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Viewing 1 to 30 of 20089
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2622
Pranesha Shashwath Kumar K J
Recent incidents of aircraft hijacking and terrorism have raised a need for advanced surveillance mechanism in aircrafts. RFIDs are looked upon for a potential solution but their application inside aircraft is fraught with concerns apropos to radiated EMI, reliability issues and implementation challenges, especially for an aircraft in flight. This paper proposes a mechanism with which this could be accomplished. The mechanism introduces the possibility of using passive-only RFIDs to track people and baggage movement inside an aircraft to form an “actual movement map” of all significant movements. This can be compared with a pre-determined “supposed movement map”. The complexity in formation of “supposed movement map” is delineated in the paper. Passive-only RFIDs have already been approved by FAA to be used in aircrafts when on ground for maintenance purposes.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2623
Craig Battles, Brian Smith, Kurt Webster
Automated manufacturing in aerospace presents many unique challenges, including but not limited to building parts on extremely large scales of size yet with precisions on the order of thousandths of an inch. Localization, or the ability to determine the position of equipment used to build an aircraft part, or estimating the true position of some object relative to a coordinate system relevant for creating a reference basis for movement or other operations, will be explored. Localization results are provided by direct use of metrology systems or derived from data provided by sensor or perception. This document presents a survey of a number of sensor and software packages as well as a cascading localization method required to meet requirements that are anticipated to be germane to wing assembly work cell concepts that are currently being considered to address high rate manufacturing.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2624
Emma C. Benjaminson, Wesley Holleman, Nicholas Farrell
Orbital drilling is already proven to be a critical manufacturing technique that brings significant advantages to the factory floor, and it will be increasingly automated in the coming years. Automation brings sensors, logic controllers and robotics to traditionally manual manufacturing processes. These components do bring benefits to the factory, but in the rush to automate, the mechanical processes themselves are often left behind. Any example of automation is only as good as the mechanical components that are being controlled. By innovating on the fundamental mechanical processes it is possible to realize significant gains in manufacturing rates and overall quality that would otherwise be missed. Orbital drilling is an example of where mechanical innovation can bring greater advantages and opportunities to the factory that automation alone cannot provide.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2625
Anthony Cheruet, Robert Schmitz
In the research of lightweighting solutions, the use of CFRP has dramatically increased during the last two decades to represent today about 50 percent of the materials used in the recent commercial aircrafts. However designers are still facing the challenge to accelerate the insertion of new materials for applications. One of the main challenge concerns the reduction of the material certification time which relies only on experimental procedure. Globally speaking, there is a need for a material definition and certification in a numerical form to meet platform requirement and that allows to reduce cost and development time of new material by replacing manual tests with advanced simulation. A comprehensive simulation process is then proposed and will be described. This process allows to define a complete test matrix in order to generate B-basis allowable for a material system given. Several aspects have to be considered.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2488
Derek L. Mickelson
In the aircraft design process there are the occasional bolted joints with opposing surfaces that are not parallel to each other. This can necessitate manufacturing to machine a spot face into the structural surfaces for the bolt head and nut to seat on. Typically this process is done manually by two workers with all process verification being done visually. Additionally, the nature of airplane structure often requires one worker to be inside a confined space to monitor the process. With this in mind, a tool was requested to reduce the number of workers required, remove workers from confined spaces and ensure a robust method for process validation. The critical technology that would have to be developed was a device that could fix itself into an existing hole, measure the surface of which the hole exited and then machine a spot face into that surface to a specific calculated depth. The device would only require a single operator to install and start the machine in a given hole.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2490
Sylvain Guerin, Sylvain da Costa
The quality requirement for drilling operation in aerospace industry associated to the different material layers of the recent aircraft design is one of the most challenging issues for manufacturing engineers who want to design system for one-shot drilling operation. We have developed and validated in production a handheld electrical tool which is able to accurately monitor the drilling parameter and to adjust the drilling conditions to specific material in the stack-up. This “Smart Driller” achieves quality and performances equivalent to those obtained by the most advanced heavy automated drilling systems at a small portion of weight and cost.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2489
