Automated Positioning and Alignment Systems 2000-01-3014
To eliminate some of the problems associated with the conventional process of locating and positioning large airframe subassemblies, Advanced Integration Technology, Inc. (AIT) began working with aircraft manufacturers in the late 1980s to design automated positioning and alignment systems. These tools differ from conventional jigs in two regards. First, they rely on an automated positioning control system to simultaneously coordinate the motion of multiple mechanical actuators to smoothly and accurately manipulate aircraft parts in a known fashion. Second, laser measurement subsystems are used to locate parts and control aircraft geometry. The combination of these technologies yields benefits such as lower non-recurring and recurring costs as well as better quality, lower cycle time, and improved production flexibility. Over the last decade, AIT has installed dozens of such systems making many improvements along the way.
This paper presents automated positioning and alignment systems as a viable alternative to the traditional locating and positioning of aircraft parts and assemblies, and provides a technical description of such systems.