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April 2006 edition

Development begins on automated fuselage panel assembly cell

By Phil Webb

The requirement to reduce cost and the introduction of ever more stringent health and safety legislation are putting conventional assembly techniques under increasing scrutiny.

The University of Nottingham, UK, has been working with Bombardier Aerospace and automotive assembly giant Comau Estil to develop and test a combined riveting and assembly cell for regional jet fuselage panels. The cell has been fully tested and evaluated and elements of the developed technology are now being developed further for production testing.

A typical assembly route for an aircraft fuselage panel requires the manual location of stringers and frames on the panel using either part to part holes or complex fixtures. Both techniques are labour intensive and the latter also introduces a significant capital outla....

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Bombardier Aerospace Airframer
Comau Estil Materials Handling Equipment
University of Nottingham Research/Consulting Services

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