Referencing Strategies for High Accuracy Machining of Large Aircraft Components with Mobile Robotic Systems
Internationally growing flight and passenger numbers have led to a joined order backlog of Airbus and Boeing of approx. 12,500 aircrafts. With today’s production rates the delivery of all aircrafts would take 8.5 years. The resulting endeavor for higher productivity requests more flexible manufacturing solutions. A bottleneck in production is the machining of large aircraft components. These components are commonly machined by vast portal machines. Due to time-consuming referencing processes, cost-effectiveness of these high-invest-machines is often non-satisfying. Mobile robots already have proven their advantages for drilling and fastening applications performing short, high-accuracy movements. With mobile robot-based solutions machining processes can be executed simultaneously which increases the productivity significantly. However, machining paths often have the same dimension as the component itself.
Automating a manufacturing process often comes with substantial investment or sustained operational costs of complex subsystems. But, by reducing complexity and using technologically mature components, it is possible to develop viable scaled and robust automated solutions. For the past several years, aerospace manufacturers have endeavored to automate manufacturing processes as much as possible for both production efficiencies and competitive advantage. Automating processes like drilling, fastening, sealing, painting, and composite material production have reaped a wide range of benefits; from improving quality and productivity to lowering worker ergonomic risks. The results have improved supply chains from small component manufacturers all the way up to airframe assemblers. That said, automation can be very expensive, and difficult to introduce when a product is anywhere beyond the beginning of its life cycle.
Abstract Motivation - Ambiguous product targets, a global market, innovation pressure, changing process requirements and limited resources describe the situation for engineering management in the most R&D organizations. Achieving complex objective with limited resources is a question of performance. Performance in engineering departments is highly correlated to the existing capability of the engineering staff. When the reduction of engineering effort in development projects becomes additional goal for the management, an increase of engineering productivity is required. International engineering sites are established globally to push the capacity limits and to increase the productivity by the accessing big employment markets of engineering talents. By solving the conflict of limited resources and complex engineering goals, a need organizational challenge occurs - global co-engineering.
Advanced Hydraulic Systems for Active Vibration Damping and Forklift Function to Improve Operator Comfort and Machine Productivity of Next Generation of Skid Steer Loaders
Abstract Mobile Earth Moving Machinery like Skid-steer loaders have tight turning radius in limited spaces due to a short wheelbase which prevents the use of suspensions in these vehicles. The absence of a suspension system exposes the vehicle to ground vibrations of high magnitude and low frequency. Vibrations reduce operator comfort, productivity and life of components. Along with vibrations, the machine productivity is also hampered by material spillage which is caused by the tilting of the bucket due to the extension of the boom. The first part of the paper focuses on vibration damping. The chassis’ vibrations are reduced by the use of an active suspension element which is the hydraulic boom cylinder which is equivalent to a spring-damper. With this objective, a linear model for the skid steer loader is developed and a state feedback control law is implemented.
Abstract When performing trajectory planning for robotic applications, there are many aspects to consider, such as the reach conditions, joint and end-effector velocities, accelerations and jerk conditions, etc. The reach conditions are dependent on the end-effector orientations and the robot kinematic structure. The reach condition feasibility is the first consideration to be addressed prior to optimizing a solution. The ‘functional’ work space or work window represents a region of feasible reach conditions, and is a sub-set of the work envelope. It is not intuitive to define. Consequently, 2D solution approaches are proposed. The 3D travel paths are decomposed to a 2D representation via radial projections. Forward kinematic representations are employed to define a 2D boundary curve for each desired end effector orientation.
Abstract Productivity is result of competitive processes and it is a major factor for nation’s and industry growth. For Brazilian automotive industry it is tied, among other factors, to permanent value stream analysis and reevaluation. Especially on emerging economies, companies needs to review its strategies taking into consideration the market dynamics, current market position and future vision. Based on the manufacturing configuration, it is necessary to review current activities and process, checking in details which manufacturing operations add value to the organization, from technical, financial and strategic perspective. The decision to Make or to Buy, is a process for choosing to maintain the processes and operations in house or to outsource them. This is a key factor for industries, and is recommended the adoption of a methodology to assist the evaluation process.
Aerospace Standard 6228 Developed to Support Improved Productivity and Reduce Occupational Disease Among Powered Hand Tool Operators
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.
Abstract Today, conventional requests for automation and modern requests for flexibility in handling product diversity and changes in production volume regarding assembly operation are increasing. In order to satisfy those, the “Innovative Automation Cell” (Refer to Figure 1) has been proposed as an innovative assembly production system in lieu of an assembly line operation, which has been continuing with the use of automatic conveyance. Furthermore, technical developments were implemented, such as “Real-time Position Attitude Correction Technology” and “High-speed Emergency Recovery System”, as well as “Assembly Operation Support System”, to make an easy system for an operator, so as to minimize reduction of run rate in mass production practices. This article addresses the concept of the “Innovative Automation Cell”, the details of the developed technology, the effects of introduction to mass production, and future issues.
