During the past decade, aerospace manufacturers have transitioned to advanced composite materials to make aircrafts lightweight and more structurally sound. Assembly of these materials requires fewer fasteners compared to metal-skinned planes. However, installing those fasteners now requires considerably more precision and accuracy. Traceability is also becoming increasingly important in the assembly process. Fortunately, a new generation of advanced assembly tools is making fastening operations more efficient, consistent, reliable, measurable and traceable. Read more about the latest fastening technology here.
Airbus is investing in automation to tackle huge backlogs for its commercial jetliners. Bernard Duprieu, head of manufacturing technologies research at the Airbus Centre of Competence, Industrial Strategy and System, tells ASSEMBLY about the company’s FuturAssy automation strategy.
PALMDALE, CA—Assemblers at Northrop Grumman Corp.’s plant here recently started to use an optical projection system to build the center fuselage of the F-35 Lighting II fighter jet. The facility was the recipient of ASSEMBLY’s 2013 Assembly Plant of the Year award.
SANTA ANA, CA—Ascent Aerospace has been awarded a contract to design and build the final assembly station for the Airbus Beluga XL jet. The Beluga is an A330 modified to transport large aerostructure components from Airbus supplier facilities.