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Assembly and quality optimisation for wing structures throughout the application of Optical projection

Airbus-Luis Rivera PhD
Jose Angel Gonzalez Domingo-Jose Angel Gonzalez-Domingo
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1903
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
The existing fastener installation operations account for drilling and bolting a large number of holes through the wing skin. Because of its inherent complexity, these operations are prone to costly defects. Consequently, there is room for improvement and optimisation. Instead of focusing on expensive, complex and high-risk automation solutions, visual aid has proven to be a more suitable option. Particularly, optical projection would display operations information directly on the wing skin. This would grant the operators the help they need to cut down on defects and remove the need to follow large slaving maps, simplifying their tasks. Therefore, the aim of this project is to introduce and install this technology, which will display hole positions and its related operation information. Coupled with the system’s flexibility to display any shape and colour, this solution will be robust enough and fit for purpose to support these production operations. After a comprehensive market research to select the best technology, the selected option was programmed and optimised to perform in an Airbus environment and to satisfy Airbus’ requirements. The…

Reconfigurable Jig Tooling and In-Process Metrology for High Accuracy Prototype Compound Helicopter Wing Assembly

University of Nottingham-Richard J. Crossley
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1877
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
This paper documents the potential use of reconfigurable reusable jig tooling based on the box-joint system for use in the assembly of a prototype compound helicopter wing. Due to the aircraft configuration the wing design is pinned at both ends and therefore requires a higher degree of accuracy (typically 0.2mm), over the 4m length, than conventional wings. In this paper the cost benefit of reusable tooling in a low volume prototype scenario is examined followed by the design of the jig and location features to enable accurate build and metrology documentation. A prototype 4m test jig comprising of commercially available components and bespoke machined ‘pick-ups’ is presented here. Hardware and measurement process cost modelling is documented along with results for the positional and hinge-line concentricity setting accuracy that was achieved using a laser tracking system. Subsequent measurements over a 24hr period are also discussed along with potential sources of the observed reduction in jig accuracy over time.

Line Side Equipment

Broetje-Automation Gmbh-Bertrand LAPORTE
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1879
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
The aircraft production rate is now increasing and requires to keep the production tools as close as possible from the assembly work area. As production sites cannot be extended as much as the rate increases, this has created the need for developing innovative & efficient line side equipment, which fulfils storage capacity, ergonomical accessibility, easy handling & quick load unload performance for all aircraft part assemblies. This paper will focus on the development and the integration into the production on our innovative solutions on Line Side Equipment . The Line Side Equipment is custom designed and built for manual or semi-automated assembly lines. It offers a wide range of solutions such as dedicated storage areas, trolleys, easy acces, tool kits & smart cabinets.

Optimization of automated airframe assembly process on example of A350 S19 splice joint

Airbus SAS-Elodie Bonhomme, Pedro Montero-Sanjuan
SPbPU-Sergey Lupuleac, Julia Shinder, Maria Churilova, Nadezhda Zaitseva, Valeriia Khashba
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1882
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
The paper presents the numerical approach to simulation and optimization of A350 S19 splice assembly process. The main goal is to reduce the number of installed temporary fasteners while preventing the gap between parts from opening during drilling stage. The numerical approach includes computation of residual gaps between parts, optimization of fastener pattern and validation of obtained solution on input data generated on the base of available measurements. The problem is solved with ASRP (Assembly Simulation of Riveting Process) software. The described methodology is applied to the optimization of the robotized assembly process for A350 S19 section.

Advanced assembly solutions for the RACER joined-wing configuration

University of Nottingham-David Bainbridge, Konstantinos Bacharoudis, Andrea Cini, Alison Turner, Atanas Popov, Svetan Ratchev
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1884
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
The demonstrator project RACER is developed under the leadership of Airbus Helicopters Group within a large European partnership and concerns the development of new VTOL formula in order to fill the mobility gap between conventional helicopters and airplanes. Thus, RACER is a compound rotorcraft including wings and propellers. The new wing arrangement suggested by Airbus Helicopters Groups is defined as a staggered bi-plane configuration with an upper and a lower straight wing at each side of the helicopter, both being interconnected at their outermost tips, forming a triangular framework. Responsible for the design, manufacturing and assembly of the wings is ASTRAL consortium consisted of GE Aviation and University of Nottingham. The identification of the best strategy to assemble the joined wing configuration is quite challenging. In order to ensure that the final wing assembly will fit to the fuselage, a jig that simulates the fuselage was suggested by Airbus Helicopters Group. The main question raised during the assembly design and thus the objective of this work concerns whether the jig should be a one-piece structure…

Optimisation of assembly processes for Adhesive bonded Brackets onto the airframe structure

