Yan Jin, Peter McToal, Colm Higgins, Harvey Brookes, Mark Summers


Aerospace enterprises are looking for flexible machines for automating aircraft assembly to revolutionize their existing cumbersome processes in order to lead the competitive edge. Recent study shows Parallel Kinematic Machine (PKM) could be the potential solution as it offers high flexibility, high stiffness and high accuracy that are required for the manufacturing system. This work presents an integrated method for high precision machining of large aero structures with a PKM based manufacturing system, which includes: development of the PKM solution with light weight supporting frame, machine transportation method in a large work area, dust extraction system design, cutting tool selection, and machining sequence design with in-process metrology support. Experiment results show that the new integrated solution is successful, which provides significant impetus for implementing the step change processes of aircraft assembly. 


Parallel Kinematic Machine; Automated Aircraft Assembly; Large Scale Manufacturing

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