Using Structurally Integrated Location and Reference Features in the Assembly of Large Aerospace Structures
This paper considers rhe use of structurally integrated location and reference features to simplify and to reduce the lead time and costs of assembling large aerospace structures. The location features are selected to fulfil a specific function based on restraint requirements and the necessary degree of precision to ensure that the Product Key Characteristics are achieved. Analysis of how to use structurally integrated location and reference features, indicates that their introduction will not be successful unless there is an integrated design team with a thorough understanding of the manufacturing processes and capabilities, the assembly processes, and the enabling technologies. The assembly of a single nose rib to a section of front spar is used as a typical assembly problem. Three alternative assembly processes are briefly described and used to illustrate the need for the industry to adopt an holistic approach to the design of aerostructure.