The hottest mobile tooling fixture in A350XWB airc

2022-08-18
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Development and application of mobile tooling fixtures in A350XWB aircraft assembly

with the production of A350XWB large aircraft, many aircraft assembly suppliers have made significant investments in special tooling, fixtures and fixtures. How to improve the quality and speed of aircraft assembly more efficiently is an important issue that all assembly suppliers want to solve. In this context, a mobile production tooling to accelerate aircraft assembly came into being

concept and advantages

mobile fixture is a kind of mobile fixture that realizes assembly by moving the fixture itself on special processing equipment and workbench. This mobile fixture system includes the positioning function of a single fixture, that is, after completing a positioning and processing content, the positioning and processing conversion is carried out between the processing tables through the automatic guide device. This fixture system can measure the exact size between the connecting sections by using 3D laser scanning technology, and convert the measurement information into the exact NC processing program. It can also be equipped with a laser tracking system to automatically calibrate the level, so as to ensure the optimization of assembly connection

schematic diagram of mobile tooling

static fixtures are traditionally used in the assembly and manufacturing of complex main subsystems of aircraft. This method is very inefficient because special devices cannot be 100% utilized. The biggest advantage of mobile fixture system is "flexibility". Different from the traditional method, the assembly line where the mobile fixture is located is not dedicated to a product, and any similar aviation structure that can be matched in the processing and workbench can be applied to the assembly line. This allows other projects to introduce this production line without adding new costs and delivery time

development and application

as the requirements of aircraft projects for production speed become more and more closely related to the theme, the purchase and use of fixtures and processing devices will also multiply. The production of A350XWB, a large aircraft, has made many aircraft assembly suppliers make significant investments in the production capacity of special tooling, fixtures and fixtures. On the one hand, this is due to the increase in the use of carbon fiber composite components, on the other hand, it also reflects the inseparable relationship between the main primary suppliers and the main contractor. The inseparability of the raw materials in the supply chain as renewable resources makes contractors and suppliers work together to maximize their interests

mobile tooling design drawings

the innovation of measurement methods, tooling materials and assembly methods promotes the development of tolerance management ability in the manufacturing of large composite structures. This makes it possible for a large number of technology development and investment tracking of unrepeatable production engineering and equipment throughout the entire supply chain. Many such new technologies have been applied to the assembly and system integration of the A350, such as the automatic measurement technology of GKN aerospace in the Filton factory, the pulsed mobile assembly lines of premium aerotec in nordenham and Augsburg, and the low thermal expansion tooling of spirit aerospace systems Europe in Prestwick. GKN aerospace is currently introducing a mobile assembly line mode, through which the fixture itself can move on special processing equipment and workbench. Br tjeautomation has worked with GKN to develop this new advanced assembly technology for the fixed wing trailing edge of the A350. This technique secures the inner, center, and outer spar sections together on each side with three movable clamps. This mobile fixture system has included the positioning ability of a single fixture, which can position and drill the connection of the inner wing beam, and then convert between the machining tables through the automatic guiding device. This technology uses 3D laser scanning technology to measure the exact size between the two connecting sections of the inner wing beam, and converts the measured information into an exact NC processing program. The assembly connection of the three sections of the wing trailing edge on the assembly platform should be automatically calibrated horizontally through a laser tracking system to ensure the best assembly of the three sections

mobile manipulator

the fuselage skin project at the Augsburg and nordenham plants of priyer parent aerospace technology also cooperates with br tje and is using a combined preassembly platform and pulse mobile assembly line (PML). In this kind of assembly line, the workpiece moves forward along the dressing wiring sequence step by step, and the manual assembly and automatic robot work together in different connection units, which is very similar to the assembly line in the automotive industry

technical problems faced

these applications reflect the flexibility and efficiency of mobile tooling fixtures, especially its non specificity, but many technical problems need to be solved to achieve fine application. First of all, in order to meet the quality requirements, we must develop and introduce new patented drilling technology, so that robots can drill a variety of different materials, including 17mm thick titanium. Secondly, this highly mechanized method has eliminated the possibility of interference when manually arranging the position of components before assembly, but in order to truly achieve this, it is also necessary to improve the component tolerance and design of all assembly suppliers. In addition, the consideration of the thermal expansion of the fixture when moving is also an urgent problem to be solved

like the wing leading edge assembly line of spirit aviation system manual operation company in Prestwick factory, it is inevitable to consider the thermal expansion of tooling moving on the traditional box steel structure and the use of non expanding steel in high heat sensitive areas. Spirit identified significant risks when adopting this technology, because this technology is a completely immature concept for aviation structural assembly. However, through cooperation with its supply chain partners acrosoma, manufax engineering and assystem UK, it analyzed its engineering details and jointly designed a scheme suitable for the assembly requirements of A350 fixed wing leading edge. Fang Huayin, the site leader of the project, told reporters that the thermal characteristics of wing beams and J-shaped plate components are very similar. Using this material can enable the assembly plant to control the geometric tolerance within ± 0.25mm on a 40m long fixture device without using additional temperature control means. Nevertheless, there are many other batch production technologies that need to be developed in order to achieve the final solution

application prospects and value

all these development technologies discussed above are accompanied by aircraft design. In other words, the emergence of these technologies highlights the close relationship between products and production process development, and also highlights the responsibility of top suppliers for the whole design and manufacturing business. Therefore, with the continuous derivation of the concept of "mobile" and the promotion of the demand for "automated" assembly, the development demand of mobile fixture system technology, as an auxiliary technology, will also be promoted, and it is possible to promote the aircraft assembly industry to enter a new page. With the continuous coordination of design and manufacturing process, there will be more room for the innovation of mobile fixture system technology. (end)

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