Abstract Every organization needs to effectively manage its data collection and analysis process in order to efficiently collaborate on a global scale. This paper describes a model for standardizing the data collection and analysis process and specifically deals with two challenges in this regard: 1) A method for standardization of the nomenclature of different physical parameters measured during a typical engine test. This is essential for processing data from facilities spread across the globe to run them through a standard set of calculations. The process of storing and performing a given set of complex processes on the data while allowing analysts to view the steps of the processing in a transparent intuitive manner is also described in the paper. 2) Building on the first point, the paper also describes a process for performing a standard set of data quality checks on data as it is being collected. This allows for detection of issues in the data on a real-time basis.
Abstract To achieve first time right product in any new part development, the process requires number of trials, skilled manpower, huge cost and massive time. In case of forging process, to develop a new component lot of physical trials are required to be conducted due to the process variations. The need of the hour is shorter development time with highest quality. All these requirements can be achieved with the help of reliable computer simulations. With computer simulation, the process can be optimized and crack analysis can be carried out. Additionally the use of computer simulation in forging process reduces no. of trials, ultimately saves time and energy. The paper deals with forging process optimization by effective use of computer simulation. Existing forging process and modified forging process was simulated.
Abstract As aircraft programs currently ramp up, productivity of assembly processes needs to be improved while keeping quality, reliability and manufacturing cost requirements. Efficiency of the drilling process still remains an issue particularly in the case of CFRP/metal stacks: hot and long metallic chips are difficult to remove and often damage the surface of CFRP holes. Low frequency axial vibration drilling has been proposed to solve this issue. This innovative drilling process allows breaking up the metallic chips in such a way that jamming is avoided. This paper presents a case of CFRP/Ti6Al4V drilling on a CNC machine where productivity must be increased. A comparison is made between the current regular process and the MITIS drilling process. First the analysis and comparison method is presented. The current process is analyzed and its limits are highlighted. Then the vibration process is implemented and its performances are studied.
Abstract In today's aircraft assembly process several new features make drilling operations very challenging according to production requirements. Parts are made of thin or thick multi-material stacks with a large scope to cover and complex assembly sequences. In addition, the current ramp-up in aircraft programs involves to improve productivity while keeping process quality and reliability. In this context robotic solution meets perfectly all these requirements as it is flexible, reconfigurable, fast and agile. Among the possible end-effectors, the Barrel Multi-Function End Effector (BMFEE) appears to be the most flexible solution to allow many different process configurations. The latest developments have been focused on the drilling equipment of this BMFEE. In fact the drilling process efficiency can be constantly improved especially in terms of reliability, quality and productivity. Therefore vibration-assisted drilling system has been integrated into the BMFEE drilling module.
Abstract The Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) machine layup run time in large scale AFP layup cells consumes approximately 30% of the entire part build time. Consequentially, further reductions to the run time of the AFP machine part programs result in small improvements to the overall cycle time. This document discusses how Electroimpact's integrated system and cell design reduces the overall cycle time by reducing the time spent on non-machine processes.
The term “productivity” all too often has becomes a buzz-word, ultimately diminishing its perceived importance. However, productivity is the major concern of any team, and therefore must be defined to gain an appropriate understanding of how a system is actually working. Here, productivity means the level of contribution to the throughput of a system such as defined in the Theory of Constraints. In the field of space exploration, the throughput is the number of milestones of the mission accomplished as well as the potential survival during extreme events (due to failures or other unplanned events). For a time tasks were accomplished by expert individuals (e.g., an astronaut), but recently team structures have become the norm. It is clear that with increased mission complexity, “no single entity can have complete knowledge of or the abilities to handle all matters” .
Measure and Integrate Dynamic Weight of the Moving Truck: ITS Solution to Improve Productivity and Safety
Transport plays major a role in the economic growth of the Nation and social welfare of the community. Wrong practices followed by Transport Operators result in environmental degradation and damage to Transport Infrastructure. To improve productivity and Safety of commercial transport sector in India, it is necessary for all transportation users to calculate, analyze and control the internal and external expenses. Dynamic weight of the moving truck is one of the methods which help to improve environmental quality, increase life of roads and bridges, increase life of the vehicle, enhance productivity and ensures high amount of safety. This paper describes System involving sensing techniques, design and integration, operational and feasibility analysis towards making it affordable, accurate and adaptable. This includes a proposal for regulatory bodies to respond to the challenge of implementation of rules for the productivity and safety of commercial road transport.