Philippe Le Vacon, Fabien Albert, Thomas Buisson
The NC template developed by AIRBUS GROUP Innovations, is a light and low cost five axis drilling machine, dedicated to the assembly of hybrid (CFRP/Al/Ti) aircraft structure. This solution aims to replace the current process where operators move the drilling units from one hole to another. It’s providing a high level of flexibility compared to drilling templates with a special interest during the ramp up phase of new A/C program, because it has just to be reprogrammed if fasteners positions change. The NRC can also be reduced due to limitation of operators, because one operator can manage several grids. The architecture of the machine is made up of a Cartesian table having a tool holder carriage on which is fixed a normality module with a standard ADU (Advanced Drilling Unit). The normality module has 3 axes (Z and two rotations) which give the capability to operate on double convex curvatures, flat up to 1500 mm radius.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2492
Michael Assadi, Brian Stewart, Samuel Dobbs, Sean Hollowell, Joseph Elsholz
Developing the most advanced panel assembly line for very high production rates required an innovative and integrated solution, relying on the latest technologies in the industry. Looking back at over five decades of commercial aircraft assembly line, a clear and singular vision of a fully integrated solution was defined. The execution was focused on co-developing the automation, tooling, material handling and facilities while limiting the number of parties involved. Using the latest technologies in all these areas also required a development plan that included pre-qualification at all stages of the system development.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2491
Paul Haworth, Donald Peterson, Curtis Hayes
A new high speed forming process for fatigue rated index head rivets used in wing panel assembly using ball-screw based servo squeeze actuation has been developed. The new process is achieved using a combination of force and position control and is capable of forming to 40,000 lbs at rates of up to 200,000 lbs/second whilst holding the part location to within +/- 10 thousandths of an inch. Multi-axis riveting machines often have positioning axes that are also used for fastener upset. It is often the case that while a CNC is used for positioning control, another secondary controller is used to perform the fastener upset. In the new process, it has been possible to wrap the control of the upset process into the machine CNC and thus eliminating any separate controllers. The fastener upset force profile is controlled throughout the forming of the rivet by using a closed loop force control system that has a load cell mounted directly behind the stringer side forming tool.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2493
Dan Vaughan, David Branson, Otto Jan Bakker, Svetan Ratchev
This paper evaluates the capability of adaptive fixtures to identify their suitability for implementation into aircraft wing manufacturing and assembly. The inherently complex aerospace industry requires a step change in its capability to achieve the production ramp up required to meet the global demand. To react to the inevitable differences between the measured dimension and the design definition, adaptive fixtures are utilised to improve process capability and therefore reduce non-conformance. However, the current utilisation of adaptive fixturing in the aerospace industry is low. To understand the potential benefits of these fixtures, an examination of the current academic practices and an evaluation of the existing industrial solutions is presented. The key enabling technologies are identified, their current technology readiness is evaluated and a technology road map for effective industrial implementation is discussed.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2494
Benjamen D. Hempstead, Scott Smith
Aircraft assembly systems which require tooling or machinery to pulse or move between multiple positions within a factory can be positioned with high repeatability without high performance foundations or sweeping out large areas of floorspace. An example shows a system of large left and right-hand frames which are positioned at 3 sequential manufacturing steps and then recirculated to the start of production via a central return aisle. The frames are 41 ton actual weight and are 72’ long, similar to a rail car. The system achieves rectangular motion for the recirculation path. The supporting and moving system incorporates low-cost rail in a floor with minimal preparation and simple to use controls. The system is also easily reconfigured if the manufacturing system needs to be altered to meet rate or flow requirements.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2496
Lucy Agyepong, Marcus Rafla, David Tomlinson, Karl-Otto Strömberg, Alan Howarth
There is the need to strive towards more advanced aircraft with the use of materials such as composites, and a desire to improve efficiency by achieving and maintaining laminar flow over a large proportion of the aircraft wing. Due to the high tolerances required to achieve laminar flow, the manufacturing processes and tooling will have to be revaluated to enable successful manufacture in a production environment. A major influence in achieving the key characteristics and tolerances is the assembly fixture. This paper details the design and manufacture of a carbon fibre based assembly fixture, required for a one-off build of an innovative leading edge wing concept. The fixture has been designed and optimised in order to make it adaptable, reconfigurable, and suitable for lifting as well as being thermally stable whilst maintaining laminar flow tolerances.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2495
