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Advanced Aircraft Assembly Technology and Development

2018/1/4 点击数:121
Aircraft assembly is the process of combining and connecting aircraft parts or components to form a higher level assembly or complete machine according to the design and technical requirements according to the principle of dimensional coordination. The needs of society, market competition and the continuous development of related technologies are driving the aircraft assembly technology to a higher level. So far, the aircraft assembly technology has experienced the development process from manual assembly, semi-automatic assembly to automatic assembly. At present, the rapid development of flexible assembly has pushed the automatic assembly technology to a new level. The aircraft assembly technology has experienced the development process from manual assembly, semi-automatic assembly to automatic assembly. At present, the rapid development of flexible assembly has pushed the automatic assembly technology to a new height.
Development of advanced assembly technology abroad
Over the past 10 years, the assembly technology of foreign aircraft has developed rapidly. The new military and civil aircraft represented by B777, A340, A380, F-22, F-35, etc. collectively reflect the status and development trend of foreign aircraft manufacturing technology. In terms of assembly technology, based on the digital dimension coordination system of a single product data source, digital dimension engineering technology is implemented, assembly process optimization is achieved through assembly simulation, and flexible modular tooling technology is applied The processing and detection units are integrated into a series of automatic assembly systems for automatic assembly of the airframe structure. A large number of meters use long-life connection technology to achieve high-quality and efficient assembly of long-life aircraft structures. Next, we will introduce foreign advanced assembly technologies from the aspects of automatic assembly tooling, automatic assembly unit, automatic assembly system, automatic drilling, automatic riveting, assembly detection, digital assembly management technology, etc.
1. Automatic assembly tooling technology
Different from traditional assembly tooling, foreign assembly tooling has developed into numerical control automatic tooling, mainly including row type flexible assembly tooling, multi-point forming vacuum sucker type flexible assembly tooling, decentralized flexible body assembly tooling, automatic butt joint and leveling, etc. They are characterized by modularization, digitization and automation.
(1) Determinant flexible assembly tooling
The row type flexible assembly tooling includes wallboard tooling and wing beam tooling. The former is used for the assembly of wing panels of Airbus series civil aircraft, and the latter is used for the assembly of wing beams of Boeing aircraft such as B-737, B-777, C-17, etc. Airbus wing panel flexible assembly tooling can complete the assembly of the wing panel of A330/340 and A319/320/321/A300 series aircraft. A380 aircraft also use such assembly tooling.
(2) Multi lattice forming vacuum sucker type flexible assembly tooling
Multi dot matrix forming vacuum sucker type flexible assembly tooling is composed of a group of column suction cups. The suction cups can be moved and positioned in three dimensions under the control of the program to generate an adsorption dot matrix that is consistent with and evenly distributed on the surface of the assembly parts, and can position and clamp the wallboard on the ground. When the product shape changes, the adsorption lattice layout is automatically adjusted to adapt to different assembly shapes. Since the early 1990s, this flexible assembly tooling technology based on multi lattice forming vacuum sucker has been widely used in the flexible assembly and production of military and civil aircraft of Daimler Benz Aerospace, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Grumman, British Aerospace, CASA, EADS/Airbus, Bombardier Aerospace and other companies
(1) Decentralized flexible assembly tooling for the fuselage.
The decentralized flexible assembly tooling for fuselage is based on laser tracking and positioning, and is composed of a group of tooling units controlled by CNC. It eliminates the application of traditional large assembly fixtures, promotes the automation and flexibility of assembly, and has the advantages of simple structure, good openness, small footprint, and reconfiguration. It is now widely used in the assembly and manufacturing of large aircraft fuselage.
(2) Automatic docking platform
The automatic docking platform is composed of computer controlled automatic jack (or positioner), laser measurement system and platform control system. Compared with the traditional docking platform, the aircraft quality is greatly improved, the efficiency is high, the cycle is short, the versatility is strong, and it can adapt to the fuselage wing structures of different sizes.
