Automated Positioning and Alignment Method and System for Aircraft Structures Using Robots 2012-01-1876
Automated assembly of components and parts has been largely applied in aerospace industry due to several advantages such as low cost, high flexibility, reduction of floor space and high repeatability of process.
The work described herein is part of the activities being carried at the Aircraft Structure Assembly Automation Laboratory (ASAA Lab). An outcome of a partnership between the Aeronautics Institute of Technology (ITA) and the Brazilian aerospace sector, the ASAA Lab is developing an automated process for the assembly of aircraft fuselages.
This process  is constituted of two main steps: the leveling and alignment of the fuselage barrels and the drilling and riveting procedures that join the barrels together. This paper is related to the first step, a method and a system for positioning and aligning aircraft parts one in relation to each other during the structural assembly using robots with articulated arms as positioning means assisted by large volume measurement systems.