Assembly accuracy analysis for small components with a planar surface in large-scale metrology

Qing Wang, Peng Huang*, Jiangxiong Li, Yinglin Ke, Bingru Yang, Paul G. Maropoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Large-scale mechanical products, such as aircraft and rockets, consist of large numbers of small components, which introduce additional difficulty for assembly accuracy and error estimation. Planar surfaces as key product characteristics are usually utilised for positioning small components in the assembly process. This paper focuses on assembly accuracy analysis of small components with planar surfaces in large-scale volume products. To evaluate the accuracy of the assembly system, an error propagation model for measurement error and fixture error is proposed, based on the assumption that all errors are normally distributed. In this model, the general coordinate vector is adopted to represent the position of the components. The error transmission functions are simplified into a linear model, and the coordinates of the reference points are composed by theoretical value and random error. The installation of a Head-Up Display is taken as an example to analyse the assembly error of small components based on the propagation model. The result shows that the final coordination accuracy is mainly determined by measurement error of the planar surface in small components. To reduce the uncertainty of the plane measurement, an evaluation index of measurement strategy is presented. This index reflects the distribution of the sampling point set and can be calculated by an inertia moment matrix. Finally, a practical application is introduced for validating the evaluation index.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number045006
    Number of pages13
    JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2016

    Bibliographical note



    • aircraft assembly
    • large-scale metrology
    • laser tracker
    • plane measurement


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