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2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2517
Sean Holt, Rider Clauss
Abstract Electroimpact has developed a novel method for accurately drilling and countersinking holes on highly convex parts using an articulated arm robotic drilling system. Highly curved parts, such as the leading edge of an aircraft wing, present numerous challenges when attempting to drill normal to the part surface and produce tight tolerance countersinks. Electroipmact's Accurate Robot technology allows extremely accurate positioning of the tool point and the spindle vector orientation. However, due to the high local curvature of the part, even a small positional deviation of the tool point can result in a significantly different normal vector than expected from an NC program. An off-normal hole will result in an out of tolerance countersink and a non-flush fastener.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2500
Brigitte Vasques
The drilling of multi layers 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 multi layers composite applications. Those solutions permit to reduce the number of finishing operation and drilling time. Special ADEs (Advanced Drilling Equipment) machines are used to drill aircraft components in limited access areas. Parameters such as cutters, ADE machines type, rigidity clamping, cutting conditions, speed, feed, chip fragmentation and extraction are related and influence the holes quality. Titanium (TA6V) thickness and cutting configuration influence the cutter wear development. In this work, ADE and specific cutter geometries developed by Apex are used for the one shot dry drilling of titanium. Carbide cutters have been chosen for their resistance to the heat developed by titanium drill.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2503
Thomas Dr. Schneider
Abstract This paper presents an innovative approach for modular and flexible positioning systems for large aircraft assembly, for instance the manufacturing of the fuselage sections from shell panels and floor grids, the alignment of the sections to build the fuselage, and the joining of wings and tail units to the fuselage. The positioning system features a modular, reconfigurable, and versatile solution for various aircraft dimensions and different applications. This includes the positioning units, the controls, the measurement interface and the product supports. It provides the customer with a holistic solution that considers the specific positioning task taking into account high absolute positioning accuracy, repeatability and synchronization of the motion for all manipulators that constitute the positioning system. Various tools and method which were used during the development process are introduced and the developed standardized Positioning Technology is briefly explained.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2507
Rainer Mueller, Aaron Geenen, Matthias Vette
Abstract The automation of assembly processes in aircraft production is, due to technological and organizational boundary conditions, very difficult and is subject to technological challenges and economical risks. The technological challenges are especially the large product dimensions as well as the high amount of variants. At the same time, aircrafts are produced in low quantities with inflexible and expensive fixtures. As part of the research projects TRSE (semi-automated robot welding for single item production) and 4by3 (Modularity, Safety, Usability, Efficiency by Human-Robot-Collaboration) at ZeMA, the goal is to develop new process technologies, planning tools and adequate equipment in order to enable efficient and customized automation for various production processes. The human-robot-cooperation is an approach to a required, adjusted and flexible automation. Worker and robot work together without a separating protection device in an overlapping workspace.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2504
Christian Meiners, Weidong Zhu, Yinglin Ke
Abstract 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. 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. Features are high speed servo drilling spindle with HSK 32 drill chuck holder, tool changer, vacuum chip removal, reference hole detection and correction, surface normality alignment, pressure foot clamp-up, countersink control.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2508
Jason Rediger, Kyle Fitzpatrick, Rob McDonald, Daniel Uebele
Abstract 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
2015-01-2618
Bernd-Michael Wolf, Christian Meiners
Abstract SCALE is a modular, non-contact, in-line measurement system. It measures the diameter of the countersink directly after the drilling, the amount and distribution of sealant in the open hole, and the head height of the fastener as well as pressed out sealant (cf. Figure 1). The system is fast and reliable and the out coming information is reliable and trustworthy. Until now the system could not measure the inner diameter of the hole. The reason for this is that it is not possible to detect the inner diameter with a camera that looks only at the top of the component. But as our customers make the request to us, we decided to develop an optical hole probe system which is fully integrated in the auto fastening process. We think that a mechanical system cannot fulfill the customer expectations in terms of reliability, low maintenance, precision and speed. Only a non-contact system can measure permanently safe and fast the inner diameter of holes.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2619
