Flexapods - Flexible Tooling at SAAB for Building the NEURON Aircraft
2010 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Building prototype aircrafts is costly in tooling especially since only one aircraft is being built. Today's most common tooling strategy is to weld together a beam framework. Welded framework solutions have long lead times both in design and manufacturing and once the aircraft is assembled the tool becomes obsolete. Flexible tooling strategy uses non-welded tooling thus it can be changed and re-used for future products. Early version of a new aircraft model is always hampered by frequent changes in its design, which is cumbersome to handle in a welded framework solution. This paper presents a flexible assembly tooling solutions based on Flexapods and BoxJoint. The Flexapods are commercialized reconfigurable tooling units that are manually adjusted injunction with a laser tracker to a final positional accuracy of +/? 0,05 mm absolute accuracy. An operator software program called the Flexapod control panel collect metrology data in real-time and an operator screen show graphics on how to manually jog the Flexapod joints to reach the final Cartesian 3D-coordinate. The Flexapods are installed in a modular steel based framework solution called BoxJoint. A complete PLM package has been developed for the solution where the Flexapods are configured in CATIA using an add-on package to CATIA called the Flexapod configurator. All CATIA data is stored in ENOVIA. Once the Flexapod fixture is designed in CATIA a file, containing all Cartesian coordinates of the Flexapods, is exported and loaded into the Flexapod control panel on the workshop floor. A previous paper on the Flexapod as an early concept and a paper on BoxJoint have been presented at SAE Aerofast. This paper follows up on these results and presents a case study at SAAB Aeronautics for implementing the first industrial solution of Flexapods to build the military unmanned aerial vehicle - nEURON.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-73387DOI: 10.4271/2010-01-1871OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-73387DiVA: diva2:471407
SAE 2010, Aerospace Manufacturing and Automated Fastening Conference & Exhibition (AMAF) Technology for the Next Generation Aircraft, September 28-30, Century II Convention Center, Wichita, Kansas, USA
FunderSwedish Research Council