PAPER PRESENTATION ONDigital Manufacturing for Aerospaceindustry: Experimental Aircraft
Abstract: The aerospace manufacturing process ischaracterized by complex scenarios that need to be validated inorder to determine manufacturability and low cost production.Key manufacturing knowledge traduced to best practices isrequired to produce successful manufacturing scenarios. Newtechnologies such as Digital manufacturing tools used throughPLM, are able to access and reuse the best practices, as well asevaluate 3D manufacturing scenarios. This paper shows how toreuse collective exp ertise and intelligence using manufacturingscenarios to support key decisions through PLM. This papercontributes to the exploration of digital manufacturing toolsusing key manufacturing knowledge at PLM environment tothe field of assembly engineering applications. The presentresearch encompasses multidisciplinary engineering workteams defining the assembly process of an airplane part. Thispaper argues that digital manufacturing tools enable complexmanufacturing scenarios analysis virtually, exchangingexpertise at collaborative work and increasing value addedbetween collaborators. A case study is presented as a validationto this idea.
Key words: Digital Manufacturing tools at PLM,Collaborative manufacturing, Assembly process.1- PLM and Digital Ma nufacturing toolsThe PLM approach allows managing all the information,processes and resources of a product along its development.Nowadays, to develop new products, the innovation techniquesare not only a designer’s or engineer’s concern. The mostsuccessful companies usually mobilize all their internalservices (marketing and sales, manufacturing, quality andmaintenance…) and external services (suppliers, customers…).PLM digital tools are useful for a wide range of sectors andproducts, for instance to build virtual prototypes. However allcompanies should have a PLM approach to help them improvethe management of their products; within the production area,PLM can save time and money, diminish errors in bullfightsand eliminate possible errors in design, through simulation ofspace required, time cycles, and programmed machines likerobots or CNCs. [G4, S1, S2, S3]Generating knowledge and technological development iscrucial for México country . With this idea in mind, more andmore companies are dev eloping projects with Tecnológico deMonterrey. An example of this collaboration is a project ofassembly and production of a RV-10 airplane, with theIntegrated Manufacturing Systems Center (CampusMonterrey) and ICKTAR Company.For the development of a project of this kind it is required towork in different areas, all important to a correct operation ofthe aircraft produced, and of course, so as to generate aquality product, which is a key feature in the aeronauticindustry and cannot be overseen. [G1, G2]Virtual Manufacturing is an important area inside the
assembly and production process. In this area relies the taskof computational modeling of the aircraft’s parts, to evaluatethe best work strategy and simulate it, showing the assemblyprocess with its different parameters and specifications.2- Digital manufacturing tools at aerospaceindustryManufacturing is a dynamic, exciting, and critical industry.A rapidly changing world at an increasingly frantic rate.Manufacturing systems and processes are being combinedwith simulation technology, computer hardware, andoperating systems to reduce costs and increase companyprofitability. Perhaps one of the most interesting andimportant of these recent developments is called “VirtualManufacturing”, which involves the simulation of productmechanical functionality and the processes involved in itsfabrication. In addition, virtual manufacturing also reduces thecost oftooling, eliminates the need for multiple physical prototypes,and reduces material waste. It provides manufacturers with theconfidence of knowing that they can deliver quality products tomarket, on time and within budget. Small improvements inmanufacturing have dramatic and profound effects in terms ofcost and quality, and it not only happens to the beginning ofthe life of the product but during its service life. [D1, C1, G4]Return on investment calculations have shown that smallsavings in material usage deliver enormous returns in amanufacturing environment. A virtual lab for product creationuses a computer to simulate a product’s performance and theprocesses involved in its fabrication. This technology hasenabled companies to simulate fabrication and testing in amore realistic manner than ever before.
The case study explained next is a project concerning theassembly and redesign of an experimental, true-scale aircraftRV-10, with capacity for four passengers. This aircraft wassupplied by ICKTAR, a Mexican company, with the generalobjective of producing technological competences forproviding high tech. services to the aerospace industry. Suchdemanding project was entirely carried out by students ofTecnológico de Monterrey, enrolled in different teams, eachone undertaking a specific task (or sub-project) tow ards thecompletion of the full project. Instructors acted as moderatorsand promoters of inter-team communication, rather thantransmitters of knowledge.Some of the results obtained through this project are shown inthis paper. From the available manufacturing tools thatDassault Sytemes® offers in PLM environment, just some ofthem have been used according to the project’s requirements:CATIA®, DELMIA® and QUEST®.Product design analysisOne part of the study was the design of the positioning andanchorage mechanisms of the battery system to a structure ofnew design . The design of this new product wasperformed with CATIA. BATTRERY MODEL
Riveting machineThe requirement of creating tools that would help in thefabrication phase came up. This machine (Figure 2) wasplanned to help in the drilling and riveting stations,optimizing and simplifying the work to be done in theconstruction stations. This designed tool is a pneumaticriveter with a rivets container that facilitates their positioningduring the process.Layout planning analysisThe preliminary work consisted in subdividing and groupingthe required steps for the assembly into five differentworkstations: riveting, drilling, de-burring, fixturing andassembly. After that, for each station were defined resources,processes and knowledge using the collaborative work ofexperts consulted, as well as the previous experiences of themembers.The next step was to propose different layouts to arrange thedifferent workstations, considering the work sequence, thetimings, the material flows and the value-adding processes(Figure 3). For this task, the PLM digital tools (Factory Flowsimulation, for instance) were significantly useful since someof the modules are designed to perform these specificactivities, sharing automatically knowledge and information.
Layout planning analysisErgonomic analysisOther stage of the project was to use virtual manufacturingtools in order to make ergonomics analysis due to thecomplexity of the traditional assembly procedure (Figure 4).This analysis included: time studies, process optimizationwith an special focus on critical steps of the assemblyprocess, for quality considerations. Ergonomic simulation analysisFactory flow simulationFinally, a study of all the airplane construction phaserequirements was analyzed in terms of the different flows. Adivision has been made into elements, such as materials,manpower, energy requirements, etc. Figure 5 shows thesimulation of the queue model for the factory flow .
Queue model factory flow simulationConclusionsDigital manufacturing tools are a helpful set of tools into thePLM framework, which allow companies to reduce the wastein material, resources and time. This technology involves themain process stages of the Product Lifecycle, for instance,product design, process design, factory flow simulation,ergonomic analysis, etc. Digital manufacturing are offeringhigh benefits and revenues to all kind of manufacturingindustries as well as complex industries as the aerospace.Digital manufacturing tools provided by Dassault Systemes®(CATIA®, DELMIA® and QUEST ®) supported successfullythe RV-10 battery model development by means of the productdesign made in CATIA, process design and ergonomicsanalysis by DELMIA and factory flow simulation developed inQUEST. The results were an efficient battery supportmodeling, handling features design, new tool design, andoptimal layout for manufacturing and assembly processes. Allthese results allowed building expertise and knowledge toimprove the ICKTAR’s processes.
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