An aircraft structure is a lightweight structural ecosystem made from circular frames, linear stringers, and skin panels – either machined or formed from sheet metal. Each structural component must be manufactured and accurately assembled to become the safe modern aircraft we fly in today.
Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence’s multidisciplinary structural simulation and analysis solutions have been widely used in the aerospace industry for more than 40 years. We have helped aircraft designers calculate the ideal aircraft structure design to handle the internal and external loads required to fly aerodynamically and efficiently.
With passenger traffic doubling and pressure to reduce ecological impact on the planet also greater than ever, Hexagon has also developed tools for coupled simulation, lightweight composite material simulation and additive manufacturing. These simulation solutions have unique potential to help designers overcome these major challenges and design structures for new generations of aircraft.
Aircraft structure parts can include fuselage panels of over 40 square metres, as well as 10 or more metre structural spars and large assembly brackets. Manufacturing such large components makes anticipating process deviation to reduce production time essential in the ramp up of structural components production for the aerospace industry.
Shop-floor metrology tools, including non-contact inspection technologies, allow Hexagon customers to monitor the production process and manage the quality of the produced part along their manufacturing workflow. Our robust solutions are designed to function in challenging shop-floor conditions, such as dusty and noisy aircraft structure plants. From handheld 3D scanners to the world’s most accurate laser trackers and the largest bridge and gantry CMMs, our portfolio offers metrology equipment for everything from micron measurement to surface quality checks on aircraft skin panels.
Metrology is also increasingly embedded in aircraft structure manufacturing plants, including the use of wireless machine tool probes for measurement within machining centres. Hexagon also offers a range of laser-tracker based robotic positioning solutions to help tool integrators and aerospace manufacturers automate workstations. This enables aircraft manufacturers to ramp up aero-structure production by bringing speed and accuracy to the shop floor.
Optimising the measurement of aircraft frames and stringers on the shop floor or close to machining centres increases productivity and ensures accuracy.
Cabin pressurisation tests are a vital milestone for prototypes of new lines of aircraft and the results must be fully recorded and understood before development can proceed.
3D metrology can be used to simplify the measurement of deformations resulting from load resistance testing in large cylindrical structures like aircraft fuselages.
The dimensional inspection of ribs, hinges and other large machined parts used in an aircraft’s structure requires large-volume measurement solutions with excellent...
Dimensional inspection of critical aerodynamic aircraft components such as winglets, fairings and pylons is essential to safe and efficient flight.
Specialised acoustic simulation software enables aircraft manufacturers to reduce noise levels in the cabin and cockpit while using lightweight structural materials.
The complexity and cost of creating CFRP aircraft components mean manufacturers benefit from analysing and simulating the impact of manufacturing defects on part performance.
Simulation software can be used to reduce development cycles by virtually testing CFRP components for the aerospace industry.
Engineers can shorten development times by using simulation software throughout the aircraft design lifecycle to analyse the impact of loads on its structure.
Airframers can test and measure the performance and durability of an aircraft structure’s movable parts more quickly and cost-effectively with simulation software.