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"The world's most advanced aircraft assembly line"

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Offline programming of the drilling/riveting processes powered by FASTSUITE

Premium AEROTEC, one of the world's leading suppliers of aircraft structures, has made the production of single aisle sections even faster and more efficient with the successful introduction of networked automation solutions.

The trade journal AerospaceManufacturing covers this milestone in a detailed report („New assembly line cleared for take-off“).

Anyone who deals with the new performance data for the assembly line can easily understand the enthusiasm of Premium AEROTEC: The world’s most advanced aircraft assembly line is now located in Augsburg, quotes German trade magazine MaschinenMarkt site manager Ulrich Amersdorffer.

The system was installed by the robot manufacturer Kuka, who took over the task of system integrator for Premium AEROTEC. As a partner for robot offline programming software KUKA chose the FASTSUITE team of CENIT. The robot movement for the drilling/riveting process is programmed using the FASTSUITE solution.

With the automation, Premium AEROTEC achieved very good results for productivity. In view of the industry trend the next expansion of the plant is already being planned. As Airbus states in the market report "Growing Horizons", demand is expected to grow enormously in the coming years, driven, among other things, by the passenger business in emerging markets.

Facts and figures on the new plant:

  • Production of 50 fuselage section 19 of the A320 family per month
  • System with three Kuka robots and three robots and three automatic, all-electric drilling/riveting centres networked with manual processes
  • Seamless tracking of the workpiece via RFID chip for the skin panels: efficient monitoring; handling robots and riveting centres recognise components and carry out tool changes if necessary; basis for future automatic documentation during the inspection of riveting processes, etc.
  • Production process: Loading of the partial shell into the component carrier by the worker, transfer to one of the two riveting stations via handling robot; joining of the stringers, clips and edge supports to the outer skin of the partial shells by fully automatic drilling, countersinking and riveting; transfer to the equipment station; manual unclamping and further transport of the assembly by over-head craneway system; pre-assembly of the partial shells in further component carriers to half-sections; further transport via rail-bound industrial truck for complete assembly in the final drilling/riveting centre
  • Automated drilling/riveting processes: Machine vision system performs the local referencing on the basis of the tacking rivets; automated feeding of rivets of different lengths and diameters; up to 1800 per rivet/partial shell
  • Superordinate machine control; control of the overall sequence by line host PC
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