Review of the application of flexible, measurement-assisted assembly technology in aircraft manufacturing

Zhongyi Mei*, Paul G. Maropoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Aircraft assembly is the most important part of aircraft manufacturing. A large number of assembly fixtures must be used to ensure the assembly accuracy in the aircraft assembly process. Traditional fixed assembly fixture could not satisfy the change of the aircraft types, so the digital flexible assembly fixture was developed and was gradually applied in the aircraft assembly. Digital flexible assembly technology has also become one of the research directions in the field of aircraft manufacturing. The aircraft flexible assembly can be divided into three assembly stages that include component-level flexible assembly, large component-level flexible assembly, and large components alignment and joining. This article introduces the architecture of flexible assembly systems and the principles of three types of flexible assembly fixtures. The key technologies of the digital flexible assembly are also discussed. The digital metrology system provides the basis for the accurate digital flexible assembly. Aircraft flexible assembly systems mainly use laser tracking metrology systems and indoor Global Positioning System metrology systems. With the development of flexible assembly technology, the digital flexible assembly system will be widely used in current aircraft manufacturing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1185-1197
    Number of pages13
    JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
    Volume228
    Issue number10
    Early online date7 Feb 2014
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Bibliographical note

    Erratum: Mei, Z., & Maropoulos, P. G. (2015). Erratum: Review of the application of flexible, measurement-assisted assembly technology in aircraft manufacturing (Journal of Engineering Manufacture (2014) 228:10 10.1177/0954405413517387). Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 229(1), 183.

    Keywords

    • aircraft component
    • control system
    • digital flexible assembly
    • flexible fixture
    • metrology system

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