N.D. Jayaweera, L.U. Subasinghe, H.G.A.R. Gajanayaka
Modern aerospace industry is continuously seeking new technologies due to potential increase in demand for new aircrafts which are to be produced on a single production line while reducing model changeover time and improving quality of the assembly process. In mass volume production, this can be achieved by fixing a large number of similar components using special-purpose jigs and fixtures. This type of jigs and fixtures can be largely found in automotive industry. In low volume production, improvement of the re-configurability of fixturing systems becomes a favorable way to reduce the cost of production per one unit. Aerospace industry can be considered as an industry that produces goods in less volume since the number of aircrafts produced per year is very less when compared to automotive industry. A re-configurable fixturing system consists of standard components that can be used to satisfy different fixturing requirements.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2498
AbdulRahman El-Nounu, Svetan Ratchev, Richard Crossley
Design for Assembly is the concept of carrying out critical thought early in the design stage to create assembly easement at the production stage. In the aerospace industry products have very long lives, frequently being optimised rather than introducing new products. This has meant that older products that are stable cash cows have not benefited from new Design for Assembly Methods and manufacturing equipment and tooling suffer from obsolescence. It has been established that approximately 80% of overall product cost is determined at the design stage and thus existing products suffer from preloaded costs. This paper takes existing Design for Assembly methodologies and analyses them with respect to the unique challenges involved in legacy product redesign. The methodology developed is both a quantitative solution coupled with thought channelling processes. An existing case study looking at optimising the installation of small butterfly brackets is used to test this methodology.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2497
George Nicholas Bullen
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.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2501
Cosme de Castelbajac, Sylvain Laporte, Emmanuel Puviland, Julian Lonfier
Over the last few years, a number of aircraft production lines have seen their production rate increase. In some cases, to avoid bottlenecks in the assembly lines, the productivity of processes needs to be improved while keeping existing machine-tools. In this context, the case of drilling machine-tools tends to require particular attention, especially when multi-material parts are drilled. In such instances, the Vibration Assisted Drilling (V.A.D.) process can be a way to improve productivity and reliability while controlling quality standards. This article presents a case of a drilling/countersinking process for stainless steel and titanium stack parts. Firstly, the article assesses the feasibility and benefits of using Vibration Assisted Drilling and Countersinking with the current cutting-tools.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2502
Jeremy Jallageas, Matthieu Ayfre, Mehdi Cherif, Jean-Yves K'nevez, Olivier Cahuc
This study investigates the self-adjusted cutting parameters technique to improve drilling multi-stacked material. The technique consists in changing automatically the cutting strategy accordingly to the material machined. The success of this technique relies on an accurate signal analysis regardless to process setting. Motor current or thrust force are mostly used as incoming signals. Today analyzes are based on thresholding method. It consists in assigning lower and upper limits for each type of material. The material is then identified when the signal level is stabilized in between one of the thresholds. Good results are observed as long as signal steps are significantly distinct. It is the case during drilling TA6V-CFRP stacks. However, thrust force standard remains roughly unchanged for AA7175-CFRP stacks, leading to overlapping thresholds. Moreover, these boundaries limits may change with tool geometry, wear condition, cutting parameters, etc.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2499
Perla Maiolino, Richard A. J. Woolley, Svetan Ratchev
Assembly and manufacture of aerospace structures, in particularly legacy products, relies heavily on the skill or rather craftsmanship of the human operator. Compounded by low volume rates the implementation of a fully automated production facility may not be cost effective. A more efficient solution is a mixture of both manual and automated operations but herein lays an issue of human error when stepping through the build from manual operation to an automated one. Some inline quality checking must take place, machine vision is an obvious choice yet it can be plagued with problems in shop floor environments. Here we demonstrate a robust solution using a low cost 3D scanner comprising of IR enabled adaptive depth detection. The system checks the quality of manually assembled sub components before automated robot controlled operations are undertaken.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2500
Brigitte Vasques
