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Technical Paper

Low Cost Reconfigurable Jig Tooling and In-Process Metrology for High Accuracy Prototype Rotorcraft Wing Assembly

2019-09-16
2019-01-1877
Reconfigurable tooling frames consisting of steel box sections and bolted friction clamps offer an opportunity to replace traditional expensive welded steel tooling. This well publicized reconfigurable reusable jig tooling has been investigated for use in the assembly of a prototype compound helicopter wing. Due to the aircraft configuration, the wing design is pinned at both ends and therefore requires a higher degree of end to end accuracy, over the 4m length, than conventional wings. During the investigation some fundamental issues are approached, including: Potential cost savings and variables which effect the business case. Achievable Jig accuracy. Potential sources of instability that may affect accuracy over time. Repeatability of measurements with various features and methods. Typical jig stability over 24hrs including effects of small temperature fluctuations. Deflections that occur due to loading.
Technical Paper

Design of a Reconfigurable Assembly Cell for Multiple Aerostructures

2016-09-27
2016-01-2105
This paper presents novel development of a reconfigurable assembly cell which assembles multiple aerostructure products. Most aerostructure assembly systems are designed to produce one variant only. For multiple variants, each assembly typically has a dedicated assembly cell, despite most assemblies requiring a process of drilling and fastening to similar tolerances. Assembly systems that produce more than one variant do exist but have long changeover or involve extensive retrofitting. Quick assembly of multiple products using one assembly system offers significant cost savings from reductions in capital expenditure and lead time. Recent trends advocate Reconfigurable Assembly Systems (RAS) as a solution; designed to have exactly the functionality necessary to produce a group of similar components. A state-of-the-art review finds significant benefits in deploying RAS for a group of aerostructures variants.
Technical Paper

Variation Aware Assembly Systems for Aircraft Wings

2016-09-27
2016-01-2106
Aircraft manufacturers desire to increase production to keep up with anticipated demand. To achieve this, the aerospace industry requires a significant increase in the manufacturing and assembly performance to reach required output levels. This work therefore introduces the Variation Aware Assembly (VAA) concept and identifies its suitability for implementation into aircraft wing assembly processes. The VAA system concept focuses on achieving assemblies towards the nominal dimensions, as opposed to traditional tooling methods that aim to achieve assemblies anywhere within the tolerance band. It enables control of the variation found in Key Characteristics (KC) that will allow for an increase in the assembly quality and product performance. The concept consists of utilizing metrology data from sources both before and during the assembly process, to precisely position parts using motion controllers.
Technical Paper

An Enhanced Secondary Control Approach for Voltage Restoration in the DC Distribution System

2016-09-20
2016-01-1985
The paper will deal with the problem of establishing a desirable power sharing in multi-feed electric power system for future more-electric aircraft (MEA) platforms. The MEA is one of the major trends in modern aerospace engineering aiming for reduction of the overall aircraft weight, operation cost and environmental impact. Electrical systems are employed to replace existing hydraulic, pneumatic and mechanical loads. Hence the onboard installed electrical power increases significantly and this results in challenges in the design of electrical power systems (EPS). One of the key paradigms for future MEA EPS architectures assumes high-voltage dc distribution with multiple sources, possibly of different physical nature, feeding the same bus(es). In our study we investigate control approaches to guarantee that the total electric load is shared between the sources in a desirable manner. A novel communication channel based secondary control method is proposed in this paper.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Methods for Modelling Mid-to-High Frequency Vibro-Acoustic Energy Distributions in a Vehicle Floor Structure

2016-06-15
2016-01-1853
Car floor structures typically contain a number of smaller-scale features which make them challenging for vibro-acoustic modelling beyond the low frequency regime. The floor structure considered here consists of a thin shell floor panel connected to a number of rails through spot welds leading to an interesting multi-scale modelling problem. Structures of this type are arguably best modelled using hybrid methods, where a Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) description of the larger thin shell regions is combined with a finite element model (FEM) for the stiffer rails. In this way the modal peaks from the stiff regions are included in the overall prediction, which a pure SEA treatment would not capture. However, in the SEA regions, spot welds, geometrically dependent features and directivity of the wave field are all omitted. In this work we present an SEA/FEM hybrid model of a car floor and discuss an alternative model for the SEA subsystem using Discrete Flow Mapping (DFM).
Technical Paper

