Refine Your Search

Topic

Search Results

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

Advanced Assembly Solutions for the Airbus RACER Joined-Wing Configuration

2019-09-16
2019-01-1884
The Rapid And Cost Effective Rotorcraft (RACER) is being developed by Airbus Helicopters (AH) to demonstrate a new Vertical Take-Off and Landing configuration to fill the mobility gap between conventional helicopters and aeroplanes. RACER is a compound rotorcraft featuring wings and multiple rotors. The wing arrangement suggested by AH is defined as a staggered bi-plane joined configuration with an upper and a lower straight wing, either side of the fuselage, connected at their outboard extent to form a triangular structure. The ASTRAL consortium, consisting of the University of Nottingham and GE Aviation Systems, are responsible for the design, manufacture, assembly and testing of the wings. Producing an optimised strategy to assemble a joined-wing configuration for a passenger carrying rotorcraft is challenging and novel. The objective of this work concerns all aspects of assembling the joined-wing structure.
Technical Paper

Demonstration of Transformable Manufacturing Systems through the Evolvable Assembly Systems Project

2019-03-19
2019-01-1363
Evolvable Assembly Systems is a five year UK research council funded project into flexible and reconfigurable manufacturing systems. The principal goal of the research programme has been to define and validate the vision and support architecture, theoretical models, methods and algorithms for Evolvable Assembly Systems as a new platform for open, adaptable, context-aware and cost effective production. The project is now coming to a close; the concepts developed during the project have been implemented on a variety of demonstrators across a number of manufacturing domains including automotive and aerospace assembly. This paper will show the progression of demonstrators and applications as they increase in complexity, specifically focussing on the Future Automated Aerospace Assembly Phase 1 technology demonstrator (FA3D).
Journal Article

The Application of New Approaches to the Analysis of Deposits from the Jet Fuel Thermal Oxidation Tester (JFTOT)

2017-10-08
2017-01-2293
Studies of diesel system deposits continue to be the subject of interest and publications worldwide. The introduction of high pressure common rail systems resulting in high fuel temperatures in the system with the concomitant use of fuels of varying solubilizing ability (e.g. ULSD and FAME blends) have seen deposits formed at the tip of the injector and on various internal injector components. Though deposit control additives (DCAs) have been successfully deployed to mitigate the deposit formation, work is still required to understand the nature and composition of these deposits. The study of both tip and internal diesel injector deposits (IDID) has seen the development of a number of bench techniques in an attempt to mimic field injector deposits in the laboratory. One of the most used of these is the Jet Fuel Thermal Oxidation Tester or JFTOT (ASTM D3241).
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.
Journal Article

Evaluation of Control Methods for Thermal Roll Forming of Aerospace Composite Materials.

2016-09-27
2016-01-2118
With increased demand for composite materials in the aerospace sector there is a requirement for the development of manufacturing processes that enable larger and more complex geometries, whilst ensuring that the functionality and specific properties of the component are maintained. To achieve this, methods such as thermal roll forming are being considered. This method is relatively new to composite forming in the aerospace field, and as such there are currently issues with the formation of part defects during manufacture. Previous work has shown that precise control of the force applied to the composite surface during forming has the potential to prevent the formation of wrinkle defects. In this paper the development of various control strategies that can robustly adapt to different complex geometries are presented and compared within simulated and small scale experimental environments, on varying surface profiles.
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.
Journal Article

Reconfigurable Assembly System Design Methodology: A Wing Assembly Case Study

2015-09-15
2015-01-2594
Current assembly systems that deal with large, complex structures present a number of challenges with regard to improving operational performance. Specifically, aerospace assembly systems comprise a vast array of interrelated elements interacting in a myriad of ways, resulting in a deeply complex process that requires a multi-disciplined team of engineers. The current approach to ramp-up production rate involves building additional main assembly fixtures which require large investment and lead times up to 24 months. Within Airbus Operations Ltd there is a requirement to improve the capacity and flexibility of assembly systems, thereby reducing non-recurring costs and time-to-market. Recent trends to improve manufacturing agility advocate Reconfigurable Assembly Systems (RAS) as a viable solution. Yet, adding reconfigurability to assembly systems further increases both the operational and design complexity.
Journal Article

Structural Quality Inspection Based on a RGB-D Sensor: Supporting Manual-to-Automated Assembly Operations

2015-09-15
2015-01-2499
The assembly and manufacture of aerospace structures, in particular legacy products, relies in many cases on the skill, or rather the craftsmanship, of a human operator. Compounded by low volume rates, the implementation of a fully automated production facility may not be cost effective. A more efficient solution may be a mixture of both manual and automated operations but herein lies an issue of human error when stepping through the build from a manual operation to an automated one. Hence the requirement for an advanced automated assembly system to contain functionality for inline structural quality checking. Machine vision, used most extensively in manufacturing, is an obvious choice, but existing solutions tend to be application specific with a closed software development architecture.
Technical Paper

