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Technical Paper

Force Feedback for Assembly of Aircraft Structures

Variability in composite manufacture and the limitations in positional accuracy of common industrial robots have hampered automation of assembly tasks within aircraft manufacturing. One way to handle geometry variations and robot compliancy is to use force control. Force control technology utilizes a sensor mounted on the robot to feedback force data to the controller system so instead of being position driven, i.e. programmed to achieve a certain position with the tool, the robot can be programmed to achieve a certain force. This paper presents an experimental case where a compliant rib is aligned to multiple surfaces using force feedback and an industrial robot system from ABB. Two types of ribs where used, one full size carbon fiber rib, and one smaller metal replica for evaluation purposes. The alignment sequence consisted of several iterative steps and a search procedure was implemented within the robot control system.
Technical Paper

Force Controlled Assembly of a Compliant Rib

Automation in aerospace industry is often in the form of dedicated solutions and focused on processes like drilling, riveting etc. The common industrial robot has due to limitations in positional accuracy and stiffness often been unsuitable for aerospace manufacturing. One major cost driver in aircraft manufacturing is manual assembly and the bespoke tooling needed. Assembly tasks frequently involve setting relations between parts rather than a global need for accuracy. This makes assembly a suitable process for the use of force control. With force control a robot equipped with needed software and hardware, searches for desired force rather than for a position. To test the usefulness of force control for aircraft assembly an experimental case aligning a compliant rib to multiple surfaces was designed and executed. The system used consisted of a standard ABB robot and an open controller and the assembly sequence was made up of several steps in order to achieve final position.
Technical Paper

Injection of Fuel at High Pressure Conditions: LES Study

This paper presents a large eddy simulation study of the liquid spray mixing with hot ambient gas in a constant volume vessel under engine-like conditions with the injection pressure of 1500 bar, ambient density 22.8 kg/m₃, ambient temperature of 900 K and an injector nozzle of 0.09 mm. The simulation results are compared with the experiments carried out by Pickett et al., under similar conditions. Under modern direct injection diesel engine conditions, it has been argued that the liquid core region is small and the droplets after atomization are fine so that the process of spray evaporation and mixing with the air is controlled by the heat and mass transfer between the ambient hot gas and central fuel flow. To examine this hypothesis a simple spray breakup model is tested in the present LES simulation. The simulations are performed using an open source compressible flow solver, in OpenFOAM.
Technical Paper

On the Use of Force Feedback for Cost Efficient Robotic Drilling

Drilling is one of the most costly and labour-intensive operations in aircraft assembly. Rather than automating with expensive fixtures and precise machinery, our approach is to make use of standard low-cost robot equipment in combination with sensor feedback. The focus is to eliminate the sliding movement of the end-effector during the clamp-up, called the skating effect, and to keep the end-effector orthogonal to the surface, thus avoiding holes that are not perpendicular. To that end, force feedback is used for building up pressure to clamp up an end-effector to the work-piece surface prior to drilling. The system, including the planning of force parameters for each hole to be drilled, was programmed in DELMIA. The drilling was accomplished with the aid of an extension to the ABB Rapid language called ExtRapid, which is an XML-like code that is interpreted by the force feedback controller downstream in the process.
Technical Paper

Digital Human Models' Appearance Impact on Observers' Ergonomic Assessment

The objective of this paper is to investigate whether different appearance modes of the digital human models (DHM or manikins) affect the observers when judging a working posture. A case where the manikin is manually assembling a battery in the boot with help of a lifting device is used in the experiment. 16 different pictures were created and presented for the subjects. All pictures have the same background, but include a unique posture and manikin appearance combination. Four postures and four manikin appearances were used. The subjects were asked to rank the pictures after ergonomic assessment based on posture of the manikin. Subjects taking part in the study were either manufacturing engineering managers, simulation engineers or ergonomists. Results show that the different appearance modes affect the ergonomic judgment. A more realistic looking manikin is rated higher than the very same posture visualized with a less natural appearance.
Technical Paper

Fuel Injection and Mean Swirl Effects on Combustion and Soot Formation in Heavy Duty Diesel Engines

High-speed video imaging in a swirl-supported (Rs = 1.7), direct-injection heavy-duty diesel engine operated with moderate-to-high EGR rates reveals a distinct correlation between the spatial distribution of luminous soot and mean flow vorticity in the horizontal plane. The temporal behavior of the experimental images, as well as the results of multi-dimensional numerical simulations, show that this soot-vorticity correlation is caused by the presence of a greater amount of soot on the windward side of the jet. The simulations indicate that while flow swirl can influence pre-ignition mixing processes as well as post-combustion soot oxidation processes, interactions between the swirl and the heat release can also influence mixing processes. Without swirl, combustion-generated gas flows influence mixing on both sides of the jet equally. In the presence of swirl, the heat release occurs on the leeward side of the fuel sprays.
Journal Article

Analysis of the Correlation Between Engine-Out Particulates and Local Φ in the Lift-Off Region of a Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Using Raman Spectroscopy

The local equivalence ratio, Φ, was measured in fuel jets using laser-induced spontaneous Raman scattering in an optical heavy duty diesel engine. The measurements were performed at 1200 rpm and quarter load (6 bar IMEP). The objective was to study factors influencing soot formation, such as gas entrainment and lift-off position, and to find correlations with engine-out particulate matter (PM) levels. The effects of nozzle hole size, injection pressure, inlet oxygen concentration, and ambient density at TDC were studied. The position of the lift–off region was determined from OH chemiluminescence images of the flame. The liquid penetration length was measured with Mie scattering to ensure that the Raman measurement was performed in the gaseous part of the spray. The local Φ value was successfully measured inside a fuel jet. A surprisingly low correlation coefficient between engine-out PM and the local Φ in the reaction zone were observed.