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This project is co-funded by the European Union

News & Events

Press Release & Articles

LOCOMACHS featured in Clean Sky's Skyline magazine

Maria Weiland was invited to present LOCOMACHS in the March edition 2016 (n°18) of Clean Sky's Skyline magazine. The article can be found on page 9.

Publications

Variation Simulation During Assembly of Non-rigid Components. Realistic Assembly Simulation with ANATOLEFLEX Software
14th CIRP CAT 2016 - CIRP Conference on Computer Aided Tolerancing

Publications


Scientific articles

ASSEMBLY CELL CONCEPT FOR HUMAN AND ROBOT IN COOPERATION

22nd International Conference on Production Research


Abstract

Today’s aerospace assembly is a huge manual task according to strictly controlled instructions, where different operators are responsible for different areas. This harmonizes with the overall lean approach, but the assembly is very time consuming and some tasks are not ergonomically friendly, such as assembly tasks inside a wing box. Here, it could be possible to increase automation with the aim to facilitate a shorter assembly time and increased ergonomically work place. This paper will present different assembly cell concepts utilizing different safety strategies to achieve human-robot cooperation in an aerospace industry assembly line. These concepts will be discussed in relation to a case in the aerospace industry. To conclude this paper we have suggested three conceptual human-robot cooperation layouts. These are based on previous research in the areas of safety and human-robot cooperation in combination with own observations in an aerospace assembly line.

Hybrid Colored Petri net models for robotic cells in aircraft industry


Abstract

The use of robots in aircraft structural assembly is a challenge. The presence of man, auxiliary systems and industrial robots makes hybrid the dynamic behavior of a robotic cell in this context. In this paper, the focus is on the synthesis of a model for the sequencing of the activities of a robotic cell in aircraft industry. The effectiveness of the model is shown using a case study defined by the ongoing European project LOCOMACHS (LOw COst Manufacturing and Assembly of Composite and Hybrid Structures, http://www.locomachs.eu/).

Keywords: Discrete event systems; Hybrid systems; Hybrid Petri Nets; Manufacturing systems; Robotic cell.

Variation Simulation for Composite Parts and Assemblies Including Variation in Fiber Orientation and Thickness

5th CATS 2014 - CIRP Conference on Assembly Technologies and Systems


Abstract

All manufacturing processes are afflicted by geometrical variation, which can lead to defect products. A simulation tool for geometry assurance analysis is therefore important in the design process. The use of composites has recently increased drastically, but there is still a lack of understanding about the effects of variation in such parts. A method for predicting variation in subassemblies, including variation in fiber orientation and ply thickness for composites is presented. The approach is demonstrated on an industrial case and finite element analysis is used to calculate the deformation. In particular, contribution from variation in material properties to the variation in critical points is analyzed. The results indicate that material uncertainties have a small impact on the geometric variation for the test case.

Optimization of Laser Parameters for Structural Bonding of CFRP Components with Paste Adhesive

International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro–Optics (ICALEO) 2013


Abstract

Carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites (CFRPs) are finding increasing usage in many industrial sectors, including aerospace industry. Adhesive bonding is often the most attractive joining technique for these materials in terms of structural efficiency, simplicity and cost of manufacture. The surfaces play an important role in the bonding process and are, perhaps, the most important process governing the quality of an adhesive bond joint. Standard surface preparation techniques, including grit blasting, manual abrasion, and peel ply are not ideal in terms of adhesively bonded CFRP structures because of variations in their application. On the other hand, energetic methods, i.e. laser, offer some advantages in the ability to automate and produce reproducible surfaces and seem to be promising for providing a bond-promoting patterned surface. This study focuses on the optimization of Nd-YAG laser parameters in order to improve the paste adhesive bond quality of CFRP adherends. The influence of various laser parameters has been studied in terms of roughness, wettability, single lap shear strength and failure mode. The main criterion for the optimization was to abrade only resin layer without damaging the fibers to get a rough surface. Microscopic investigation of the sections has been performed to characterize laser pulses in this respect.

Numerical Process Based on Measuring Data for Gap Prediction of an Assembly

13th CIRP conference on Computer Aided Tolerancing


Abstract

The assembly stages enhancement is an important economic challenge for aeronautics industries. After the pre-assembly, gaps exist between components because of compliance and geometrical defects of components. Assembly requirements impose to fill these gaps, without installing internal stresses. A shimming step is currently necessary. It needs gaps measurement, which was identified as a problematic and expensive non-added value stage. Thus the trend is at gap prediction in order to remove gap measurement operations. This paper develops a numerical process allowing predicting gap before assembly step from component measurements. The main issue relates to the integration of measuring data into simulation process. Gap prediction stage is firstly located into the assembly process, in order to define constraints about gap representation. Then gap prediction process principle is detailed, highlighting measuring data integration. This method was subjected to an experimental validation. The entire process was carried out, from component measurement to gap prediction. Several comparisons were achieved to characterize the predicted gap.

Geometry Assurance Integrating Process Variation With Simulation of Spring-In for Composite Parts and Assemblies

ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition


Abstract

Geometrical variation and deviation in all manufacturing processes affect quality of the final product. Therefore geometry assurance is an important tool in the design phase of a new product. In the automotive and aviation industries where the use of composite parts is increasing drastically, new tools within variation simulations are needed.

Composite parts tend to deviate more from nominal specification compared to metal parts. Methods to simulate the manufacturing process of composites have been developed before. In this paper we present how to combine the process variation simulation of composites with traditional variation simulations.

