Distributed Network Architecture for Integrated Aircraft Manufacturing Systems 1999-01-3431
Nova-Tech Engineering, Inc. designs and builds integrated assembly tooling for the assembly of aluminum and composite aircraft. The functions of these tools are greatly enhanced through the application of Distributed Network Architecture (DNA) among the components of the tool.
Nova-Tech uses a DNA to facilitate communications between the different sub-sections of the tool. Each subsection works independently yet still communicates to the main controller. The distributed nature of the control significantly reduces the amount of wiring and hardware required, standardizes data communications between components, and reduces unnecessary communication traffic and overhead. A single PLC acts as the main overall control, localized motion controllers provide positioning intelligence, and CNC’s control drilling and fastening operations.
A best-of-breed approach was used to select the components. The open standard for the distributed network architecture allowed hardware from various venders to be integrated together. Smart I/O and network-to-serial gateways allow other devices to be part of the network without requiring native DNA capability.