Authors: Brigitte Vasques (a), A. Mendes (a) a) ApexToolGroup S.N.C. 25, avenue Maurice Chevalier-Z. I. 77330 Ozoir-la-Ferrière (France) brigitte.vasques@apextoolgroup.com Abstract: The drilling of multilayers composite stacks remains a common process in aerospace industry. Research of productive solutions such as one shot and dry drilling operations to avoid reaming and lubrication are contemplated by aerospace customers on titanium multilayers composite applications. Those solutions permit to reduce the number of finishing operation and drilling time. Special ADEs (advanced drilling equipment’s) machines are used to drill aircraft components in limited access areas. Parameters such as cutters, ADE machines, rigidity fixation, drill cutting conditions, chip fragmentation and extraction are related and influence the hole quality. Titanium (TA6V) thickness and cutting configuration influence the cutter wear development.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2505
Robert Flynn, Schuyler Horky
Even the most carefully built large aircraft structures have measurable differences in their shape from assembly to assembly. These modest differences can accrue to result in significant variations in the final assembly, leading to fit problems and perhaps small compromises in aerodynamics of the aircraft. Ideally, these differences would be accounted for, and tooling which enables this can be said to be “adaptive”. To account for these deviations it is necessary to measure them, most commonly done with laser trackers, and automatically analyze the information to produce appropriate transformation matrices for the PLC controller. A robust mechanical system is required to supply accurate motion. Finally, a deskilled process is highly preferred, to reduce engineer and other expert participation in production processes; this latter requirement is achieved via a flexible, graphical HMI.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2503
Thomas Schneider
Accurate positioning of aircraft components constitutes a key task in the structural assembly of aircraft. Due to the fact that the precise alignment of the pre-built parts can reduce aerodynamic resistance and thereby reduce fuel consumption having the latest techniques and technologies for the alignment is crucial. Also having the opportunity to align the pre-built parts with a best fit operation to countervail component tolerances makes the production process even more effective. One of the main challenges is to keep the advanced technology affordable for the customer and keep the maintenance and spare part cost to a minimum. Furthermore the operation of the equipment must be less complex so it can be done by a normal worker. To meet these requirements and to fulfil the individual customer needs a modular product strategy based on standardized function groups is what you need. This includes the positioning units, the controls, the measurement interface and the product supports.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2506
Ryan W. Davidge
In aircraft final assembly, large components must be handled and precisely delivered to different cells through various stages of the assembly process. This component handling has traditionally been accomplished with cranes; requiring large interface frames, vacuum lifters, or features built into the components for lifting and delivery. The crane handover process is almost exclusively based on operators manipulating these massive components, resulting in undesirable human factors and a poorly controlled and risky process. Ground based handling solutions can provide a more integrated solution, but typically require large areas of clear floor space to move these large wing and fuselage components; additionally, these large sweeps create a direct conflict with the positioning equipment to which these components are being delivered. Electroimpact was faced with this challenge when providing a handling solution between three linear-flow final assembly pulse cells for a large business jet.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2504
Christian Meiners, Weidong Zhu, Yinglin Ke
The joining and assembly of barrel sections of large aircraft is always cumbersome. Any means to ease this task are welcome. In recent years The Boeing Co. has invented and licensed their “Flex-Track” system. But however flexible this approach may be, double curved surfaces, large variations of cross-section radius and issues with vacuum cup fixture are problems to be dealt with. Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China has developed a new, innovative circumferential splicing system in cooperation with Broetje-Automation, Germany. This paper will describe design and features. There is a unique, time-saving setup technology and self-stepping actuation for a one up 360° splicing operation. The process endeffector is based on standard, state of the art components in use for large fastening systems.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2510
Ryan Haldimann
Measurement of Countersinks to high degree of accuracy has always been a challenge. The Countersink is defined relative to the panel surface which includes some degree of curvature. This curvature thus makes accurate measurements very difficult using both contact and 2D non-contact measurements. By utilizing structured light 3D Vision technologies, the ability to very accurately measure a countersink to small tolerances can be achieved. By knowing the pose of the camera and projector, triangulation can be used to calculate the distance to thousands of points on the panel and countersink surface. The plane of the panel is then calculated using Random Sample Consensus (RANSAC) method from the dataset of points which can be adjusted to account for panel curvatures. The countersink is then found using a similar RANSAC method.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2509
Eric Reid
