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Technical Paper

The Development of Automated Processes For The Manufacture of Cost-Effective Composite Wing-Boxes

The manufacturing cost of composite aerostructures is considerably higher than that of equivalent light-alloy ones. There are several reasons for this, but the transfer of the existing technology from military to civil aviation is identified as a major problem. Neither the designs, nor the methods of manufacture, are considered cost-effective when applied to very large, commercially competitive, structures. This problem was among those addressed within a multi-disciplinary, concurrent engineering project sponsored by BAe Airbus and the UK DTI. During the four year programme, alternative manufacturing technology was developed, and Pilot-plant equipment built. The Pilot-plant was successfully used to demonstrate that wing-box components can be more cheaply, more reliably, and more easily manufactured by simple, innovative, easily automated processes.
Technical Paper

Flyaway Tooling for Higher Quality, More Cost-Effective, Aerostructure

Co-production of aircraft is resulting in demands for higher standards of manufacturing quality to ensure that parts and sub-assemblies from different companies and countries are compatible and interchangeable. As a result the existing method of building aerostructure using large numbers of dedicated manufacturing jigs and assembly tools, is now seen as being commercially undesirable, and technologically flawed. This paper considers an alternative, potentially more cost-effective, approach that embraces digital design, manufacturing, and inspection techniques, and in which reference and tooling features are incorporated into the geometry of the component parts. Within the aerospace industry this technology is known as ‘Flyaway Tooling’.
Technical Paper

Design for Tooling to Enable Jigless Assembly - An Integrated Methodology for Jigless Assembly

Jigless assembly is an approach towards reducing the cost and increasing the flexibility of tooling systems for aircraft manufacture through the minimisation of productspecific jigs, fixtures and tooling. A new, integrated methodology has been developed, which uses a number of building blocks and tools, to enable design for jigless assembly as a result of a logical, step-by-step process. This methodology, AIM-FOR-JAM, is currently being applied to redesign the Airbus A320 Fixed Leading Edge for jigless assembly, as part of the ‘Jigless Aerospace Manufacture’ (JAM) project.
Technical Paper

Translating Environmental Legislation into the Engineering Design Domain

The aim of this paper is to present and discuss a case study on how an Original Equipment Manufacturer's technical design center translates and integrates legislative environmental requirements into their product range. The integration of these environmental requirements during the conceptual design phase, where the significant proportion of resources is committed, is of utmost importance. Additionally, with increasing levels of product development being conducted by the first-tier suppliers, there is greater emphasis on the Original Equipment Manufacturer, who controls the product specifications, for translating and filtering the environmental requirements down the supply chain. A Requirements Management based model addressing environmental issues is described.
Technical Paper

An Algorithm for Assembly Centric Design

This paper describes and demonstrates the use of an assembly centric design algorithm as an aid to achieving minimal hard tooling assembly concepts. The algorithm consists of a number of logically ordered design methodologies and also aids the identification of other enabling technologies. Included in the methodologies is an innovative systems analysis tool that enables the comparison of alternative assembly concepts, and the prediction and control of the total assembly error, at the outline stage of the design.