2 Automatic assembly unit technology
Automatic assembly process is widely used in foreign large-scale civil aircraft structures, which is based on CNC tooling, Jiahe detection unit, digital positioning and other technologies. The processing unit mainly includes hole making unit, hole strengthening unit, automatic glue injection unit, automatic feeding unit, fastener insertion unit, ring grooved nail installation unit, pulling nail installation unit, welding unit, etc; The detection unit includes a photographic measurement hole positioning unit, a normal detection unit, a hole detection unit, etc
(1) The hole making unit is used for drilling and dimpling the structure. The drilling unit is generally composed of drilling spindle, drilling chuck, position feedback linear encoder, servo feed mechanism, mechanism, etc.
(2) The hole strengthening unit extrudes the hole through the mandrel bulging the slotted bushing to complete the hole strengthening, so as to improve the fatigue resistance of the connecting hole. Hole strengthening element is mainly developed by American Fatigue Technology (FTI) Company.
(3) The automatic glue injection unit is used to inject a certain amount of sealant into the hole (from the countersunk side) before the installation of rivets or bolts. During glue injection, the sealant can be uniformly applied in the hole by rotating.
(4) The automatic feeding unit is used to complete the automatic feeding of fasteners. There are two types: hopper type and suitcase type. The carrying case feeding unit includes offline fastener filling station, fastener storage box, automatic feeding selection device, carrying case manual cleaning device, etc. The suitcase type feeding unit can automatically feed headless rivets, ring grooved rivets, countersunk rivets, protruding rivets and rings.
(5) The fastener insertion unit is used to measure fastener length, insert clearance type fasteners and install interference type fasteners. The main components of the fastener insertion unit include the feed head for feeding, the cylinder with encoder, the driver for insertion and installation, etc. It conducts axial positioning through the linear grating encoder (photolithographic ruler), monitors and confirms the insertion process of fasteners, and feeds back the length, orientation, diameter, interference level, installation speed and other information of fasteners in real time.
(6) There are three types of riveting units: traditional hydraulic riveting unit, new electromagnetic riveting unit and electric riveting unit. Yuan power head is light, with high riveting efficiency and even riveting. The electric riveting unit adopts the roller lead screw servo feed technology to achieve riveting, which has the characteristics of high precision, high repeatability and no oil pollution.
(7) When using the ring grooved nail installation unit, insert the ring grooved nail first, and then automatically install the ring at the tail side of the nail and realize the electromagnetic riveting technology to realize the automatic installation of the ring. This technology is widely used in the automatic assembly of the wall panels of Boeing and Airbus large civil aircraft.
(8) The screw pulling installation unit is used for the automatic installation of single side screw pulling nails of composite structures, and has been applied in the automatic assembly of composite flat tails of Airbus aircraft.
(9) The milling unit is used to mill the formed rivet heads of headless rivets, compensating head rivets, crown head rivets, etc., and the projecting parts after the installation of single side pop rivets, and the aircraft has a good aerodynamic shape.
(10) The welding unit is used for automatic welding assembly of aircraft metal structures. At present, the advanced technologies applied include laser welding, friction stir welding, etc.
(11) The photo inspection unit is used to display, confirm and calibrate the position of processing points through machine vision.
(12) The normal line detection unit uses several eddy current sensors or small laser rangefinders for multi-point measurement to determine the normal line of the workpiece processing point, which is fed back to the machine tool control system for adjustment to meet the perpendicularity requirements for hole making.
(13) The hole detection unit uses a probe with servo drive to measure the diameter and concentricity of the hole. The proximity switch is used to prevent collision and protect the wall panel or probe from damage during detection. The hole P data is fed back by the machine in order to identify out of tolerance conditions.
3 Automatic assembly system
The foreign aircraft automatic assembly technology has developed from an automatic drilling and riveting system consisting of a single NC automatic drilling and riveting machine and a NC bracket to a flexible assembly system consisting of flexible assembly tooling, modular processing cells, NC positioning systems (including robots), automatic feeding systems and digital detection systems. Flexible assembly system mainly includes flexible assembly system of wing panel, flexible assembly system of wing beam, flexible assembly system of composite tail, flexible assembly system of fuselage panel, flexible assembly system of robot, automatic assembly system of fuselage ring riveting and automatic docking platform.