Karl-Otto Strömberg, Stefan Borgenvall, Mohamed Loukil, Bertrand Noharet, Carola Sterner, Magnus Lindblom, Orjan Festin
Abstract Lightweight Production Technology (LWPT) is today a well-established technology in the automotive industry. By introducing light weight fixtures manufactured from Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics (CFRP) in aeronautical applications, new challenges as well as possibilities of in-situ health monitoring emerges. The present paper present results from experimental investigations using optical fibers with multiplex Bragg gratings (FBG) as strain gauges in an industrial CFRP fixture. Fixtures were manufactured of laminates made from CFRP. Measurements have been performed on a single CFRP beam with dimensions (8000 × 500 × 500 mm), used as a structural part in a larger assembly (9000 × 4000mm). The optical fibers were placed in between two laminates on two sides of the beam. The measurement data from the FBGs were compared and correlated to the measured displacements of the beam and the applied loads.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2614
Hideki Okada, Kenichi Kamimuki, Syuhei Yoshikawa, Shintaro Fukada
In the modern aircraft manufacturing, the cost reduction, the manufacturing time reduction, and the weight saving of aircraft are strongly demanded. The Refill Friction Spot Joining [1,2](FSJ, in other words FSSW, Friction Stir Spot Welding), which is one of innovative solid-state joining methodologies based on the Friction Stir Welding[3], is a promising technology that can replace rivets and fasteners. This technology is expected to offer cost reduction and weight saving for the aircraft manufacturing. In this study, to make stronger and reliable joints, the shoulder-plunging process of Refill FSJ was employed. The weldability of the Alodine or Chromic Acid Anodize coated materials along with a faying-surface sealant was investigated. The joint properties, such as tensile shear strengths and corrosion resistance, were evaluated.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2615
Donald Jasurda
The aerospace industry is continually becoming more competitive. With an aircraft's large number of components, and the large supplier base used to fabricate these components, it can be a daunting task to manage the quality status of all parts in an accurate, timely and actionable manner. This paper focuses on a proof of concept for an aircraft fuselage assembly to monitor the process capability of machined parts at an aircraft original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and their supply chain. Through the use of standardized measurement plans and statistical analysis of the measured output, the paper will illustrate how stakeholders can understand the process performance details at a workcell level, as well as overall line and plant performance in real time. This ideal process begins in the product engineering phase using simulation to analyze the tolerance specifications and assembly process strategy, with one of the outputs being a production measurement plan.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2600
Gustavo Franco Barbosa, Elton Candia Cordeiro, Fábio Rodrigues Costa
Abstract This paper presents a full automated solution that uses robots for manufacturing business jets primary parts. The purpose of this technological innovation is to increase productivity, improve the quality of final product, reduce costs with maintenance and consumable materials, in addition to meeting the requirements of ergonomics, occupational health and safety. So, better results have been sought in terms of process efficiency and technological innovation aligned to competitive market requirements related to industrial automation. The aim is to improve the manufacturing processes of the furniture parts, striving for excellence in every step by further adding value and reducing wastes in order to reduce manufacturing costs and enable greater customer satisfaction.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2601
Zhejun Yao, Wiltrud Weidner, Robert Weidner, Jens Wulfsberg
Abstract Despite the increasing application of automated systems, manual tasks still plays an important role in industrial production. The intelligence and flexibility of human enable quick response and adaptive production for the individual requirements and the changes in market. Moreover, some manufacturing tasks with sensible and high-value components (e.g., in electronic and aircraft production) requires attentive manual handling. Regarding the requirement of increasing productivity as well as ergonomic improvement and the aging of the employees, there is a significant need for technologies which support the staff individually by performing tasks. Human Hybrid Robot, a hybrid system with direct coupling (serial and/or parallel) of human and mechatronic elements, is a new trend in application of robotic technologies for supporting manual tasks. It realizes a synchronous and bidirectional interaction between human and mechatronic and/or mechanic elements in the same workspace.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2512
