Topase: Automation of Airbus Central Wing Subassembly 902049
Increased production requirements for the Airbus family of planes, caused Aerospatiales Aircraft Division at Nantes to implement a new automated system. Used for central wing box assembly, this system is called TOPASE. Value analysis was performed to optimize assembly and production schedules. A simulation was performed to identify resource allocation in all workshops based on schedule demand for A320, A330/340 and A321 assemblies. The fundamental principle of this system is to create a homogeneous production flow with no bottlenecks. At the same time, equipment utilization must be maximized to optimize production cost and provide acceptable profits. TOPASE today has a series of identical C.N.C. machines each capable of complete panel assembly in one operation. This includes installation of rivets, double headed slug rivets and two piece fasteners.