Legacy 500 Empennage Assembly - Design for Manufacturing 2012-01-1872
On product design the use of composite materials has been steadily growing on aircraft industry, driven primarily by weight lost on structural components, which leads to better efficiency on fuel consumption, closely linked to economic issues and sustainability. On manufacturing planning the use of lean concepts has helped aircraft manufacturers to better manage its production resources leading also to more efficient and sustainable ways to fabricate and assemble aircraft structures. This paper describes how Embraer is combining these two philosophies for the development of the vertical and horizontal stabilizers of its latest product, the Legacy 500, and the planning and construction of its new composites assembly line in Evora. It first analyzes how automated composites fabrication methods like ATL help to reduce parts thus reducing weight and assembly hours. It also analyzes solutions developed to guarantee design for assembly and design for automation concepts. Going from product design to manufacturing planning the assembly line is based on a flexible, modular monorail system. This system allows to assembly both stabilizers on the determined rates and is due to its flexibility capable to absorb rate changes and can be also be converted for new products. Robot automation is used for panel drilling and fastening. Handling systems assist the workers in manipulating huge and heavy parts to and from the line. All these applications result on high quality products and very efficient production methods which ultimately generate a more sustainable way to manufacture aircraft components.