Mark W. Sydenham, Tim Brown
Abstract Electroimpact has developed an automated solution for installing OSI-Bolts on the HStab for Boeing's 787-9 aircraft. This solution utilizes Electroimpact's existing accurate robotic system together with new hardware designed specifically for OSI-Bolts. In addition to automated drilling and fastener installation, this system performs numerous quality checks to insure the installed fastener meets engineering requirements. Before installing the fastener, the system measures actual stack thickness and the length of the fastener to ensure that the proper grip is installed. Torque and angle feedback are recorded during installation which can be used determine if the fastener was installed correctly. The system will also automatically shave the small protuberance on the fastener head left by the broken off fastener stem, which is inherent to the OSI-Bolt. Figure 1 Cell Overview
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2514
Scott Tomchick, Joshua Elrod, Dave Eckstein, James Sample, Dan Sherick
Abstract A new automated production system for installation of Lightweight Groove Proportioned (LGP) and Hi-Lock bolts in wing panels has been implemented in the Boeing 737 wing manufacturing facility in Renton, Washington. 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 tools allow the machine to access 99.9% of fasteners in 3/16″, ¼″ and 5/16″ diameters. 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 Hi-Lok with a Bosch right angle nut runner.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2493
Dan Vaughan, David Branson, Otto Jan Bakker, Svetan Ratchev
Abstract The aim of this work was to develop a new assembly process in conjunction with an adaptive fixturing system to improve the assembly process capability of specific aircraft wing assembly processes. The inherently complex aerospace industry requires a step change in its capability to achieve the production ramp up required to meet the global demand. This paper evaluates the capability of adaptive fixtures to identify their suitability for implementation into aircraft wing manufacturing and assembly. To understand the potential benefits of these fixtures, an examination of the current academic practices and an evaluation of the existing industrial solutions is highlighted. The proposed adaptive assembly process was developed to account for the manufacturing induced dimensional variation that causes significant issues in aircraft wing assembly.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2497
George Nicholas Bullen
Abstract 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
WIP Standard
AMS2370L
This specification covers quality assurance sampling and testing procedures used to determine conformance to applicable specification requirements of wrought carbon and low-alloy steel products and of forging stock.
2015-09-15
Technical Paper
2015-01-2551
Ephraim Suhir, Alain Bensoussan, Johann Nicolics
In some today's and future electronic and optoelectronic packaging systems (assemblies), including those intended for aerospace applications, the package (system's component containing active and passive devices and interconnects) is placed (sandwiched) between two substrates. In an approximate stress analysis these substrates could be considered, from the mechanical (physical) standpoint, identical. Such assemblies are certainly bow-free, provided that all the stresses are within the elastic range and remain elastic during testing and operation. Ability to remain bow-free is an important merit for many applications. This is particularly true in optical engineering, where there is always a need to maintain high coupling efficiency. The level of thermal stresses in bow-free assemblies of the type in question could be, however, rather high.
2015-09-15
Journal Article
2015-01-2485
Mark Benjamin Geiger, John Michael Ster
Abstract A joint US Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) project initially addressing procurement criteria for powered hand tools stimulated involvement of the SAE EG1-B Hand Tools committee and affiliated industry participants, producers of powered hand tools. It became apparent of the need to develop a standard that addresses occupational disease, productivity, life-cycle cost in the selection of Hand Power Tools. Committee efforts focused upon development of an SAE International Standard that considers productivity hand-arm vibration, noise, other safety and health factors and life-cycle costs in procurement criteria for powered hand tools. Aerospace Standard, AS 6228 Safety Requirements for Procurement, Maintenance and Use of Hand-held Powered Tools, was published in September 2014.