Modification of a Plant's Engine Assembly Line to Reduce Employee Movement and Increase Productivity
Modification of the workstations of the automaker engine assembly line in the Betim/MG unit, with a focus on ergonomics, reducing employee movement during the implementation of activities by eliminating activities that do not add value to the product. The entire project was structured according to WCM (World Class Manufacturing) methodology that consists of concepts, principles and techniques for managing operational processes, inspired by the Toyota Production System (TPS), which focuses on wastage elimination. The WCM is supported by technical and management pillars and the one used in this study was the WO (Workplace Organization) that seeks to create an ideal workplace to achieve maximum safety, improved quality, and maximum value in product transformation. The premise for the development of the solutions was the minimum use of resources, prioritizing simplicity of the devices by applying concepts of low cost automation (LCA) leaving the material near the assembling point.
Unprecedented rates in Boeing 737 aircraft production have driven a need for an increase in capacity in fuselage manufacturing and assembly. This paper will discuss the requirements by Spirit AeroSystems to add capacity, and the new and upgraded machinery provided by Broetje Automation in response to these requirements. Production areas found to require additional capacity included galley and entry door skin fastening, as well as frame fastening in upper and lower lobes. Three new Mobile Panel Assembly Cell (MPAC) machines were installed in rapid succession for efficient and flexible production of door panels. For frame fastening of upper and lower lobes, three existing machines were taken out of production one at a time for a comprehensive upgrade resulting in process speed increases of more than 40%.
In addition to providing a wide product range and meeting individual requirements of the customers to make the companies able to orient themselves to the competitive conditions in the automotive industry, properly structuring a capacity-productivity calculation algorithm is of a great importance in obtaining a competitive price advantage. In cases product diversity is too wide, and finished products cannot be measured with a single unit, measuring the production efficiency gets complicated. In addition, the ability to analyze all the inputs and outputs of the production with a single unit based on the same value for enterprises instead of analysis of combined units carried out based on a single perspective when calculating the production efficiency of the enterprises underlies continuous improvement and being able to set goals for the processes.
The high manufacturing-rate of CFRP-parts for aerospace components is demanding for efficient solutions in the field of automated systems and intelligent toolings. Combining these two factors the production of CFRP-parts is becoming more efficient than using this separately or even better than using manual processes and conventional toolings. The department of Production Systems within Premium AEROTEC has developed both self heating toolings for preforming and curing of CFRP-parts as w ell as automated handling and draping systems for CFRP-material (i.e. dry laminates or prepreg). This will be presented in this article.
Remanufacturing, or Reman, is an industrial process whereby used products referred to as cores are restored to useful life . The automotive reman products in the current state account for two thirds of all reman according to Steinhilper . The growing “Green” awareness can force the automotive OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) to demand more reman products from the OE suppliers in their contracts. Also reman makes a lot of economic sense for the customers and the OE suppliers since the reman products are sold at an average price range of 60% of the price of a new product . This paper is a case study of how the authors applied lean principles to increase the project throughput through the reman engineering organization to meet the growing demand for reman products. Extensive literature exists on how to apply lean in the plant floor. But very few papers talk about how to apply the same lean principles in the office environment even before it hits the plant floor.
A recent Gartner Dataquest study predicts that the total worldwide automotive semiconductor market will grow from $20.1 billion in 2007 to $25.9 billion by 2010. The study also predicts that revenue from automotive usage of FPGAs will triple to approximately $312 million during that same period. Many of these FPGAs will be deployed in safety applications such as back-up cameras, lane departure warning systems, blind-spot warning system, and adaptive cruise control. FPGAs will also be deployed in next-generation engine electronics, emissions control, navigation, and entertainment applications. Automotive systems engineers are adept at using Model-Based Design for implementing some of these embedded applications on DSPs and microcontrollers. Many of these engineers are new to FPGA design and waking up to a fragmented workflow that is making it harder to meet time-to-market and cost objectives.
The goal of this research work is to explore the energy savings that may result from productivity improvement recommendations. The productivity improvement recommendations on setup time reduction and finished goods inventory reduction were taken from Industrial Assessment Center (IAC-WVU) and Industries of the Future (IOF-WVU) databases at West Virginia University (WVU) and analyzed to evaluate the corresponding energy savings. A simulation analysis was performed to compare the peak energy demands (kW) in the present and proposed scenarios for the setup time reduction recommendation. It was found that productivity improvement recommendations can result in significant energy savings (2% to 4%).