Light Weight Aerospace Assembly Fixture

2015-09-15
2015-01-2496
There is the need to strive towards more advanced aircraft with the use of materials such as composites, and a desire to improve efficiency by achieving and maintaining laminar flow over a large proportion of the aircraft wing. Due to the high tolerances required to achieve laminar flow, the manufacturing processes and tooling will have to be revaluated to enable successful manufacture in a production environment. A major influence in achieving the key characteristics and tolerances is the assembly fixture. This paper details the design and manufacture of a carbon fibre based assembly fixture, required for a one-off build of an innovative leading edge wing concept. The fixture has been designed and optimised in order to make it adaptable, reconfigurable, and suitable for lifting as well as being thermally stable whilst maintaining laminar flow tolerances.
Technical Paper

Towards Self-Adaptive Fixturing Systems for Aircraft Wing Assembly

2015-09-15
2015-01-2493
The aim of this work was to develop a new assembly process in conjunction with an adaptive fixturing system to improve the assembly process capability of specific aircraft wing assembly processes. The inherently complex aerospace industry requires a step change in its capability to achieve the production ramp up required to meet the global demand. This paper evaluates the capability of adaptive fixtures to identify their suitability for implementation into aircraft wing manufacturing and assembly. To understand the potential benefits of these fixtures, an examination of the current academic practices and an evaluation of the existing industrial solutions is highlighted. The proposed adaptive assembly process was developed to account for the manufacturing induced dimensional variation that causes significant issues in aircraft wing assembly. To test the effectiveness of the adaptive assembly process, an aircraft wing assembly operation was replicated on a demonstrator test rig.
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.
Journal Article

Methodology for Classification of Shim Materials

2014-09-16
2014-01-2253
As a result of the increasing use of fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) components in a modern commercial aircraft, manufacturers are facing new challenges - especially with regards to the realisation of significant build rates. One challenge is the larger variation of the thickness of FRP components compared with metal parts that can normally be manufactured within a very narrow thickness tolerance bandwidth. The larger thickness variation of composite structures has an impact on the shape of the component and especially on the surfaces intended to be joined together with other components. As a result, gaps between the components to be assembled could be encountered. However, from a structural point of view, gaps can only be accepted to a certain extent in order to maintain the structural integrity of the joint. Today's state of the art technologies to close gaps between FRP structures comprise shimming methods using liquid and solid shims.
Technical Paper

Control Design for Electric Starter-Generator Based on a High-Speed Permanent-Magnet Machine Fed by an Active Front-End Rectifier

2014-09-16
2014-01-2139
The paper reports the control design for an aircraft electric starter-generator system based-on high-speed permanent magnet machine operated in a flux-weakening mode and controlled by an active front-end rectifier. The proposed system utilizes advances of modern power electronics allowing the use of novel machine types and the introduction of controlled power electronics into the main path of energy flow. The paper focuses on control design for such system and includes development of flux weakening control of high-speed permanent magnet machine and droop control of the system output dc-link current. The achieved analytical design results and the expected system performance are confirmed by time-domain simulations.
Technical Paper

Permanent Magnet Starter-Generator for Aircraft Application

2014-09-16
2014-01-2157
This paper describes a high-speed electrical machine for an aircraft starter-generator. A surface mounted permanent magnet machine is designed to have minimal rotor losses and a novel cooling system for the stator. An inner stator sleeve is adopted to allow for a flooded stator whilst minimizing rotor windage losses. Different slot-pole combinations are compared in view of attaining an optimal combination that provides minimum losses whilst satisfying the electromagnetic, mechanical and thermal constraints.
Technical Paper

Investigating the Effect of Carbon Nanoparticles on the Viscosity of Lubricant Oil from Light Duty Automotive Diesel Engines

2014-04-01
2014-01-1481
The influence of size and concentration of carbon nanoparticle on the viscosity of an SAE 5W-30 lubricant oil has been investigated experimentally. Data were collected for oil samples drawn from sump of light duty automotive diesel engines. The average size of soot particles in the used oil samples was in the range of 180-320nm with concentrations ranging from 0 to 2 percentage by weight (wt. %.). A Brookfield DV-II Pro rotary viscometer was used to measure dynamic viscosity at low shear rates and temperatures of 40°C and 90°C. Nanoparticle concentration and particle size distribution were evaluated using Thermo-Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) respectively. The viscosity of suspensions of graphite powder in lubricant oil was also investigated for concentrations ranging from 0 to 2 wt. %. The results show that dynamic viscosity increases with increasing soot content and decreasing temperature.
Technical Paper

Reducing Energy Losses from Automotive Engine Lubricants by Thermal Isolation of the Engine Mass

2014-04-01
2014-01-0672
The thermal efficiency of an internal combustion engine at steady state temperatures is typically in the region of 25-35%[1]. In a cold start situation, this reduces to be between 10% and 20% [2]. A significant contributor to the reduced efficiency is poor performance by the engine lubricant. Sub optimal viscosity resulting from cold temperatures leads to poor lubrication and a subsequent increase in friction and fuel consumption. Typically, the engine lubricant takes approximately twenty minutes [3] to reach steady state temperatures. Therefore, if the lubricant can reach its steady state operating temperature sooner, the engine's thermal efficiency will be improved. It is hypothesised that, by decoupling the lubricant from the thermal mass of the surrounding engine architecture, it is possible to reduce the thermal energy loss from the lubricant to the surrounding metal structure in the initial stages of warm-up.
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.
X