2015-09-15
Journal Article
2015-01-2502
Jeremy Jallageas, Matthieu Ayfre, Mehdi Cherif, Jean-Yves K'nevez, Olivier Cahuc
Abstract This study investigates the self-adjusted cutting parameter technique to improve the drilling of multi-stacked material. The technique consists in changing the cutting strategy automatically, according to the material being machined. The success of this technique relies on an accurate signal analysis, whatever the process setting. Motor current or thrust force are mostly used as incoming signals. Today, analyses are based on the thresholding method. This 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. This is the case when drilling TA6V-CFRP stacks. However, thrust force level remains roughly unchanged for AA7175-CFRP stacks, leading to overlapping thresholds. These boundary limits may also change with tool geometry, wear condition, cutting parameters, etc.
2015-09-15
Journal Article
2015-01-2594
Thomas G. Jefferson, Panorios Benardos, Svetan Ratchev
Abstract Current assembly systems that deal with large, complex structures present a number of challenges with regard to improving operational performance. Specifically, aerospace assembly systems comprise a vast array of interrelated elements interacting in a myriad of ways, resulting in a deeply complex process that requires a multi-disciplined team of engineers. The current approach to ramp-up production rate involves building additional main assembly fixtures which require large investment and lead times up to 24 months. Within Airbus Operations Ltd there is a requirement to improve the capacity and flexibility of assembly systems, thereby reducing non-recurring costs and time-to-market. Recent trends to improve manufacturing agility advocate Reconfigurable Assembly Systems (RAS) as a viable solution. Yet, adding reconfigurability to assembly systems further increases both the operational and design complexity.
2015-09-15
Journal Article
2015-01-2595
Darren Winter, Paul Ashton-Rickardt, Carwyn Ward, Paul Gibbons, Chris Mcmahon, Kevin Potter
Abstract This paper reports on a methodology for risk reduction, developed and tested at a brand new aerospace manufacturing facility, producing high value aero-structures. The facility was formed as part of a ‘Risk Sharing Partnership’ between Airbus and GKN for production of the Airbus A350 ‘Fixed Trailing Edge’ (FTE). Whilst operating in New Product Introduction (NPI), the challenge for GKN was to increase production volume for each successive year of operations. At the time of writing, the facility was producing FTE structures at a rate of 4 per month i.e. Rate 4, and attempting to transition to Rate 6. The ultimate aim was to produce FTE structures at Rate 13 within an 8 year period whilst concurrently engineering the product and improving its processes. For schedule adherence, elimination of process failures was critical and often manifested at the final stage of assembly (integration cell).
2015-09-15
Journal Article
2015-01-2598
Gustavo Lasierra Ferrer
Abstract Composites are becoming a common material for aero structures; that means new manufacturing processes with new problems and new challenges have to be solved. Our engineering team (EiNA) has recently developed and patented a new end effector for Robots that is able to track any kind of surface (even if the surface is moving, swinging, bending….which usually happens when working with big composite parts.) and carry out the required task. This new feature has enabled robots to automate manual tasks that hadn't been automated jet like sanding, cleaning, polishing, applying solvents, applying release and cleaning agents not only on aero structures but also on its molds. The solution is based on a set of sensors, a postprocessor which runs a software and a mechanical compensation gadget. As a result, we can keep all the parameters of a process fully under control even if the part we are working on is not stable and it moves swings and bends.
2015-09-15
Journal Article
2015-01-2606
Andreas Bjornsson, Jan-Erik Lindback, Daniel Eklund, Marie Jonsson
Abstract With an increased use of composite materials within the aerospace industry follows a need for rational and cost-effective methods for composite manufacturing. Manual operations are still common for low to medium manufacturing volumes and complex products. Manual operations can for example be found in material handling, when picking prepreg plies from a cutter table and stacking them to form a plane laminate in preparation for a subsequent forming operation. Stacking operations of this kind often involves a great number of different ply geometries and removal of backing paper and other protecting materials like plastic. In this paper two different demonstrator cells for automated picking of prepreg plies and stacking of plane laminates are presented. One demonstrator is utilizing a standard industrial robot and an advanced end-effector to handle the ply variants. The other demonstrator is using a dual arm robot which allow for simpler end-effector design.