While the industry has recognized the value of modeling and code generation, the role of verification has taken a limited second tier role. Model Based Testing (MBT) is typically discussed in the context of automation of testing activities to eliminate the burden of generation and execution of tests. Unfortunately, this objective of effort minimization has skewed solutions away from using quality as a guiding metric. Alternatively, we have identified the simple objective of increasing the quality of testing practices and productivity of developers. In the following paper we introduce the integration of traditional software quality practices of functional, unit, and regression testing with the automated, model-driven world. This approach enables a quantitative approach to model driven software quality. The result is a robust technique that enables confident use of model-based development for production applications.
Lean Manufacturing philosophy resulted from the best practices combinations used in identifying and eliminating wastes along the manufacturing process, looking for simultaneously high quality, low cost, shorter lead-time and higher flexibility. Due to high competitiveness in first rate industries, mainly automotive, there is a great effort in applying Lean Manufacturing pfilosophy in deeper levels. When targeting full Lean Manufacturing implementation, product concept plays an important role on its efficacy. On the other hand, there is a lack of elements to support a most efficient product development while foccusing Lean Manufacturing philosophy implementation. Present article brings forward, in the form os guidelines called Design for Lean, a systematization of the best practices for product design that will support the development of products with focus on Lean Manufacturing implementation.
The development of flexible fuel vehicles usually puts exhaust emissions in the critical path as more tests are required to cover different fuel blends. An informal survey showed that most engineers still use standard spreadsheets to analyze emissions data, usually a cumbersome, tedious and unproductive process. This paper describes the specification and development of a dedicated exhaust emissions data analysis tool, designed to improve productivity during the development phase. Through the combination of emissions and vehicle data, the tool automatically generates a set of reports that can be customized according to the best practices of each organization. The data analysis of an exhaust emissions test is performed using traditional methodologies and then compared to the new tool to emphasize the productivity gains.
Heijunka production, a core element of Toyota Motor Company's well-known Just-in-Time production methodology, was developed to deliver vehicle orders in the shortest lead time, with minimum inventory and maximum production efficiency. It achieves this by averaging (“leveling out”) production quantity and model. Adaptable to any production environment, the Heijunka production is an effective tool for industries with low-mix/low-volume production systems. In our case study, a manufacturer of interior subassembly items for commercial jets implemented Heijunka production and achieved significant improvement in inter-process inventory, lead time and productivity. Most notably, inter-process inventory was reduced to 20% in just five years.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges and opportunities for auto companies interested in setting up operations in emerging markets. One of the most widely accepted best practices is a concept called LeanThinking (1). This discussion focuses on the implementation of LeanThinking in China. In essence, LeanThinking is a broad management system; when applied to the manufacturing business sector, it is called lean manufacturing.
Recently developed portable tools have proven themselves capable of feeding and installing fasteners automatically. They eliminate the entire manual processes attendant to the selection and manipulation of fasteners. The fasteners are either stored in remote cassettes or in storage built into the tools themselves. The paper will describe the various means of storing and automatically selecting the fasteners. Ergonomic enhancements, that offer reduced physical stress and provide a safer working environment, will be demonstrated. The configuration of two existing configurations, one suitable for Hi-lites© and the other for solid rivet installation, will be described. The details of the actual installation process and the computer interaction available in support of the installation processes will be described, along with the effect of the man/machine system on the flexibility, predictability and cycle time reduction of the process.
The Kanban system is an essential tool for implementing a Just-in-Time (JIT) production process, which enabled Toyota Motor Company to achieve the highest productivity in the automotive world. Furthermore, it can be also a useful management method in other types of industries as well. In future, many organizations and business other than the automobile industry will discover the benefits of the Kanban system in achieving what we call “lean operation”. The Kanban system is an integral part of an overall Kaizen (“continuous improvement”) undertaking, acting as a visual control tool. Any JIT production process incorporating a Kanban system requires Heijunka (“leveled production”). This report includes an overview of an actual Kaizen operation incorporating a Kanban system at a sub-assembly process for aircraft components. After implementing the Kanban system, the average inventory cost was reduced by approximately 42% in one year.
Model-based systems development relies upon the concept of an executable specification. A survey of published literature shows a wide range of definitions for executable specifications [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10]. In this paper, we attempt to codify the essential starting elements for a complete executable specification-based design flow. A complete executable specification that includes a functional model as well as test cases, in addition to a traditional prose document, is needed to transfer requirements from a customer to a supplier, or from a systems engineer to electrical hardware and software engineers. In the complete form demonstrated here, sub-components of a functionally-decomposed system manifest as modular reuse blocks suitable for publication in functional libraries. The overarching definition provided by product architecture and by software architecture must also be harmoniously integrated with design and implementation.