The Boeing Company has recently developed a mobile robotic drilling and fastening system, in support of its commitment to lean manufacturing techniques. The robotic system, referred to as Lower Panel Drilling and Fastening System (LPDFS), was initially developed as a way to minimize facilities costs by not requiring costly foundation work. It is designed to operate with a high level of autonomy, minimizing operator intervention, including that required for machine setup and tool changes. System design enables positioning the work piece at a lower ergonomic height for concurrent manual processes. In all aspects of design, the system will maintain maximum flexibility for accommodating future manufacturing changes and increases in production rate, while meeting the strict accuracy requirements characteristic of aircraft manufacturing.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2507
Rainer Mueller, Aaron Geenen
The automation of assembly processes in aircraft production is, due to technical and organizational boundary conditions, very difficult and is subject to technical and economic risks. Part of the technical risks are mainly the large product dimensions as well as the high number of variants of parts. At the same time, the aircrafts are usually produced in small quantities. An automation is often inapplicable because of the high complexity due to the component variants. For an economical automation a production system is needed that can be adjusted to various aircraft components to ensure a high utilization of the production equipment. The aim of the presented approach is the development of a new process solution to enable flexible and requirement-oriented automation by the example of selected processes (surface activation, sealant application, drilling, riveting processes, etc.). The human-robot-cooperation is an approach for a requirement-oriented and temporary automation.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2508
Jason Rediger, Kyle Fitzpatrick, Rob McDonald, Daniel Uebele
An improved aircraft assembly line incorporates fully automated robotic tool change. Ten machine tools, each with two onboard 6-axis robots, drill and fasten airplane structural components. The robots change 100% of the process tooling (drill bits, bolt anvils, hole probes, and nosepieces) to allow seamless transition across the entire range of hole and fastener sizes (3/16”-7/16”). To support required rate, total tool change time (including automatic calibration) is less than 80 seconds. This paper describes the robots and their end effector hardware, reliability testing, and simulations for both mechanical clearance and cycle time estimation.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2513
Hans-Juergen Borchers, Kadir Akkuş
New Aircraft drilling installations show a tendency to use Robotic concepts for the positioning of the end effector. At the same time demands of fulfilling the continually increasing customer requirements forces suppliers to improve their system solutions to match the specifications. This paper will discuss the process of drilling large diameter holes within high quality requirements using a Robot positioning concept with a High speed spindle End effector. This Robot End effector system provides flexibility to handle different aircraft sections due to its Robot arm design. The material configuration that will discussed in this paper is a mixed material stack of CFRP and Aluminum. The diameter range is from 7.9 mm to 15.9 mm. This paper will focus on the large diameter holes. What are the process forces that have to be handled and what are the solutions.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2514
Scott Tomchick, Dave Eckstein, Joshua Elrod, James Sample, Dan Sherick
A new, automated production method of installing Lightweight Groove Proportioned (LGP) and Hi-Lok bolts in wing panels has been implemented by Electroimpact, Inc. The system inserts LGP and Hi-Lok bolts into interference holes using a ball screw mechanical squeeze process supported by a back side rod-locked pneumatic clamp cylinder. Collars are fed and loaded onto a swage die retaining pin and swaging is performed through ball screw mechanical squeeze. Offset and straight collar locations are accommodated for 99.99% coverage of fastener diameters of 3/16", 1/4" and 5/16". Collar stripping forces are resolved using a dynamic ram inertial technique that reduces the pull on the work piece. Titanium TN nuts are fed and loaded into a socket with a retaining spring and installed on Hi-Loks with a Bosch right angle nut runner. Bolt installation and collar swage loads, as well as nut torque values are captured and logged for future reference.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2511
David J. Gillespie
Aircraft assembly is dependent on the mechanical fastening of numerous components. A large aircraft could utilise upwards of a million fasteners which are manually inserted and tightened to the required torque. Automation of this process offers substantial reductions in assembly time, increased quality due to repeatable and traceability, and thus a reduction of concession and rework. As a result of this potential automated insertion of fasteners has been of interest and has seen increased use by aircraft manufactures. The current focus has been on the insertion of single sided fasteners. Perhaps, owing to the increased complexity, insertion of two-sided threaded fasteners has not been fully addressed. Insertion of aerospace specific threaded fasteners can be said to be a four part process comprising: positioning of fastener over hole; driving fastener into interference fit hole; positioning nut over fastener; and torque to correct setting.
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