The proposed method is demonstrated on a real complex subassembly, representing part of an aircraft wing-box. Since traditional variation simulation methods are not able to capture the spring-in and the special deviation behavior of composites, the proposed method adds a new feature and reliability to the geometry assurance process of composite assemblies.

Variation simulation of stress during assembly for composite parts

CIRP General Assembly 2015


Abstract

Weight reduction requirements in aerospace and automotive industry lead to an increased use of composite materials. However, composite parts cannot be bent like sheet metal parts. Hence, only low forces can be applied to close gaps between parts, caused by geometrical variation in parts and assembly fixtures. Shimming is therefore used to compensate for bad fitting, with increase cost as a consequence. This paper investigates how variation in assembly fixtures and parts give rise to variation in gaps and thereby also to variation in stress. Monte Carlo simulations are used to find the distribution of stress, which supports shimming strategies.

A composite cost model for the aeronautical industry: Methodology and case study

Composites Part B: Engineering


Abstract

This paper presents a novel composite production cost estimation model. The strength of the model is its modular construction, allowing for easy implementation of different production methods and case studies. The cost model is exemplified by evaluating the costs of a generic aeronautical wing, consisting of skin, stiffeners and rib feet. Several common aeronautical manufacturing methods are studied. For studied structure, hand layup is the most cost-effective method for annual volumes of less than 150 structures per year. For higher production volumes automatic tape layup (ATL) followed by hot drape forming (HDF) is the most cost-effective choice.

Variation Simulation During Assembly of Non-rigid Components. Realistic Assembly Simulation with ANATOLEFLEX Software

14th CIRP CAT 2016 - CIRP Conference on Computer Aided Tolerancing


Abstract

Non-rigid components assembly simulation requires complex and difficult modelling tasks. This paper presents how ANATOLEFLEX solution can support user to take into account assembly sequence, joint with defaults, composite or metallic material properties, form default from manufacturing processes, and contact modelling in order to build a full and realistic assembly simulation. An implementation of this solution is presented on a representative aeronautical structural assembly use case with simulation results analysis. This use case illustration leads to conclusions on future industrial applications of realistic assembly simulations such as tolerance analysis or gap maps estimation for shimming processes.

EU Research Project for LEAN Airframe Assembly Systems

Written by on 29/04/2013 at 3:33 PM

Saab is leading and playing an essential part in the EC project LOCOMACHS, aimed at achieving time- and cost-effective processes in lean airframe assembly systems.

Anders Rydbom, Head of Engineering at the aerostructures unit at Saab Aeronautics, says: “For Saab, this project is an important initiative to develop more cost efficient methods for the airframe assembly of composite and metallic parts. Our aim in the project is to find flexible tooling systems and innovative solutions for the joining process. Tolerance management and Design-for-Manufacturing methods are also important parts of the work.”

 

 
Anders Rydbom, Head of Engineering at the aerostructures unit at Saab Aeronautics    

The object of the LOCOMACHS project is to eliminate the most time-consuming non-added value operations in airframe assembly systems, e.g. temporary assembly to check gaps, shimming, dismantling and tool handling. The project will work on the design conditions, for example by improving the use of tolerance and geometrical variation management.

Physical and virtual demonstrators Two partial physical wing box demonstrators will be used to show the improvements made by the project. Key innovations such as intelligent drilling, high speed non-contact hole inspection, compact automation and active flexible tooling will be demonstrated. Additionally,  a virtual demonstrator showing the complete wing structure in the context of the next generation lean production flow. will be used.

The LOCOMACHS project started in September 2012 and will last for 3 ½ years with a total budget of EUR 32.8 m, including EUR 19.6 m of EC funding. The Consortium is being led by Saab AB and consists of partners from the aircraft industry as well as universities and research institutes. These include, among others, Airbus, GKN Aerospace, Volvo Aero (being a part of GKN Aerospace as of October 2012), Dassault Aviation, Bombardier, EADS Innovation Works, DLR, Linköping University, Chalmers University of Technology and KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

  Participants of the EC project LOCOMACHS study the assembly process of an aileron for A320 during a visit at Saab Aeronautics as a part of the kick-off of the project.

Downloads

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Bookmark sized project presentation.

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Publishable summary of the LOCOMACHS P1 (1 September 2012- 31 August 2013) periodic report.

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Publishable summary of the LOCOMACHS P2 (1 September 2013- 31 August 2014) periodic report.

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Publishable summary of the LOCOMACHS P3 (1 September 2014 - 31 August 2015) periodic report.

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The project presentation is a Power Point file, containing info on the progress made within the LOCOMACHS project. It was issued in Mars 2015, when the project had been running for 2,5 years.

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Poster-sized project presentation, optimized for printing on A2 sized paper.

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This booklet contains an overview of LOCOMACHS key technology targets. It was produced for JEC 2015.

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A5 sized folder (4 pages) which presents the project, partners, objectives and expected outcome.

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Kevin Peters from GKN Aerospace talked about “Integrated component design to support low cost assembly methodologies”.

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Markus Kleineberg (DLR) talked about “Fully controlled production environment for autoclave injection processes“.

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Hugo Falgarone from Airbus Group Innovations talked about “Composite structural assembly simulation with geometrical variations“.

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Mathilda Karlsson Hagnell talked about “Cost and weight modelling of composite structures within Aeronautical applications”.

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Hervé Tretout from Dassault Aviation, talked about “Novel and lean NDI/NDT technologies for composite materials and structures”.