Assembly and quality optimisation for wing structures throughout the application of Optical projection 2019-01-1903
The existing fastener installation operations account for drilling and bolting a large number of holes through the wing skin. Because of its inherent complexity, these operations are prone to costly defects. Consequently, there is room for improvement and optimisation.
Instead of focusing on expensive, complex and high-risk automation solutions, visual aid has proven to be a more suitable option. Particularly, optical projection would display operations information directly on the wing skin. This would grant the operators the help they need to cut down on defects and remove the need to follow large slaving maps, simplifying their tasks.
Therefore, the aim of this project is to introduce and install this technology, which will display hole positions and its related operation information. Coupled with the system’s flexibility to display any shape and colour, this solution will be robust enough and fit for purpose to support these production operations.
After a comprehensive market research to select the best technology, the selected option was programmed and optimised to perform in an Airbus environment and to satisfy Airbus’ requirements. The system was further refined until it passed all the tests in the laboratory and the live tests on the production floor, in order to ensure its robustness.
A business plan has been drafted, which encourages the company to invest in these projectors and recover the investment in less than half a year. Moreover, future work on this system could allow to implement new features to further increase the system’s flexibility. Examples include a dynamic system to capture and display real time operations data, displaying the most critical steps, highlighting already inspected areas or displaying a touchscreen on the wing to control the system directly from the wing skin.
Jose Angel Gonzalez-Domingo, Luis Rivera PhD