The Role of New Automotive Engineering Masters Programme in the Industry in China

2016-04-05
2016-01-0171
China is the world’s largest automotive producer and has the world’s biggest automobile market. However, in the past decades, the development of China’s automotive industry has depended primarily on the foreign direct investment; domestic automakers have struggled in the lower ranks of car producers. In recent years, China’s automotive industry, supported by government policies, has been improving their Research and Development (R&D) capacity, to compete with their international peers. Against this background, China’s automotive industry requires a large number of R&D professionals who have not only a higher degree but also the applied and practical knowledge and skills of research. For the purpose of meeting the industry’s needs, a new Professional Automotive Engineering Masters Programme was launched in 2009, which aims to deliver the Masters to be the R&D professionals in the future.
Journal Article

Technology Review of Thermal Forming Techniques for use in Composite Component Manufacture

2015-09-15
2015-01-2610
There is a growing demand for composites to be utilised in the production of large-scale components within the aerospace industry. In particular the demand to increase production rates indicates that traditional manual methods are no longer sufficient, and automated solutions must be sought. This typically leads to automated forming processes where there are a limited number of effective options. The need for forming typically arises from the inability of layup methods to produce complex geometries of structural components. This paper reviews the current state of the art in automated forming processes, their limitations and variables that affect performance in the production of large scale components. In particular the paper will focus on the application of force and heat within secondary forming processes. It will then review the effects of these variables against the structure of the required composite component and identify viability of the technology.
Technical Paper

Functional Modeling of 18-Pulse Autotransformer Rectifier Units for Aircraft Applications

2015-09-15
2015-01-2412
This paper aims to develop a general functional model of multi-pulse Auto-Transformer Rectifier Units (ATRUs) for More-Electric Aircraft (MEA) applications. The ATRU is seen as the most reliable way readily to be applied in the MEA. Interestingly, there is no model of ATRUs suitable for unbalanced or faulty conditions at the moment. This paper is aimed to fill this gap and develop functional models suitable for both balanced and unbalanced conditions. Using the fact that the DC voltage and current are strongly related to the voltage and current vectors at the AC terminals of ATRUs, a generic functional model has been developed for both symmetric and asymmetric ATRUs. The developed functional models are validated through simulation and experiment. The efficiency of the developed model is also demonstrated by comparing with corresponding detailed switching models. The developed functional model shows significant improvement of simulation efficiency, especially under balanced conditions.
Technical Paper

More Leaders and Fewer Initiatives: Key Ideas for the Future of Engineering

2015-04-14
2015-01-0411
Panel Discussions held at the SAE World Congress in both 2013 and 2014 observed that a shortage of good quality engineering talent formed a chronic and major challenge. (“Good quality” refers to applicants that would be shortlisted for interview.) While doubts have been expressed in some quarters, the shortage is confirmed by automotive sector employers and the Panel's view was that it was symptomatic of a range of issues, all of which have some bearing on the future of the profession. Initiatives to improve recruitment and retention have had varying degrees of success. Efforts need to be intensified in primary schools where negative perceptions develop and deepen. Schemes like AWIM that operate on a large scale and are designed to supplement school curricula should operate at an international level. Universities represent the entry point into the engineering profession and their role in the recruitment process as well as education and training is crucial.
Journal Article

Spectroscopic Studies of Internal Injector Deposits (IDID) Resulting from the Use of Non-Commercial Low Molecular Weight Polyisobutylenesuccinimide (PIBSI)

2014-10-13
2014-01-2720
Since 2009, there has been a rise in deposits of various types found in diesel fuel injection systems. They have been identified in the filter, the injector tip and recently inside the injector. The latter internal diesel injector deposits (IDIDs) have been the subject of a number of recent publications, and are the subject of investigations by CRC (Central Research Council Diesel Performance Group-Deposit Panel Bench/ Rig Investigation sub panel) in the US and CEN (Committee European de Normalisation TC19/WG24 Injector Deposit Task Force) and CEC (Coordinating European Council TDFG-110 engine test) in Europe. In the literature one of the internal injector deposit types, amide lacquers, has been associated with a poorly characterised noncommercial low molecular weight polyisobutylene succinimide detergent which also lacked provenance.
Technical Paper

