The shear size and flexibility of the larger airframe parts makes it difficult to imagine assembly without extensive use of hard tooling. Yet, the world of aerospace manufacturing is changing. It is already possible to considerably reduce the amount of external, ‘hard tooling’, especially jigs, through innovative design and the applications of advanced technologies.
Jigless Aerospace Manufacture, (JAM), is not a single, mysterious, as yet undiscovered technology. Rather it is a growing number of related and linked technologies. Many of these are already well established and considered ‘robust.’
This paper sets out to review and describe some of these enabling technologies and to explain their individual roles towards achieving JAM.