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The Future of Airplane Factory: Digitally Optimized Intelligent Airplane Assembly

Northrop Grumman Aerospace-George Nicholas Bullen
  • Book
  • R-466
Published 2019-05-28 by SAE International in United States

The Future of Airplane Factory: Digitally Optimized Intelligent Airplane Factory defines the architecture, key building blocks, and roadmap for actualizing a future airplane factory (FAF) that is digitally optimized for intelligent airplane assembly. They fit and integrate with other FAF building blocks that aggregate to a Digitally Optimized Intelligent Airplane Factory (DOIAF).

The word "intelligent" refers to the ability of a system to make right decisions and take right action in the highly dynamic and fluid environment of the modern airplane manufacturing space. The event-driven dynamics inherent in the complexity of this environment drive the need for expert knowledge which resides in intelligence systems incorporating the experience of experts. Expert knowledge need not be smart, brilliant, or possess genius as long as the outcomes are derived from right decisions resulting in right actions-applied rapidly to sustain an optimized factory enterprise.

Complete factory enterprise visibility requires a higher order of decision capability that current operating systems do not have. A highly visible factory collects and displays data and information as it happens-at a rate beyond the ability of humans and current systems to analyze, process, decide, and act upon. Expert systems are constructed to present humans with right decisions in the form of optimal choices for right actions by incorporating the knowledge of experts into the logic for the decision. Structured Knowledge-Based Expert Systems (SKBES) are incorporated in this book and defined as a critical component for full enterprise actionable visibility.

The power of the Digitally Optimized Intelligent Airplane Factory not only is found in its ability to unify the factory, reduce touch labor, improve quality, and streamline throughput but it also enables a significant reduction in above-the-shop-floor support and management. Such an ecosystem frees the human to focus on the complexity of interpersonal responsibilities.

If the use of a DOIAF can be viewed as a holistic mechanism, then the human can be the agent engaging with that mechanism; improving negotiations for pricing, contracts, or other person-to-person events that require instinct and relationship.

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Enabling Expanded Aerospace Automation Using Tactile Cognition Analytics

Northrop Grumman Aerospace-George Nicholas Bullen
Published 2019-03-19 by SAE International in United States
Aerospace assembly operations are still highly dependent on human labor and processes. This paper will describe and illustrate the transformational technologies that will enable replication of the human cognitive (in context) textural ability to assemble airplane and space structure. The paper will also provide use case examples where these innovative technologies have been applied successfully.Without context, data are just dots, floating around without meaning. With context data becomes an enlightened component of knowledge that brings value to information. In-context enlightened knowledge provides manufacturing visibility within factory operations. Visibility is a key component of the Smart, Brilliant, or Intelligent Factory.
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The Future Airplane Factory: Digitally Optimized Intelligent Airplane Assembly

Northrop Grumman Aerospace-George Nicholas Bullen
Published 2019-03-19 by SAE International in United States
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Innovations in Automotive and Aerospace Assembly

Smart Blades Inc.-George Nicholas Bullen
  • Book
  • R-453
Published 2018-03-23 by SAE International in United States

Up until the last two decades, aluminum in airplanes and steel in automobiles were the primary materials used to produce these two complex machines. These metal-to-metal assemblies, and specifically the same-type metal-to-metal assemblies, have resulted in distinct manufacturing process advantages over decades of production.

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Aluminum Auto-Body Joining

Smart Blades Inc.-George Nicholas Bullen
  • Progress In Technology (PT)
  • PT-173
Published 2015-11-11 by SAE International in United States
Fusing aluminum in a multi-material lightweight vehicle is presented via studies on joining dissimilar materials, joining methods, and the performance of the joined materials. The use of aluminum offers a material that embodies properties to meet new standards as the automotive industry continues to pursue improvements in fuel efficiency and emissions. Aluminum’s strength, light weight, and corrosion resistance offers manufacturers a material alternative to steel and an additional material, which has long been known in the industry, to be employed in automotive construction. Topics of technical interest include: • Forming • Galvanic Corrosion • Welding, Fastening, Bonding • Maximizing Weight Benefits Production of strong, lightweight structures will contribute significantly to automobile manufacturers meeting mandated fuel economy standards, as well as customer preferences for utility, comfort, and safety. Materials selection and application are critical components to the design of lightweight vehicles. Joining technologies and the relationship of the materials that are joined to meet the design and assembly requirements are presented in this work and also frame the foundation for innovative joining methods for the next…
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Economics of Composites

