to cartridge identification only. By reducing pneumatics, sensors, and controls, less maintenance is expected for the fastener storage system. When a fastener is requested by the machine, a…
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Plate Cartridge Compact Flexible Automatic Feed System

SAE International Journal of Aerospace

Electroimpact Inc.-Carter L. Boad, Kevin Brandenstein
  • Journal Article
  • 2016-01-2080
Published 2016-09-27 by SAE International in United States
The newest generation of automated fastening machines require a feed system that is smaller, more flexible, and faster than any currently available. The feed system must be compact enough to fit on a robot base, yet have a capacity large enough to support unmanned production for hours. A large variety of fasteners must be supported and the entire system must be reloaded or reconfigured in minutes to match the next work piece being assembled by the machine. When requested by the part program, the correct fastener must be released directly and immediately into the feed tube to minimize cycle time. This paper describes a new “plate cartridge” feed system developed to meet these needs.
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Lightweight Composite Air Cargo Containers

SAE International Journal of Aerospace

AECOM-Gergis W. William
West Virginia University-Samir N. Shoukry, Jacky C. Prucz, Mariana M. William
  • Journal Article
  • 2016-01-2119
Published 2016-09-27 by SAE International in United States
Air cargo containers are used to load freight on various types of aircrafts to expedite their handling. Fuel cost is the largest contributor to the total cost of ownership of an air cargo container. Therefore, a better fuel economy could be achieved by reducing the weight of such containers. This paper aims at developing innovative, lightweight design concepts for air cargo containers that would allow for weight reduction in the air cargo transportation industry. For this purpose, innovative design and assembly concepts of lightweight design configurations of air cargo containers have been developed through the applications of lightweight composites. A scaled model prototype of a typical air cargo container was built to assess the technical feasibility and economic viability of creating such a container from fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials. The paper is the authoritative source for the abstract.
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Safety Release Fasteners Enable New Cabin/Cargo Decompression Concept

SAE International Journal of Aerospace

Airbus Operations GmbH-Ralf Schomaker, Björn Knickrehm, Jürgen Langediers
  • Journal Article
  • 2016-01-2082
Published 2016-09-27 by SAE International in United States
In the frame of incremental product improvement, AIRBUS has developed and implemented a new innovative rapid decompression / pressure relieve concept for the cargo compartment area. The core change lays with detaching the complete cargo lining panels from the substructure in case of a rapid decompression in the cargo area instead of using dedicated blow in panels. In that way, pressure equilibrium can be achieved by air flow through the opened areas around the cargo lining panels rather than through specific blow out / blow in venting areas. The key for this is a self-detaching fastener AIRBUS has developed in an outstanding cooperation with ARCONIC Fastening Systems & Rings (former Alcoa Fastening Systems & Rings) in Kelkheim, Germany. These fasteners are installed to keep the cargo lining panels in place and tight against smoke in case of fire which is one of the main purposes for their use. In case of a rapid decompression event in the cargo area, the multi-piece self-detaching fastener fails within a defined timeframe and releases the ceiling and sidewall panels.…
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High Accuracy Mobile Robotic System for Machining of Large Aircraft Components

SAE International Journal of Aerospace

Fraunhofer IFAM-Hendrik Susemihl, Christian Moeller, Simon Kothe, Hans Christian Schmidt, Nihar Shah, Christoph Brillinger
Technical University Hamburg IPMT-Jörg Wollnack, Wolfgang Hintze
  • Journal Article
  • 2016-01-2139
Published 2016-09-27 by SAE International in United States
A mobile robotic system is presented as a new approach for machining applications of large aircraft components. Huge and heavy workshop machines are commonly used for components with large dimensions. The system presented in this paper consists of a standard serial robot kinematics and a mobile platform as well as a stereo camera system for optical measurements. Investigations of the entire system show that the mechanical design of the mobile platform has no significant influence on the machining accuracy. With mobile machines referencing becomes an important issue. This paper introduces an optical method for determining the position of the mobile platform in relation to the component and shows its accuracy limits. Furthermore, a method for increasing the absolute accuracy of the robots end-effector with help of stereo camera vision is presented. This publication shows that the mobile robotic system yields an efficient possibility for advanced machining processes of large-scaled aircraft structures in the Factory of the Future.
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