(1) The flexible panel assembly system has been widely used in the assembly of wing panels of Airbus series aircraft. The flexible wing beam assembly system has been used for the automatic assembly of large components of the wing beam of most Boeing civil aircraft. It integrates the electromagnetic riveting technology and the moving magnetic yoke assembly and technology. Its development is the fourth generation automatic wing beam flexible assembly system of E5000 (ASAT4) C-17. The most remarkable feature of the above flexible assembly system is that the electromagnetic riveting power head and the linear high-speed column array flexible assembly tooling are used, which can adapt to the flexible assembly of wall panels or wing beams of different specifications and sizes
(2) The fuselage wall panel developed by German BROTJE company uses the automatic ring riveting technology, which has been applied to A380, B-737, C-17 and other aircraft fuselage wall panels.
(3) The composite elevator flexible assembly system can complete the measurement and calibration of the trailing edge, wallboard drilling and dimpling, rivet selection and supply, glue injection, riveting, wallboard surface waviness measurement and other processes.
(4) EI and Airbus UK jointly developed a robot flexible assembly system for the assembly of wing panels and skeletons. The main functions of the system are: pressing the wall panel, thickness measurement of the wall panel, drilling,} detection, insertion, bolt and ring slot nail and installation. The company has developed a set of Tricept805 virtual axis robot assembly system for automatic assembly of A380 tail torque box (drilling and installation of single side fastening, etc.). Germany has developed a robot assembly system for composite airframe assembly.
4. Automatic hole making technology
Modern aircraft structures use a large number of difficult to machine materials such as composite materials and titanium alloys. Large aircraft also put forward higher requirements for the preparation accuracy of large size holes. Therefore, automatic flexible drilling technology is widely used to meet the requirements of long life, stealth and interchangeability of structures. Automatic hole making system includes engine room floor hole making system, wing panel hole making system, truss flexible hole making system, flexible tracking hole making unit, small mobile automatic hole making unit, robot hole making system, etc.
5. Automatic drilling and riveting technology
Automatic drilling and riveting technology has been widely used since the 1970s. At present, foreign aircraft manufacturers still have a considerable amount of assembly work completed by conventional hydraulic powered automatic drilling and riveting machines equipped with semi-automatic or full-automatic brackets. GEMCOR also developed the full electric riveting machine, which relies on the linear power head of the electric roller screw to provide pressure to complete the riveting. Replacing hydraulic riveting with all electric riveting has become the development trend of automatic drilling and riveting machine.
6 Advanced inspection and test technology of assembly
At present, foreign countries have adopted laser tracking positioning and geometric dimension detection, automatic nondestructive testing of composite material assemblies, infrared photography testing, advanced leakage detection of aircraft sealing structures and other technologies in assembly inspection and testing.
Suggestions on the Development of Domestic Aircraft Assembly Technology
In order to improve the connection quality, fatigue life of the machine body and production efficiency, foreign military and civil aircraft generally use automatic assembly technology, but some use manual assembly when automation is difficult to achieve.
According to the development status of domestic aircraft assembly technology, and referring to the overall application status of foreign military and civil aircraft automatic assembly technology, suggestions for the development of domestic aircraft assembly technology are put forward:
(1) Actively organize the development and configuration of automatic bracket system, strengthen the research on automatic drilling and riveting technology, and improve the application level of automatic drilling and riveting equipment.
(2) Develop flexible assembly technology, including:
Flexible assembly tooling technology
Automatic Machining Cell Technology
Automatic assembly inspection technology;
Integration technology of automatic assembly system;
Assembly digital positioning technology
Digital assembly process planning technology
(3) Focusing on domestic research and development, combined with the introduction of foreign advanced technology, realize the localization of flexible assembly tooling, processing units and detection units to meet the large demand of domestic aviation factories for aircraft flexible assembly systems.

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