Development of Modular Low Cost Automation Systems for Aircraft Assembly 2011-01-2638
In the assembly of large aircraft components such as fuselage sections, wings and tail planes, today large fixtures are necessary to assure correct assembly results in terms of geometric accuracy. These fixtures need to be rigid, accurate and tailor-made for the related components and assembly operations. This results in inflexibility regarding changes of the components form and dimensions, and cost disadvantage .
On the other hand, the demands concerning tolerances in aircraft assembly are high, for instance position accuracy of less than ±0.2mm is required for large aircraft structural components. In order to reduce cost and improve quality, innovative approaches are required that enable an easy reconfiguration of assembly systems, while ensuring highly accurate positioning of the aircraft components.
The aim of this work is to develop modular low cost automation systems for aircraft structural assembly. These systems should allow for flexible assembly as well as high positioning accuracy, and pave the way for suppliers to come off special-purpose machines with inflexible and expensive fixtures and open the field of standard machines.