CFD Investigation on the Influence of In-Cylinder Mixture Distribution from Multiple Pilot Injections on Cold Idle Behaviour of a Light Duty Diesel Engine

2014-10-13
2014-01-2708
Cold idle operation of a modern design light duty diesel engine and the effect of multiple pilot injections on stability were investigated. The investigation was initially carried out experimentally at 1000rpm and at −20°C. Benefits of mixture preparation were initially explored by a heat release analysis. Kiva 3v was then used to model the effect of multiple pilots on in-cylinder mixture distribution. A 60° sector of mesh was used taking advantage of rotational symmetry. The combustion system and injector arrangements mimic the HPCR diesel engine used in the experimental investigation. The CFD analysis covers evolutions from intake valve closing to start of combustion. The number of injections was varied from 1 to 4, but the total fuel injected was kept constant at 17mm3/stroke. Start of main injection timing was fixed at 7.5°BTDC.
Journal Article

Axiomatic Design of a Reconfigurable Assembly System for Primary Wing Structures

2014-09-16
2014-01-2249
Aerospace assembly systems comprise a vast array of interrelated elements interacting in a myriad of ways. Consequently, aerospace assembly system design is a deeply complex process that requires a multi-disciplined team of engineers. Recent trends to improve manufacturing agility suggest reconfigurability as a solution to the increasing demand for improved flexibility, time-to-market and overall reduction in non-recurring costs. Yet, adding reconfigurability to assembly systems further increases operational complexity and design complexity. Despite the increase in complexity for reconfigurable assembly, few formal methodologies or frameworks exist specifically to support the design of Reconfigurable Assembly Systems (RAS). This paper presents a novel reconfigurable assembly system design framework (RASDF) that can be applied to wing structure assembly as well as many other RAS design problems.
Journal Article

Implementing Determinate Assembly for the Leading Edge Sub-Assembly of Aircraft Wing Manufacture

2014-09-16
2014-01-2252
The replacement for the current single-aisle aircraft will need to be manufactured at a rate significantly higher that of current production. One way that production rate can be increased is by reducing the processing time for assembly operations. This paper presents research that was applied to the build philosophy of the leading edge of a laminar flow European wing demonstrator. The paper describes the implementation of determinate assembly for the rib to bracket assembly interface. By optimising the diametric and the positional tolerances of the holes on the two bracket types and ribs, determinate assembly was successfully implemented. The bracket to rib interface is now secured with no tooling or post processes other than inserting and tightening the fastener. This will reduce the tooling costs and eliminates the need for local drilling, de-burring and re-assembly of the bracket to rib interface, reducing the cycle time of the operation.
Technical Paper

Design and Modeling of a 45kW, Switched Reluctance Starter-Generator for a Regional Jet Application

2014-09-16
2014-01-2158
A 45kW, switched reluctance type, starter-generator, having a 1:4 constant power speed range has been designed as a possible candidate for a regional jet application. In the first section of this paper, a review of the major starter-generator topologies considered for the aerospace application is provided, highlighting the advantages of choosing the Switched reluctance topology for such a safety critical application. Following this, the required torque speed characteristic of the machine, along with the imposed physical constraints, in terms of cooling and outer dimensions, are also detailed. Section III provides a description of the Electromagnetic design, and challenges encountered in meeting both the low speed, peak torque node, at 8000rpm, and the high speed, high power node, at 32000rpm. The induced mechanical stresses in the rotor at such high speeds have also been evaluated and used as a material selection criterion for such a design as presented in section III.
Journal Article

Discrete Flow Mapping - A Mesh Based Simulation Tool for Mid-to-High Frequency Vibro-Acoustic Excitation of Complex Automotive Structures

2014-06-30
2014-01-2079
Modelling the vibro-acoustic properties of mechanical built-up structures is a challenging task, especially in the mid to high frequency regime, even with the computational resources available today. Standard modelling tools for complex vehicle parts include finite and boundary element methods (FEM and BEM), as well as Multi-Body Simulations (MBS). These methods are, however, robust only in the low frequency regime. In particular, FEM is not scalable to higher frequencies due to the prohibitive increase in model size. We have recently developed a new method called Discrete Flow Mapping (DFM), which extends existing high frequency methods, such as Statistical Energy Analysis or the so-called Dynamical Energy Analysis (DEA), to work on meshed structures. It provides for the first time detailed spatial information about the vibrational energy of a whole built-up structure of arbitrary complexity in this frequency range.
Journal Article