2015-09-15
Journal Article
2015-01-2610
Patrick Land, Richard Crossley, David Branson, Svetan Ratchev
Abstract There is a growing demand for composites to be utilised in the production of large-scale components within the aerospace industry. In particular the demand to increase production rates indicates that traditional manual methods are no longer sufficient, and automated solutions must be sought. This typically leads to automated forming processes where there are a limited number of effective options. The need for forming typically arises from the inability of layup methods to produce complex geometries of structural components. This paper reviews the current state of the art in automated forming processes, their limitations and variables that affect performance in the production of large scale components. In particular the paper will focus on the application of force and heat within secondary forming processes. It will then review the effects of these variables against the structure of the required composite component and identify viability of the technology.
2015-09-15
Journal Article
2015-01-2499
Perla Maiolino, Richard A. J. Woolley, Atanas Popov, Svetan Ratchev
Abstract The assembly and manufacture of aerospace structures, in particular legacy products, relies in many cases on the skill, or rather the craftsmanship, of a human operator. Compounded by low volume rates, the implementation of a fully automated production facility may not be cost effective. A more efficient solution may be a mixture of both manual and automated operations but herein lies an issue of human error when stepping through the build from a manual operation to an automated one. Hence the requirement for an advanced automated assembly system to contain functionality for inline structural quality checking. Machine vision, used most extensively in manufacturing, is an obvious choice, but existing solutions tend to be application specific with a closed software development architecture.
2015-09-15
Journal Article
2015-01-2611
Samuel Baha II
Abstract The use of composite materials in aircraft manufactures increases more and more with the need of light weight and efficient airplanes. Combining composite materials with an appropriate joining method is one of the primordial ways of exploiting its light weight potential. Since the widely-established mechanical fastening, which originally, was developed for metallic materials, is not a suitable joining method for composite materials because of its low bearing strength, the adhesively bonding technology might be an appropriate alternative. However, adhesively bonding in the aircraft manufacturing, especially for joining of primary structures is liable to certification requirements, such as testing of every bond up to limit load before the operation begins or non-destructive testing of every bond before the operation begins as proof of the joint characteristics, which cannot be fulfilled with the current state of the art.
2015-09-15
Journal Article
2015-01-2616
Richard Lindqvist, Tobias Jansson
Abstract The scope and purpose of this paper is to give input and propose solutions to the creation of an efficient and productive geometrical measurement planning process. The case study outline what is important and how to identify and determine the preconditions and input data which is required to start the preparation and planning activities of geometrical measurements. That is why the following three main research and development questions should be answered: Firstly; What is the need and why does an efficient and productive geometrical measurement planning process contribute to decrease cost upstream as well as downstream in terms of reduced lead times in measurement planning process work? Secondly; Why are reduced uncertainties related to geometrical; functionality, specification and verification, important? And how are they linked to each other and how can they be theoretically modeled and defined in terms of uncertainties?
2015-09-15
Journal Article
2015-01-2617
Raimund Loser, Michael Kleinkes
Abstract Industrial robots are well introduced into automated production processes. Their mechanical design is dominated by some major key factors like required flexibility, different payload demands, working range, working speed, combination with different working tools and robot costs. The final achieved position accuracy of the robot tool centre point (TCP) is based on the combination of these key factors. In general, the smallest movement steps and the repeatability of robots are much lower than the absolute achievable accuracy. The positioning results and especially the programmed paths of the TCP show relatively large differences between the programmed nominal paths related to the final achieved movements in reality. These differences can be detected using the Absolute Tracker with its very high dynamic performance, especially if the 6DoF capability is included.
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.
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