Airbus-Marco Chacin PhD, Ana De-Lozoya Nombela, Mark Burrows
Cranfield University-Jose Angel Gonzalez-Domingo, Philip Webb
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1855
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
Aircraft manufacturers use adhesive bonded brackets (ABB) to support wire harnesses, looms and sensors. Using ABBs eliminates the necessity to drill holes in the airframe and significantly reduces the assembly time. Such brackets are installed manually on the airframes in numerous locations using high strength epoxy based adhesives. In addition, the application of adhesive onto bracket is carried out manually. Thus it's time consuming and quality relies on operator’s skill sets to apply a certain quantity of adhesive using a predefined pattern, both of which are commonly not controlled. On the other hand, removing the damaged brackets by manual operations tend to cause dents and scratches in metallic airframes and delamination in composites. Prior research indicates that the brackets can be removed by heating them. But, they are not recommendable to aerospace manufacturers due to the longer process times. Therefore, it is vital to find a solution or methods to remove the ABBs without damaging any airframes. The scope of this research encompasses all the areas of design, technology and product development enabling a multi-disciplinary…

Intelligent Real Time Inspection of Rivet Quality supported by Human-Robot-Collaboration

PIKON Deutschland AG-Benjamin Duppe, Albert Schulz
ZeMA gGmbH-Rainer Mueller, Matthias Vette, Tobias Masiak
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1886
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
Aircraft production is facing various technical challenges, such as large product dimensions, complex joining processes and the organization of assembly tasks. Meeting the requirements that come with large dimensions, low tolerances and small batch sizes, in combination with complex joining processes, automation and labour-intensive inspection task, is often difficult to achieve in an economically viable way. ZeMA believes that a semi-automated approach is the most effective for optimizing aircraft section assembly. An effective optimization of aircraft production can be achieved with a semi-automated riveting process for solid rivets using Human-Robot-Collaboration in combination with an intuitive Human-Machine-Interaction operating concept. While using dynamic task sharing between human and robot based on their skills, and considering ergonomics, the determined ideal solution involves placing a robot inside the section barrel. The robot’s workspace is expanded by mounting it on top of a lifting unit so that it can properly position the anvil. In the meantime, the human performs the more complex tasks of inserting the solid rivets and operating the riveting hammer from the outside of the section barrel.…

Forces vibration assistance for TA6V/CFRP drilling

  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1874
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
For aircraft structures, mechanical assembly using fasteners remains the most common technology. The setting of the numerous fasteners requires a large number of drilling operations. In the case of CFRP/TA6V stacks, the drilling still remains a technological challenge. Indeed the high-quality requirements by the aeronautic standards are limited by the fast damaging drilling tool phenomena. For TA6V, the forced assisted drilling provides a breakthrough technology. An axial forced oscillating displacement on the feed direction of the tool allows the creation of segmented chips. Those small chips are then easily evacuated from the cutting area using a vacuum device. This allows the improvement of the hole’s roughness and mastering the burr creation at the exit of the hole. The lubrication process is also enhanced during the exit sequence of the tool. For the CFRP/TA6V configuration, the segmented geometry of the chip avoids the roughness degradation on the composite part of the stack. This parameter can modify the cyclic bearing performance of the assembly. In this paper, the different forced drilling industrial solutions are analyzed. More specifically,…

C919 Trailing Edge Assembly Interchangeable Tooling

Electroimpact-James Dineley
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1880
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
Traditional Trailing Edge (TE) assembly that utilise fixtures for accurate positioning of aircraft (a/c) parts do not allow for removal of specific tooling from the fixtures to travel with the TE, post assembly. Instead, the tooling that positions all the primary a/c assembly datums generally utilise precision pins of various sizes that index and clamp the a/c ribs. Often it is difficult to remove the pins post assembly before the spar can be taken out of the fixture. Use of hammers is common place to hit pins out of holes which is less than ideal considering the a/c parts can be fragile and the tooling is precision set. Also, the Main Assembly Fixture (MAJ) that will receive the TE will inevitably need to relocate some if not all the primary a/c ribs and therefore will most likely be subject to some amount of persuasion. Electroimpact have for many years used cup cone locators that allows static tooling to be temporarily ‘loosened’ and therefore made more compliant for pin insertion/removal, this has been successful to reduce…

A New Positioning Device Designed for Aircraft Automated Alignment System

Shanghai Jiao Tong University-Jie Huang, Long Yu, Yuhan Wang
Shanghai Top NC Tech Co Ltd-Yilian Zhang
  • Technical Paper
  • 2019-01-1883
To be published on 2019-09-16 by SAE International in United States
Accurate and fast positioning of large aircraft component is of great importance for Automated Alignment System. The Ball joint is a widely-used mechanical device connecting the aircraft component and Automated Alignment System. However, there are some shortcomings for the device in man-machine engineering, such as the entry state of the ball-head still needs to be confirmed by the workers and then switched to the locking state manually. To solve above problems, a new positioning mechanism is present in this paper, which consists of a ball-head and a ball-socket. The new device is equipped with a monocular vision system, in which a calibrated industrial camera is used to collect the images of the ball-head. And then, the 3-D coordinate of the ball-head center is calculated by a designed algorithm, which combines the symmetry of the sphere and the principle of projection transformation, guiding the positioner to capture the ball-head. Once the ball-head gets into the ball-socket, the pneumatic system inside the ball-socket will drive the piston to move to the specified location. Meanwhile, the amount of…