Alan Hiken
Aerospace Composites Consulting-Carroll G. Grant
  • Book
  • R-440
Published 2015-09-17 by SAE International in United States
This essential information captures the state of the composites industry to assist engineering/technical professionals in charting a course for achieving economic success. The material characteristics of composites, their applications, and complex composites manufacturing processes depend on many factors. These are all fully considered and presented to meet the challenges that face this marketplace. The expert panel of writers from various industry segments (i.e., commercial/military aerospace, wind energy, automotive, and bicycle industries) address fundamental topics and explore the affordability of composites from raw material to end-of life-disposal costs with skilled perspectives that include: • Material characteristics and economics of composite structure • Complex manufacturing and specifics of assembly methods • Applications for composites • Product and human health • Safety and environmental impacts The authors provide strong basic economics concepts that are directly applied to the composites industry. The content conveys both the reality of the industry, as well as the trends and constantly emerging challenges that impact the cost of composites and are necessary for return on investment, as well as enabling the full potential…
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Non-Contact Measurement of Aerospace Fastener Holes, Using Ring Laser Adaptive Optics

Smart Blades Inc.-George Nicholas Bullen
Published 2015-09-15 by SAE International in United States
The introduction of composite materials onto air vehicles has complicated the traditional hole/countersink assessment criteria due its finished-part thickness variability; softer and dissimilar properties than the metallic substructure where it is mounted and attached; and the increased attention to other acceptance criteria such as fiber tear, fiber pull, and moisture propagation in the hole that degrades fastener capability. The addition of composite materials further complicates the assembly process by adding a boundary layer of liquid shim or sealant between the composite piece (usually a skin) and the substructure.Current hole inspection systems are absent the ability to assess the interior condition of the composite hole such as fiber tear, damage to the liquid shim, and debris or burrs between the multiple stacks of dissimilar material.This paper will describe, illustrate, and define new non-contact laser inspection methods for assessing the acceptability of countersinks and holes in aerospace parts made from composite materials. The diagnostic system(s) can satisfy the full range of hole and countersink criteria and provide an evaluation of the composite material and liquid shim condition…
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Advanced Materials for Aerospace and Space Applications

SAE International Journal of Aerospace

Smart Blades Inc.-George Nicholas Bullen
  • Journal Article
  • 2014-01-2233
Published 2014-09-16 by SAE International in United States
Constant swirls of innovative ideas are starting to push composites and hybrid metal-composite components for use in an ever expanding circle of products. Recent discoveries of Graphene/Au composites have invigorated innovations for its application to aerospace and space products.Attributes such as a low CTE, stiffness, and light weight attract other manufacturers of smaller products to use composites for enhanced performance and durability.The uses and economics of composites is an enormously broad subject. Examples of composite materials will be described in this paper to provide samples of applications selected for their far reaching potential to enhance product performance. Examples will also be presented to explain the application of carbon based composites where the product performance or application would not be possible without special materials.This paper will also describe emerging materials such as graphene and some of its applications to enhance the performance of current technologiesIt is easy become enamored with the composite big parts built for trains, planes, automobiles, ships, and wind turbine blades. We sometimes forget that there is a world of composites that exists…
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Digital Manufacturing: The Digital Tapestry

Smart Blades Inc.-George Nicholas Bullen
Published 2014-09-16 by SAE International in United States
Rapid advances in cloud-based computing, robotics and smart sensors, multi-modal modeling and simulation, and advanced production are transforming modern manufacturing. The shift toward smaller runs on custom-designed products favors agile and adaptable workplaces that can compete in the global economy.This paper and presentation will describe the advances in Digital Manufacturing that provides the backbone to tighten integration and interoperability of design methods interlinked with advanced manufacturing technologies and agile business practices. The digital tapestry that seamlessly connects computer design tools, modeling and simulation, intelligent machines and sensors, additive manufacturing, manufacturing methods, and post-delivery services to shorten the time and cost between idea generation and first successful product-in-hand will be illustrated.
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Automated/Mechanized Drilling and Countersinking of Airframes

Smart Blades Inc.-George Nicholas Bullen
  • Book
  • R-416
Published 2013-05-07 by SAE International in United States
Modern aircraft manufacturing involves drilling and countersinking hundreds of thousands to millions of holes. Doing this work by hand accounts for 65% of the cost of airframe assembly, 85% of the quality issues, and 80% of the lost time due to injuries. Automated drilling and countersinking replaces traditional hand methods and involves using numeric control machinery to drill and countersink a finished hole “one shot” (drilling a finished hole without using pilot holes or tool changes). This is a proven cost reducing technology that improves quality where it has been applied successfully. The focus of this book is on automating the process of drilling and countersinking holes during airframe manufacturing. Since this is the area of greatest return on investment for airframe producers, the book provides a stepped approach for evaluating possible areas for applying automation and a detailed description of the process for choosing, acquiring, and transitioning the right machinery for success. It also provides a vision for a 10- to 15-year future state of airframe manufacture. Readers will use the information to: •…
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