Next Generation Assembly Positioners 982154

Traditionally, large airframe structures have been assembled on hard tooling, a laborious unforgiving process. Beginning with the C-17, servo-assisted positioning tools have been used to enable faster fit-up, and better understanding of best fit options. Positioner technology has been used in large structure assembly for the 777, and the next-generation 737, and is now being implemented on other transport and civil aviation aircraft. While returning benefit to the airframe manufacturer in terms of improved fit-up and reduced cycle time, these systems are expensive and are not generally adaptable to change in product form or market demand. This paper provides an overview of positioner development and present status, and describes a series of options and initiatives that can make the technology less expensive, and easier to install, use, and maintain.


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