Whatever the size or type of aircraft, accurate assembly and structural alignment is essential to ensure efficient aerodynamic performance and safe operations throughout its service life.
Small aircraft and legacy manufacturing plants require simple and efficient tools to help operators handle and align fuselage sections together. Bigger aircraft or high-volume single-aisle programs are increasingly utilising automated assembly lines for fuselage to fuselage section assemblies or wing to body assembly, helping to reduce cycle times and keep up with demand for new aircraft. Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence offers solutions to support all these requirements.
With aerospace components increasingly produced using distributed manufacturing methods, we provide equipment to not only inspect and verify the dimensional characteristics and features of aerospace parts, but also to set and verify jigs and fixtures, and even virtually simulate and assist operators with assembly.
The ability to fully-digitise complex parts allows manufacturers to compare the as-built aircraft assembly against the as-designed model using virtual assembly methods, ensuring best-fit between nominal and real part geometries. This enables early error detection in the manufacturing process, making it less costly to repair and ensuring rework takes place before the final airframe assembly.
Many aerospace manufacturers are also now using metrology-assisted assembly based on Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence photogrammetry and laser tracker technologies to guide operators in the field and even to control robotics systems. Real measured data adds positioning accuracy to the high repeatability of standard industrial robots, enabling airframers to reduce production time for operations like wing assembly, stringer placement for fuselage sections, engine mounting and other aero-assembly functions.
Accurate inclination measurement is required to calibrate and check the function of aircraft flight control surfaces such as the elevator, rudder, slats, flaps and ailerons.
Increase productivity by turning the installation and inspection of brackets in aircraft cabins into a one-step process.