Flexapods - Flexible Tooling at SAAB for Building the NEURON Aircraft
Building prototype aircrafts is costly in tooling especially since only one aircraft is being built. Today's most common tooling strategy is to weld together a beam framework. Welded framework solutions have long lead times both in design and manufacturing and once the aircraft is assembled the tool becomes obsolete. Flexible tooling strategy uses non-welded tooling thus it can be changed and re-used for future products. Early version of a new aircraft model is always hampered by frequent changes in its design, which is cumbersome to handle in a welded framework solution. This paper presents a flexible assembly tooling solutions based on Flexapods and BoxJoint. The Flexapods are commercialized reconfigurable tooling units that are manually adjusted injunction with a laser tracker to a final positional accuracy of +/? 0,05 mm absolute accuracy.