A Novel Diagnostics Tool for Measuring Soot Agglomerates Size Distribution in Used Automotive Lubricant Oils

2014-04-01
2014-01-1479
The determination of size distribution of soot particles and agglomerates in oil samples using a Nanosight LM14 to perform Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) is described. This is the first application of the technique to sizing soot-in-oil agglomerates and offers the advantages of relatively high rates of sample analysis and low cost compared to Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Lubricating oil samples were drawn from the sump of automotive diesel engines run under a mix of light duty operating conditions. The oil samples were diluted with heptane before analysing. Results from NTA analysis were compared with the outputs of a more conventional analysis based on Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS). This work shows that soot-in-oil exists as agglomerates with average size of 115 nm. This is also in good agreement with TEM analysis carried out in a previous work. NTA can measure soot particles in polydisperse oil solutions and report the size distribution of soot-in-oil aggregates.
Technical Paper

Review of Reconfigurable Assembly Systems Technologies for Cost Effective Wing Structure Assembly

2013-09-17
2013-01-2336
Airbus commercial wings are assembled manually in dedicated steel structures. The lead time to design, manufacture and commission these fixtures is often in excess of 24 months. Due to the nature of these fixtures, manufacturing is slow in responding to changes in demand. There is underused capacity in some areas and insufficient ramp-up speed where increased production rate is needed. Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems and Reconfigurable Assembly Systems (RAS) provide an approach to system design that provides appropriate capacity when needed. The aim of the paper is to review RAS technologies that are suitable for cost-effective wing structure assembly and what knowledge gaps exist for a RAS to be achieved. The paper examines successful cases of RAS and reviews relevant system design approaches. Cost savings are acknowledged and tabularised where demonstrated in research. The research gaps to realising a RAS for wing assembly are identified and different approaches are considered.
Journal Article

Emerging Technologies for Use in Aerospace Bonded Assemblies

2013-09-17
2013-01-2134
Several new technologies are now emerging to improve adhesive supply and formulation along with surface treatments that have the potential to offer significant improvements to both surface energy and cleanliness [3]. Additionally, the miniaturisation of laboratory techniques into portable equipment offers potential for online surface energy and chemical analysis measurement for use as quality control measures in a production environment. An overview of newly available technology is given here with several devices studied in further detail. Technologies assessed further in this paper are; portable surface contact angle measurement, ambient pressure plasma cleaning, portable FTIR measurement and adhesive mixing equipment. A number of potential applications are outlined for each device based on the operational technique. The practical aspects of implementation and the perceived technology readiness levels for operation, implementation and results are also given.
Journal Article

Improvement of Planning and Tracking of Technology Maturity Development with Focus on Manufacturing Requirements

2013-09-17
2013-01-2261
This paper details the development of a user-friendly computerised tool created to evaluate the Manufacturing Readiness Levels (MRL) of an emerging technology. The main benefits achieved are to manage technology development planning and tracking, make visually clear and standardised analysis, and improve team communication. The new approach is applied to the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), currently used by Airbus Research & Technology (R&T) UK. The main focus is on the improvement of the analysis criteria. The first phase of the study was to interpret the manufacturing criteria used by Airbus at TRL 4, including a brief benchmarking review of similar practices in industry and other Airbus' project management tools. All information gathered contributed to the creation of a complete set of criteria.
Journal Article

A Novel Technique for Investigating the Characteristics and History of Deposits Formed Within High Pressure Fuel Injection Equipment

2012-09-10
2012-01-1685
The recent developments in diesel fuel injection equipment coupled with the moves in the US to using ULSD and biodiesel blends has seen an increase in the number of reports from both engine manufacturers and fleet operators regarding fuel system deposit formation issues. These deposits not only form on and within the fuel injectors but they also form elsewhere in the fuel system, due to fuel recirculation. These will eventually accumulate in the fuel filters. Historically, diesel fuel system deposits have been attributed to contamination of the fuel or the degradation of the fuel with age. Such age related degradation has been attributed to oxidation of the fuel via well documented pathways, although the initiation of this process is still poorly understood. Papers at recent SAE meetings in Florence, San Antonio, Rio de Janeiro, San Diego and Kyoto have addressed many of these causes.
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