Modular and Configurable Steel Structure for Assembly Fixtures 2010-01-1873
This paper will present the latest development of a configurable
and modular steel construction system for use in frameworks of
flexible fixtures of the kind called Affordable Reconfigurable
Fixtures (ART). Instead of a dedicated aircraft fixture, which is
very time consuming and expensive, the ART fixtures enable
affordable construction from a standard component kit, by solving
the main drawbacks of traditional tooling.
In early 2009 Airbus UK built the first steel modular fixture
for the aerospace industry. The project was a partnership with
DELFOi and Linköping University in a project called ReFlex,
Reconfigurable Flexible Tooling. A paper was presented in the last
year SAE conference which explained about the project in overall.
The construction system called BoxJoint has recently been tested in
some manufacturing areas at Airbus UK and also been applied in the
production at Saab Aerospace Linköping Sweden. A case study was
conducted of an A380 subassembly fixture demonstrating the
comparable advantages of the new technology from the design phase
until the first aircraft build.
One of the benefits reported is that a modular fixture
relatively quickly can be assembled and set within specified
tolerances by means of a metrology system, guiding configurable
pickups and flags called Flexapods. Calculation of strength and
stiffness can be made by simple standard methods.